Sagebrush Theatre delights audiences with a Greek comedy

HERALD PHOTO/ Kayne Pyatt

A young man obsessed with love for a young woman, the lines drawn between the rich and the poor, inequality for women, and a lot of hilarious confusing courtship attempts suggested by various characters to help Sostratos, make up the plot of the Greek tale of “Dyskolos.”

Sagebrush Theatre brings a comedy of errors to Evanston this weekend,  at 7:00 p.m. Nov. 3 and 4 and on Nov. 5 at 2:00 p.m. at  the historic Strand Theatre in downtown Evanston.

The play takes place in front of the curtains with props as the only setting, but the actors use the space effectively. Six actors and actresses in the production really have to stretch their talents, as all of them play multiple parts. 

The main character, Sostratos, is passionately portrayed by Hayden Godfrey.  Kayleigh Bluemel plays the young girl Sostratos is in love with; and she also plays the part of Simiche, an old slave woman, as well as playing Sostratos’ mother.  Kelson Hillstead portrays the god Pan and two slaves, Pyrrhias and Getas, belonging to Sostratos’ family.  Rebecca Hillstead, director of the production, portrays Sostratos’ friend Chaireas, as well as the parts of Daos, a slave belonging to Gorgias, and Sikon, the cook.  Dani Soaper plays Knemon, the father of the young girl, and also Kallippides, the father of Sostratos. Cherise Bridge plays a piper and Myrrhine, Knemon’s wife and mother to Gorgias and the young girl. Gorgias is played by all the different actors and actresses whenever they are wearing Groucho Marx glasses and mustache.

The play begins with Sostratos and his friend Chaireas out hunting when they see a young girl in the field of a farm in the distance.  Sostratos instantly falls in love and from that point on the plot thickens as everyone in the tiny village attempts to help him win his true love’s heart.  However, the young girl (whom the Greek playwright never gave a name) has a father, Knemon, whom the whole village detests as he is mean and loud and rude to all. 

Sostratos, who comes from a very wealthy family, demonstrates his sincerity about winning the young girl’s hand in marriage by joining the peasants in their field work.  He wants to show that he is not above her in status and truly loves her.  He is aided in all of his attempts by her half-brother Gorgias whom Sostratos has befriended and invited to his family’s sacrificial feast to the god Pan.  Everyone including the slaves, Sostratos mother and Gorgias tries to figure out a way to convince Knemon to allow his daughter to marry Sostratos. 

The whole interaction between characters becomes a comedy of errors and mishaps that lead to Gorgias being invited to marry Sostratos’ sister and Knemon near death after falling down a well. Does Sostratos get the girl, who has no say in the matter of her marriage?  The answer awaits those who attend the play.

 

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