The 1762 Carlo Gotti script was translated and adapted by theatre historian Daniel Smith (who directed) with Valentina Denzel. It moved with an in-your face energy, peppered with improvisational spirit and dashes of modern humor. As the director's note stated, they drew on "a variety of theatrical and literary traditions beyond commedia, including melodrama, Greek tragedy, blason poetry, epic and myth." Each actor overtopped the next in extreme physical comedy. There was a lot of running and yelling — and impressive masks and costumes (Stephanie Eubank) and lighting (Hernando Claros).
NOTE: This is in the new Studio 60 in the basement of the MSU Auditorium Building on the corner of Auditorium and Farm Lane. Park in the Auditorium Lane lot and enter on the front, Farm Lane side for tickets, and then head downstairs through the long hall, which has interesting posters explaining some of the "commedia dell'arte" characters and history. COME EARLY so you'll have time to read that -- AND because it's a small performing space, holding maybe 100-ish audience, with only about 40 chairs, with the rest of the "seating areas" being pillows, rugs, and low stools spread around the room. Most of the audience was students, lounged around on the floor. It is an unusual setup with the audience serving as "islands" around which actors chased and collapsed and expounded just inches away.
The Serpent Lady continues Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30; Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2pm - general admission $10** Post-Show Discussion on Thursday, March 20, 2014 (Following the Performance)*Director Pre-Show Discussion Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 1:15 PMtheatre.msu.edu