‘Miles Gloriosus’ comedy to premiere in Marwick-Boyd Little Theatre

(From left to right) Colleen Scheerbaum, Casey Martz and Sam Atwell act out a scene in “Miles Gloriosus.”
(From left to right) Colleen Scheerbaum, Casey Martz and Sam Atwell act out a scene in “Miles Gloriosus.”

“Miles Gloriosus: The Braggart Warrior,” a modern adaptation of a classic Roman comedy, will be showing in the Marwick-Boyd Little Theatre Oct. 7-10 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 11 at 2 p.m.

Professor Bob Levy wrote and directed the adaptation of the play.

Levy said that the play, originally written by Titus Maccius Plautus, is, “Essentially a sit-com” with “types of characters placed in a ridiculous situation.”

Plautus loved bad jokes and bad puns, so plenty of those will be found in this adaptation of his play. Plautus is “possibly the grandfather of all modern comedy,” Levy said.

This will be a brand-new version of the play, making Clarion audiences among the first to watch it. “I apologize for none of the jokes, even the horrendous ones,” Levy said.

Levy said that in the first cast reading, one of the actors threw a script at him because the joke was so bad, “in jest, of course.” He also said, “There are some groaners, and there are some in the category of ‘I can’t believe they went there.’”

Whoever was interested in auditioning came in and read a two-minute monologue. Levy said that theater is, “Not like a competition show where there’s a winner, it’s who works best with each other.”

The show will feature Casey Martz as Prologus, a slave; Logan Honsaker as Pyropolynices, the Captain; Sam Atwell as Periplectomenus, a rich merchant and neighbor; Commeen E. Scheerbaum as Sceledra, a slave; Tori Heckert as Philocomasium, a concubine; Nathan Bunyon as Pleusicles, her lovelorn suitor; Stephanie Bonnici as Acrotelecutium, a clever courtesan; Shayla Barrett as Milphidippa, her maid; and Kiah Harrington-Wymer as Caria, a scullery.

The set will be an adaptation of a historic Roman stage, but the play is, “highly informed by late ‘50s, early ‘60s TV sitcoms and popular comedy.” Therefore, the set will be a mixture of both time periods.

The costumes will be the same, being a combination of historic Roman dress with elements of the ‘60s. “It will hit you as you walk into the theater,” Levey said.

He also mentioned that what he enjoys most is the cast discovering the play. He said, as a director, that, “for this play specifically, it’s about getting the actors to create.”

“By the time the audience sees it, it’s the cast’s, it’s the crew’s,” Levy said.

However, he does sometimes watch a play and wish the cast and crew had done something differently or had more time to work on certain aspects of the show.

“We’re also dealing with live theater, so there’s no take two,” Levy said.

Tickets for “Miles Gloriosus: The Braggart Warrior” are free for students with a valid Clarion University ID, $9 for children 12 and under and $12 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at clarionuniversitytickets.com.

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