'Scapin': A brilliant and witty night of comedy

There was hustle and bustle backstage at the Longstreet Theatre in preparation for opening night on Friday. Director Louis Butelli is working to bring a modern adaptation of the classic French comedy "Scapin" to life at the Longstreet Theatre from Feb. 19-27. The play is an outrageous, over-the-top modern adaptation of the comedy classic by Moliere. Set in the mid-20th century, with witty surprises throughout, the show is sure to be a delight.

The show presents a challenge to actors while still providing a top notch experience. Masters of fine arts in acting student Dmitri Woods, who plays the lead character, Scapin, finds the role a challenge but still enjoyable.

“I think the show itself, as a whole, how we’ve done it here ... it’s kind of like a circus act," Woods said. "It’s a lot of things happening. A lot of color, a lot of brightness, a lot of just big energy.”

Prepare for big moments of excitement, as the stage play gives the audience a full show experience. With a circular amphitheater-style seating, the audience has a chance to feel as if they are part of the production. Every seat provides a uniquely different angle. Scenic designer Tamara Joksimovic, a theatre graduate student, worked with Butelli to create an interactive and joyful presentation.

“The relationship between the actors and the audience is very important because there is a sense of breaking the theater illusion by actors coming in and interacting with the audience," Joksimovic said.

One major element that adds to the over-the-top, grandiose feel of the play is the eccentric costumes. With a wonderful mix of diverse colors and vibrant designs, a spectacular visual experience is prepared for the audience. Different decades come together to give off a primarily 1950s feel to the costumes. Costume designer Rachel Harmon, a theatre graduate student, worked color schemes and styles into each costume to show character relationships, while still giving a unique twist to each one.

The action on the stage continues to thrill as the music sets the pace of motion. The incorporation of various musical styles gives every scene a vivacious feel. The music is not just an addition to the show — it is another part that brings to life the era of the '50s and the comedic style of the play.

“It is such high-energy that the students here who do come to see the show will have fun no matter what," Woods said. "It’s timely, it’s fun, and it’s just a good time out.”

Overall, "Scapin" is an intriguing show that is sure to leave one satisfied by its brilliantly quirky scenes and set.

Shows will run Friday, Saturday and Feb. 24-27 at 8 p.m., with matinees at 3 p.m. Feb. 21 and 27. Tickets start at $12 for students and are available through the Longstreet Theatre box office at 1300 Greene St, open Monday to Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.



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