By Jeff Murphy, February 25, 2020
WARRENSBURG, MO – An evening of comedy awaits those attending the University of Central Missouri Theatre and Dance presentation of William Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” March 6-8. With the university renovating the James L. Highlander Theatre, this play will be performed at Warrensburg High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8.
“The Merry Wives of Windsor,” published in 1602, is a story of marriage, wealth, lies and jealousy. When Falstaff sets forth on a plan to hustle his way back to being a wealthy man, it is the women of Windsor who take control and combine forces to bring him what he is truly owed. Seduction, deception, disguise and a little bit of love combine to provide an evening of fun and frivolity.
The play is directed by Mary Trotter. When asked about the show, the director stated, “Our students have wholly embraced the language and physical comedy created by Shakespeare so long ago. It is definitely one of Shakespeare’s funniest shows and the empowerment of the women in the play makes this a relevant story, even today.”
The cast of “The Merry Wives of Windsor” includes: Tony Smith as Sir John Falstaff, Trevor Jones as Page, Dalton Grafton as Ford, Daisha B. Jackson as Mistress Page, Emily Layt as Mistress Ford, Melanie Grantham as Mistress Anne Page, Logan Mathes as Fenton, McKenzie Mick as Mistress Quickly, Kendra Simpson as Host, Luke Englert as Sir Hugh Evans, Jace Nielsen as Dr. Caius, Derek Caswell as Shallow, Té Nickerson as Slender, Bailey Collins as Pistol, Sabrina Ortiz as Nym, Lili Garcia as Robin, Molly Ross as Bardolph Liz Henks as Simple, Isabella Bryn-Johnson as Rugby, Thomas Clark as John and Madison Brown as Robert.
The production team includes Director: Mary Trotter, Assistant Directors: Elise Marshall and Cait Whitehead; Stage Manager: Molly Ehrnman; Scenic Designer and Technical Direction: Ken George; Costume Designer: Jennifer Van Buskirk; Lighting Designer: Ben Gonzales; Sound Designer: Kelsi Richardson; Assistant Costume Designer and Wardrobe Head: Maryn Edwards; Props Master: Katie Marshall; Assistant Stage Manager: Sophia Rios and Cat Frank; Assistant Lighting Designers: Lili Garcia and Seth Holt; Master Electrician: Kyle Yorg; Dramaturg: Cait Whitehead; Set Construction: Stagecraft THEA 1600, Kyle Yorg, Seth Holt, Emily Coffin, Sofia Gotto, Te’ Nickerson, Alexis Brown, Rachel Curry, Kenlyn Shettlesworth; Deck Chief: Sofia Rios, Stitchers: Demetrius Hampton, Kelsi Richardson, Maryn Edwards, Cydni Stanford, Kenlyn Shettlesworth, Jaggard Williams, Emily Layt; Box Office Managers: Evelyn Years and Tierra Buckner; Marketing/Publicity Director: Dr. Aaron Scully; Assistant Marketing/Publicity Director: Sabrina Ortiz; Social Media Marketing Lead: Derek Caswell; Publicity/Marketing Team: Emily Layt, Demetrius Hampton and Ally Fields; Marketing/Publicity Videographer: McKenzie Koppe; Podcast Engineer: Dan Harbaugh; Graduate Shop Assistant: Callie Carmosino; Office Professional UCM Theatre and Dance: Jane Tackett; CAHSS Administrative Assistant: Heather Stringer; Theatre and Dance Office Assistants: Emily Layt and Tony Smith.
This production of “The Merry Wives of Windsor” does contain some comic innuendo.
Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for UCM Faculty/Staff and $20 for the general public. They can be purchased online at ucmo.edu/theatretickets, by calling 660-543-8811, or at the Box Office at the Highlander Theatre between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 26. You may also purchase tickets prior to show time at the venue.