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SU Drama presents classic farce ‘Servant of Two Masters’
SU Drama presents classic farce ‘Servant of Two Masters’March 19, 2008SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
The Department of Drama in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts presents Carlo Goldoni’s “Servant of Two Masters,” a classic farce about love, intrigue and double-booking, March 21-30 in the Storch Theatre, located at the Department of Drama/Syracuse Stage complex, 820 E. Genesee St., Syracuse.
Directed by Leslie Noble, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Drama, “Servant of Two Masters” tells the story of a man who tries to make his way in life by hiring himself simultaneously to two employers, keeping each un-aware of the other. Originally written in 1745, the “man-versus-society” conflict at the core of this play is just as valid today as it was more than two centuries ago.
In the play, Truffaldino (portrayed by sophomore musical theater major Jacob Heimer) is a mischievous servant who secretly offers his service simultaneously to two unsuspecting masters. As he runs around Venice trying to fulfill their respective orders, Truffaldino’s attempts to conceal his split loyalty leave him intertwined in a complicated web of star-crossed lovers, mistaken identities, con-fused fathers, a duel, a double-suicide attempt and several proposals of mar-riage. Unbeknownst to Truffaldino, his two masters secretly love one another, yet have never met face to face. Filled with wisecracks and adlibs, Goldoni’s zany comedy delivers endless plot twists and multiple misunderstandings.
“Servant of Two Masters” is a comedy written in the style of the Italian “Com-media dell’Arte,” a theater tradition characterized by traveling troupes of actors who used improvisation, stock characters (some with masks) and scenario out-lines, rather than scripted texts, to perform plays. The tradition originated during the Italian Renaissance and enjoyed popularity from the mid-1500s to the mid-1700s.
A fan of the “Commedia” genre and the author of “Meet Me in Cognito,” Noble chose “Servant of Two Masters” for its “irrepressible comic spirit.” “I love the play because it takes unbridled delight in its own subversive silliness,” says No-ble. “I think contemporary audiences will relate to this ‘serving two masters’ component — nowadays we call it multitasking. But I hope the play works on a purely comedic level, and if all an audience takes away is a good laugh, that will be enough.” Tickets for the SU Drama production of “Servant of Two Masters” are $15 for the general public and $13 for students and seniors. Rush tickets are $7. March 26 is “Pay What You Can” night for SU I.D. holders. For tickets and more information, contact the SU Drama Box Office at (315) 443-3275 or visit http://vpa.syr.edu/drama.