Public Talks Reveal Creativity behind Classic Comedy "Servant of Two Masters" – April 16-19

Faculty and student speakers will take audiences inside the world of Commedia dell'Arte and Elon's adaptation of Carlo Goldoni's comic masterpiece in short pre-performance talks.

Learn about the history and creativity behind Servant of  Two Masters and the Department of Performing Arts’ production of the classic comedy in the “Talk on the Steps” series of public pre-performance lectures, April 16-19 at McCrary Theatre. Each “Talk on the Steps” offers fascinating insight into the history of the play or the creative process from a distinct point of view. Speakers will include:

April 16 @7pm: Student and Assistant Mask Maker Jessica Edwards will discuss how a Study Abroad trip to Italy inspired her design and creation of masks for the actors

April 17 @7pm: Dr. Scott Proudfit of Elon’s English Department will speak about contemporary and twentieth century iterations of the traditional masked comedy form called Commedia dell’Arte

April 18 @7pm: Costume Designer Jack Smith will explain how his research into historical fabrics inspired his beautiful and comedic designs for the production

April 19 @ 1:30pm: Student and Props Master Shay Hopkins-Paine will describe the challenges of creating realistic and durable food, dishes, and luggage for the characters to carry, drop, and sit on in their manic zaniness

Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, freely adapted and directed by Kevin Otos, follows the clever servant Truffaldino as he schemes to double his salary by serving two masters at once. Little does he know that those masters are not who they say they are . . . disguise, confusion, and economic theory follow in this witty tale of love and laughter.

Talks take place at in the McCrary Theatre lobby in the Center for the Arts. Talks are free and open to the public, and last ten minutes.


In addition to the “Talk on the Steps” series, the public is welcome to explore the exhibit “Re-Envisaged: Re-facing Carlo Goldoni’s Servant of Two Masters,” open now in the Isabella Cannon Room in the Center for the Arts. Peek inside the creative process of the scenic designers, mask makers, costume designer, dramaturg, and director of the production. See the original costume sketches, touch a mask mould, and learn about how the script was adapted. Contributors include Nick Cook, Jessica Edwards, Natalie Hart, Kevin Otos, Susanne Shawyer, Jack Smith of the Department of Performing Arts, and Anne Simpkins of the  Department of Art and Art History.

The exhibit will be open in the evenings for audiences to enjoy before the production or during intermission.