"The Comedy of Errors": The Beginnings

Last week, the production team for The Comedy of Errors met for an initial design concept discussion. Director Scott Palmer presented his “director’s vision,” complete with a power point presentation to literally illustrate his point (that was a treat for us on the production team – our first Scott Palmer power point “director’s vision” presentation). Set Designer Drew Foster and Costume Designer Lacey Cassidy responded to Scott’s ideas with enthusiasm and we all had questions for Scott. These initial design meetings are always intriguing to be a part of – dubious note taking occurs, a few beers are consumed, those creative juices flow inside the designers’ brains (we assume so, at least), ideas are presented, challenged, and embraced, and of course our conversation also inevitably turns (mostly thanks to me – hey it’s my job!) to discussing the practicality of putting our design ideas onto the stage.

The design concepts for Bag&Baggage’s version of Shakespeare’s “first” play currently involve a key bit of technology (scary, I know!). So our next step will be to do a “test” of the equipment at our host venue, The Venetian Theatre, to see if this particular bit of technology is going to work (easily, or perhaps not so easily) for our purposes for this show. In the meantime, the designers will be doing some research and idea-making of their own – reading and re-reading Shakespeare’s original script of Comedy, in anticipation of our adapted script (to be completed by Scott Palmer within the next few weeks), and combining their own creative ideas about the show with Palmer’s “director’s vision.” After our “spec-tech” (thanks to Drew Foster for coining that phrase) test at the Venetian, the team will meet again to discuss the results of our “spec-tech” and share new ideas in order to get closer to finalizing the designs.

For those of you who may be curious about the design concepts that we are currently spending so much time, beer, and sleep thinking and talking about — without giving away too much detail (partly because the designs are still in the process of being molded), I will say that it looks like our version of Comedy of Errors will be entertaining (of course!), perhaps a bit dark, unusual and colorful (to say the least), and hopefully will challenge our audience to think a bit (or a lot!).

As I mentioned, Palmer is still in the process of adapting the script for our production. Again, without wanting to give away too much, I will reveal that he is adding one character to the script – “The Critic.”

Auditions are also coming up in about two weeks, so that is obviously a big part of pulling the show together and preparing for rehearsals to begin. I’m also happy to report that we have hired a Stage Manager for the show, and are currently finalizing the search for a few other crew positions.

In other Bag&Baggage news, our “little Christmas show,” as I like to call it (The Eight: Reindeer Monologues) has been cast and the actors are in the process of memorizing their lines. The cast includes several actors that you have seen on Bag&Baggage’s stages before, including Company member Maggie Chapin, plus a new face or two. In Scott’s own words, “it is going to be freakin’ HE-LARIOUS!”

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned in for more behind-the-scenes updates/insights from Bag&Baggage!

— Audra L. Petrie Veber, Production Manager