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Comedy of Errors set for outdoor venue
Murri Brown as Luciana, Andreas Mechsner as Antipholus of Syracuse, Kelly Ruelas as Adriana, Kenny Roderick as Antipholus of Ephesus. - photo by Photo courtesy of California State University, Stanislaus

Shakespeare under the stars is once again returning to Turlock as the California State University, Stanislaus Theatre Department stages “The Comedy of Errors.”

One of William Shakespeare’s earliest plays, “The Comedy of Errors” is a play full of mistaken identities and the comedic complications they cause. The story is about two sets of twins who were accidentally separated at birth. When the two sets of twins find themselves in the same town, it creates all kinds of misunderstandings and mishaps.

The university’s production is being directed by guest director Daniel Gately of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Gately has chosen a 1960s vibe for his setting, including a variety show.

“The 60s design and setting gives a light-hearted, farcical approach to the show and makes it more accessible to contemporary audiences,” Gately said. “The show has been heavily inspired by the old comedy series “Laugh In” and the Austin Powers series.”

The cast is led by students Kenny Roderick and Andreas Mechsner.

Gately is making his second appearance as guest director at the university. A veteran of Shakespeare productions, both as a director and an actor, Gately directed last year’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” which was very well-received. When the opportunity came up to direct again, Gately said he had to throw his hat into the ring.

“I love working here,” Gately said. “The people are very supportive and collaborate well. It’s a very rewarding artistic experience.”

Performances are set for May 1 through May 6 at the university’s Amphitheatre. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the shows will start at dusk. Pre-show entertainment is scheduled to begin shortly after the gates open.

Admission is $5 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 667-3166. Parking is free in Lot 3.

Attendees can bring low back chairs and blankets and food, but the university does not allow alcohol or glass containers.