ARC Department of Theatre Arts & Film performs live for first time in two years

The company will perform Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” starting Oct. 15


The American River College theater department will perform William Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” starting on Oct. 15. This will be the department’s first performance since Fall 2019. (Photo courtesy of Tracy Shearer).

After a long two years, the American River College Department of Theatre Arts & Film will make its return to the stage by performing “Comedy of Errors” by William Shakespeare who is one of the most celebrated playwriters of all time. 

Opening night will be on Oct. 15 and live shows will take place Oct. 15-16 and Oct. 22- and 23 at 7:30 p.m., as well as Oct. 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. There will also be live streams of the show on Oct. 29-31. Times for the live-streamed shows have not been determined. 

Adapted and directed by Jason Long, “Comedy of Errors” is a comedy of mistaken identities, farcical reunions, and comical love triangles. The story follows the main characters Antipholus and Dromio as they search for their long-lost twin brothers and the townspeople mistake the pair for their brothers, and chaos ensues. 

Audiences can expect to see laughter, wackiness, hijinks, mistaken identities, romance and fun throughout the performance, according to a press release from Long.

The ARC theatre department normally performs a musical in October, but due to complexities in regards to COVID-19 safety protocols, the production was moved to November. This left the door open for Long to take on a more light-hearted show, according to ARC’s theatre publicity manager Tracy Shearer. 

Shearer says “Comedy of Errors” is exactly the type of show the department needed to welcome back COVID-weary students and audience members. 

“Everyone here in the ARC Theatre Department wants to reach an audience, and we’re working hard to make our show as accessible and hilarious and worth your time,” Shearer said in an email to the Current. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has limited schools to online learning, the theatre department has not been able to perform live shows. But as the campus starts to open up, the cast and crew are very excited to put on a live performance again, Shearer added. 

“This production is the first live-theater offering that ARC has done since 2019,” Shearer said.  “We really want to perform for a live audience.”

Several of the cast members have not been able to perform for a live audience since fall 2019. The “Comedy of Errors” has been able to reunite cast members such as Taryn Cagley and Crystal Piper for another opportunity to perform.

“I’m so excited to be returning to a live stage, with [the] set, costumes, cast and crew. It’s really what makes theater feel like home,” Cagley said in an email to the Current. 

After four semesters of not being able to perform live, “Comedy of Errors” will allow for cast members a return to the stage and to enjoy the process of performing that they had in the past. 

“The process has been the change of pace I needed, and I can’t wait to share our efforts,” Piper said. “It’s a fun story, and I think we’ll tell it well.”

Tickets can be purchased on the ARC Theatre website. Tickets are also available to purchase at the shows in person. All tickets are $10. 

The ARC theatre department has some safety protocols that are required for audience members who are watching in person. Audience members must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination at the front door. 

For any additional information about the show, where to purchase tickets and safety protocols to follow, visit the ARC Theatre website here