FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Rustic Mechanicals Announce Cast and Tour Locations for The Comedy of Errors

West Virginia’s only Shakespeare troupe will launch its 5thAnnual statewide West Virginia Shakespeare in the Park(s) tour next month.

Vintage Theatre Company’s Founding Producer and Artistic Director Jason A. Young cordially invites audiences to attend a performance of The Rustic Mechanicals’ No Rhyme Nor Reason Tour of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.

Two sets of identical twins spell double trouble in Shakespeare’s zaniest comedy. Who would have guessed that Antipholus’ long-lost identical twin had just arrived in town? Or that his servant, Dromio, also had a newly-landed identical twin? Sheer confusion and delightful nonsense reign in Shakespeare’s most madcap comedy, culminating in a series of misunderstandings that brings everyone to the brink of hysteria.

The Rustic Mechanicals, founded by Celi Oliveto, is the state’s only professional Shakespeare troupe. Touring three shows annually, their July tour begins at the troupe’s summer home, The Ferguson Memorial Park Amphitheater, in Shinnston, WV.

“We started our Shakespeare in the Park(s) program five summers ago at Ferguson Park in Shinnston, and we have worked to debut each new summer tour there ever since,” said Young. “It is always nice when we can debut our shows in some friendly confines.”

Audiences will have their first opportunity to see the show on Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14. The pre-show festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:00 p.m. Thanks to the support from the City of Shinnston, these performances are presented free to the public.

The first weekend of the tour will conclude on Sunday, July 15 with a 7:00 p.m. performance at Palatine Park in Fairmont, WV.  Marion County Parks and Recreation is presenting this performance for free. Pre-show activities will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The second weekend of The No Rhyme Nor Reason tour takes the troupe to the northern panhandle with another free public performance in Moundsville, WV presented by Grand Vue Park. The performance is scheduled for Friday, July 20, with pre-show activities beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the show starting at 7:00 p.m. at the park’s amphitheater.

“This is our second consecutive summer trip to Grand Vue, but the first time with a show,” said Young.

In the days leading up to the Friday night performance, members of the Rustic Mechanicals will be serving as instructors during Arts Week at the Grand Adventure Leadership Camp.

“We were lucky enough to teach for one day last year,” said Young. “This year we are going to be on hand with the students for three days, and then performing for them, their families, and the community on Friday night.”

From Moundsville, the troupe heads to the historic Adaland Mansion in Philippi, WV, for a Saturday night Shakespeareance.

Fifty lucky audience members will be treated to a gourmet dinner, a pre-show Q&A with members of the creative team, a live performance of The Comedy of Errors, and a post-show wine-and-cheese meet-and-greet reception with the audience and the company.

Reservations are required for this event, and there are only 50 tickets available. The menu includes baked steak with sauce, baked chicken with dressing, pasta with sauce, tossed salad with homemade dressing, homemade rolls and bread, parsley buttered potatoes, cabbage with noodles, green beans, mixed steamed vegetables with butter and six different kinds of homemade desserts.

Dinner will begin at 6:00 p.m., with curtain at 7:00 p.m., and the reception immediately following the show. Tickets are $40.00 per person plus a 10% historic preservation fee. Reservations are required and limited to 10 per caller. Reservations of six or more must be paid in advance. For reservations call 304-457-1587 or 304-457-2415 or email info1@adaland.org.

The second weekend of the No Rhyme Nor Reason Tour concludes on Sunday evening at Toad Hall in downtown Grafton, WV. Pre-show activities will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the show will begin at 7:00 p.m. Thanks to the generosity of All Aboard Grafton and the Buffalo Flats Artist Association, this performance will be presented free.

The No Rhyme Nor Reason Tour’s final weekend takes the troupe to the Potomac Highlands with a Shakespeareoke event in Hillsboro, WV and a public performance at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton, WV.

The Yew Mountain Center will host the Mechanicals on Friday, July 27 for their unique Speak the Speech Shakespeareoke event. Speak the Speech is an interactive spoken word event that centers around the work and words of William Shakespeare.

It’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Bard) on Friday, July 27 at The Yew Mountain Center in Hillsboro, WV. Members of The Rustic Mechanicals, the state’s only professional touring Shakespeare troupe, will share speeches and scenes penned by the immortal William Shakespeare. The troupe will have material on hand for audience members to perform in our unique and interactive Shakespeareoke format. Audience members should also feel free to bring their own Shakespeare pieces to present.

The Yew Mountain Center will be hosting at dinner that begins at 6:00 p.m. before the Mechanicals take the stage at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for dinner and the show are $20. Individuals can also choose to attend just the dinner or just the show for only $10.

The troupe will then head to Marlinton on Saturday, July 28 for a 7:30 p.m. performance at the Pocahontas County Opera House. Tickets in Marlinton are $10 for adults and free for anyone 17 years old and younger. Tickets are available at pocahontasoperahouse.org, the 4thAvenue Gallery in Marlinton, and at the door the evening of the performance.  

“This will mark our first trip to Pocahontas County,” said Young. “We have never been to Hillsboro or Marlinton, so that is exciting.”

The tour will conclude with a Pay-What-You-Will-Finale at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 29 at The VTC Cabaret inside the Uptown Event Center in downtown Clarksburg, WV.

At all of the free outdoor performances, the troupe will be passing the hat and at all performances will be peddling their unique troupe and show merchandise.

The Rustic Mechanicals, now in their fifth season, have grown from a troupe of seven actors to this year boasting a roster of nearly thirty West Virginia artists.

Aaron Harris (Antipholus of Syracuse), Justin Grow (Antipholus of Ephesus), Sarah Young (Dromio of Syracuse), and Melissa Ryan (Dromio of Ephesus) headline the cast as the two sets of identical twins.

“This show embodies the best of William Shakespeare’s comedic prowess, and our interpretation of the text and of the story makes it even funnier and more ridiculous,” said Harris. “My role in this play has given me so much to work with and so many opportunities as an actor, and I can’t wait for people to see our work and this production.”

Audiences will also see Sarah Beth Ealy as Luciana; John Fallon as Egeon; Kaici Lore as Adriana; Michael Vozniak as the Jailer, Angelo and Dr. Pinch; Thomas Ian Lyall as Duke Solinus, Balthazar, and the Officer; and Samantha Huffman as the 1stMerchant, 2ndMerchant, Nell, Courtesan, and Emelia.

Young directs the production with Technical Direction by David Byard, Costume Design by Jason Noland, Dramaturgy by John Shirley, Production Management by Maggie Baker and with Tommy Schoffler serving as the production’s Movement Coach.

“It’s an honor to work with such talented, dedicated individuals,” said Young. “This cast’s effort and energy are infectious. They are creating a very fast-paced and funny production, perfect for a summer evening.”

For more information about The No Rhyme Nor Reason Tour of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, email VintageTheatreCo@gmail.com or call 1-855-VTC-8588.

“Touring Shakespeare is a 400-year-old-tradition,” said Young. “These troupe members understand the nobility of the work and the heritage that they are a part of. I fully expect this tour to be a labor of love for us all.”

 

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