MCT ‘Saints’ performance to highlight commedia dell’arte
by Randy Evans
Special to The Times-Indepenedent
Jan 24, 2013 | 1170 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There was joy and despair; jubilation and disappointment. Above all, there was drama. Parts were cast; and preparations are now underway for Moab Community Theatre’s winter production, “A Company of Wayward Saints” by George Herman. First-time director Shane Bartosh said he is excited to oversee the show, which will inaugurate MCT’s fifth decade of performing live theater for our community.

The comedy, a farce which “has had ‘em rolling in the aisles since its debut in 1962,” (according to Entertainment Today) will open at Star Hall on Feb. 28 and play six performances over two weekends. Ten local actors will portray the hilarious struggles of the very last acting troupe on the planet to perform the ancient and venerable Commedia dell’arte on the road.

Bartosh says he found it “painfully difficult” to choose which parts would go to which actors after three nights of auditions. “A Company of Wayward Saints” is a show he has dreamt of doing for years. Now he was to encounter a casting director’s pleasant dilemma of more than enough talent and not enough parts.

The cast includes new Moab Community Theater performers Edgar Fuentes, Star Kolb, Grand County High School stars Brendon Henderson and Mary Rice, as well as veteran MCT players James Ferro, Marc Horwitz, Michael Dunton, Pippa Thomas, Sarah Sidwell and Christy Williams.

Commedia dell’arte is a delightful form of theater that originated in the Italian Renaissance and means “comedy of craft.” It incorporates character stereotypes, masks, exaggerated postures and stock improvisations. Staging is minimal, but great use is made of props. One such prop is a batte, or “slapstick,” which gave us the term which describes the type of broad, physical humor expressed in this type of comedy.

Producer Doni Kiffmeyer says that though the acting roles have been cast, there are still behind-the-scenes parts that need to be filled. Costumes and makeup are two areas for which help is needed, he said. Moab Community Theatre encourages anyone who would like to become involved to call Doni at 259-8378.

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