Short Shakespeare!

The Comedy of Errors


January 25

February 29, 2020

The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

Touring Chicago schools through March 12
by William Shakespeare
directed by Eli Newell
adaptation & original direction by David H. Bell

The Story

Far, far away from his home in Syracuse, Egeon sails the seas in search of his son. Arriving in Ephesus—a place where Syracusans are outlawed—Egeon is arrested on sight and sentenced for execution that very night unless he can pay an impossibly large ransom. Egeon tells his story to all who are gathered here…

Many years ago, a tragic shipwreck tore his young family apart at sea. With his infant son (named Antipholus) and infant servant (named Dromio), Egeon was rescued from the waves; but his wife, along with the identical twins of his son and servant, was never seen again. Eighteen years later and searching for his twin, Antipholus left home, accompanied by his faithful servant. And for the past five years, Egeon has combed the world to find them.

As luck—or fate?—would have it, Egeon’s son and servant have also arrived that very day in Ephesus, of all places. And, by another strange stroke of coincidence, it is here in Ephesus that Antipholus’s identical twin (also named Antipholus…) has lived for all these years with his servant (also named Dromio…). Everyone in the town—servants, masters, merchants, even Antipholus’s own wife Adriana and her sister Luciana—confuses one twin for the other. And for one wacky, nerve-racking day in Ephesus, mistaken identities, mishaps, and misadventures turn their otherwise predictable lives totally topsy-turvy.

With each passing hour as the Syracusan visitors grow ever more convinced that this strange land is bewitched, the citizens of Ephesus draw their own, equally off-base conclusions. All hope of sanity seems quite lost—until an Abbess, with knowledge of life beyond her cloistered walls, amazes us all…

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