The West Shore Community College Performing Arts Series announces its cast list for the classic Moliere comedy, "The Schemings of Scapin."
“The knock-about 17th century farce calls for actors with exceptional comic talents, and we saw area actors at auditions who were exceptionally funny and exceptionally well-suited for these challenging roles,” says the play's director, Dr. Rick Plummer.
Professional actor and playwright Tim Mooney, who has created the adaptation for the WSCC production, will be guest artist, playing the title role of the witty servant Scapin.
As the two sets of young lovers, Performing Arts Scholarship recipient Marcus Allen will play Octave, Greg Andersen will be seen as Leandre, LeAnna Engwall is cast as Hyacinthe, and Emma Grace Plummer is playing the Gypsy girl, Zerbinette.
Topher Webb, also a Performing Arts Scholarship recipient and who was seen recently as Frank N’Furter in the WSCC-Manistee Civic Players production of “The Rocky Horror Show,” will play the other zany servant, Sylvestre. Playing the two foolish old fathers will be area favorite Jeremy Engwall as Geronte and David Grove will be seen as Argante. Playing Carle, Leandre’s the not-so-bright servant, will be Shane Reed.
Sarah McCully plays Hyacinthe’s nurse, Nerine. Rick Namors is cast as Town Mayor and Susan Shoup will be seen as the town Scold. Musicians for the production, playing live Baroque music onstage, are Frank Galante and Cathy Webster. Emily Hartrum is the production stage manager.
"Our production will have a ‘Commedia dell’arte’ treatment and rely heavily on broad comic physical sight gags, the kind popularized in silent films by comedians like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, as well as slightly more sophisticated verbal humor," says Plummer. He adds the comic servants and foolish old men will all wear half masks, in the tradition of Commedia.
The masks for the production have been crafted by master mask-maker Jonathan Becker, who began sculpting masks while a student in Paris, France, and who founded Theater-Masks, Inc. when he returned to the United States. His clients include Disney Theatrical, Focus Films, NBC, the Bravo Cable Network, and many theaters around the country. Becker is professor of Movement and Acting at Ball State University.
Moliere, considered by scholars and audiences alike as the greatest comic playwright of all times, creates a comedy of enormous proportions in "Scapin." First staged in 1671, the play draws heavily on the Italian tradition of the Commedia dell'arte; a form of masked comedy that influenced not only Moliere and Shakespeare but many writers across Europe for over 200 years.
“It is also where we get so many stock comic characters that we have seen for centuries, including most of the recognizable characters from TV situation comedies. Foolish old men, clever servants, braggart warriors, young lovers, these are the characters from the Commedia and in the kind of ridiculous characters who people Moliere's farce," says Plummer.
"The Schemings of Scapin" plays one week only at WSCC's Center Stage Theater, March 6-8 at 7:30 p.m., and Sun., March 9, at 2 p.m.
For additional information about the production, call Plummer at 843-5507 or email him at email@example.com.
Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Communications & Community Engagement