Carlo Goldoni’s play “The Servant of Two Masters” will be presented April 18-20 at the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. Written in 1746, the Venice-based comedy features a romantic mix-up that is exacerbated by the presence of the classic comedic character Truffaldino, who hides the fact that he is acting as a servant to two of the main characters, lovers Beatrice and Florindo — though neither realizes that he is working for the other. Beatrice, meanwhile, is impersonating her dead brother, a suitor to Clarice, who is in love with Silvio.
“The play is a wonderful, silly, Italian comedy full of slapstick humor and comic bits,” says Associate Professor of Theatre and Director Christopher Hatch, who trained with Commedia dell’Arte teacher and mask maker Antonio Fava in Italy in 2011. Many elements in the play are inspired by the experience. “You’ll see elements that may remind you of the Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, Will Ferrell, Chris Farley and your favorite childhood cartoons.”
Hatch encourages parents to consider bringing their children to the play. “The show is completely family friendly,” he says. “If you like taking your kids to the theatre, I think this is a great show to consider — lots of big movement, crazy costumes, a colorful set and half of the characters wear fun masks.”
Hatch joined the HWS faculty in 2010. He received an M.F.A. in acting and directing from University of Missouri and a bachelor’s in theatre arts from Pennsylvania State University. He has directed a number of HWS productions, including “Macbeth” (2017), “A Streetcar Named Desire” (2015), and “The Game of Love and Chance” (2012).
Tickets for the opening night dinner theatre event and post-show talk back on April 18 are $40 and are available online. General admission tickets are $5. In addition to the opening night performance, the play will be performed on April 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and at 2 p.m. on April 20. Tickets for these performances are $5 and are on sale in the Gearan Center box office from 3-5 p.m. all week, and an hour before each performance. In addition, the final rehearsal on Wednesday, April 17 is open to the public at no charge, and will begin at 7:30 p.m.