The Servant of Two Masters: Behind the Scenes

A peek inside the first read-through of
THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS


By Kristianne Kurner


 
Official rehearsals don’t begin until late February, but there was palpable excitement in the air as the cast and writers for NVA’s world-premiere adaptation of THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS entered the theatre in mid-December.
The play is based on Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte play originally written in 1746. For the NVA adaptation, Director of Connectivity AJ Knox created a direct translation from Goldoni’s original Italian. Then, he and Associate Artist Samantha Ginn began to collaborate to adapt this story for our modern audience.
 
On December 12th, the cast of 10 actors met at NVA to read a draft of the play for the first time. This was an opportunity for AJ and Sam to hear the play allowed with the actors who will be playing the roles. From here, they will be able to adapt the play to make it the strongest possible comedy.
 

Actors pictured above (left to right around the table): Max Macke, co-writer Samantha Ginn, Daren Scott (standing in for Dallas McLaughlin), Durwood Murray, Amara Young, Michael Phillip Thomas (that role now being played by Tony Houck), Gerilyn Brault, Sherri Allen, co-writer AJ Knox, Eliana Payne and Skyler Sullivan.

 

We also used it as an opportunity to do a photo shoot with the actors.
 

 
We had one actor who was unable to make it because of a sickness in his family, so the photographer Daren Scott stepped in to read. Daren has been featured on the NVA many times as both an actor and director and we were fortunate to have such a talented actor ready to jump in to help.
 
Since the read through, we had one other actor who had to leave the show, but we were thrilled that Associate Artist Tony Houck could step into that role.
 
The show is absolutely packed with comedy. There are puns galore (both Sam and AJ are famous punsters), lots of physical comedy, mistaken identity, food jokes and clown noses.
 
The actors laughed aloud, guffawed, and there were certainly a number of groans. Since Sam is also playing the lead character in the show, AJ took notes about which jokes worked great and which could use a little more work. After the play, we had an insightful discussion into the characters in the play and the arc of the story.
 
The audience will get to experience something very special. This will be an original adaptation, made specifically for San Diego-based actors. It will be an uproarious comedic event right here in Carlsbad Village!
 


This workshop of THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS was sponsored by a Special Opportunity Grant from the City of Carlsbad Cultural Arts Office Community Arts Grants

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