AC theatre presents Shakespearean comedy in a New York City setting

It will be Shakespeare with a twist when the Amarillo College Theatre Arts Program presents The Merry Wives of SoHo, a comedy relocated – just for AC audiences – from Elizabethan England to a trendy New York City neighborhood.

“I chose to place our version of The Merry Wives of Windsor in America,” Monty Downs, instructor of theatre and the show’s director, said. “Shakespeare’s story is still the focus, but very little of the language is iambic parameter. Rather, it’s set in a modern place and time and intentionally has a Real Housewives feel.

“This is one of Shakespeare’s more accessible comedies, I think, and it’s full of hijinks, pranks and fun. Audiences will have no trouble following the storyline.”

The Merry Wives of SoHo will enjoy a four-day run beginning Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Experimental Theatre on the Washington Street Campus.

Performances to be given Feb. 23-25 start at 7:30 p.m., and the run will be capped with a matinee beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students (college or high school), senior citizens, and AC employees. They can be purchased at the door or purchased online. Additionally, groups of 10 or more are entitled to $6 seats if purchased at least 24 hours in advance.

The play features a dozen cast members, many of whom will play multiple parts. To help audiences keep all the characters straight, the actors will employ emotionally expressive Renaissance-era Commedia masks.

The story revolves around an arrogant man, Sir John Falstaff, who attempts to woo two wealthy women who have husbands who cannot seem to keep their wives from straying. Other characters have their own agendas and pursue additional courtships, and the result is a delightful and riveting romp.

“The cast has been hard at work, and we’ve been having a lot of fun at rehearsals,” said Downs, who in addition to directing the play also joins the cast.

The actors are: Monty Downs, Nicole Ellis, Emily Errington, Ashton Flores, Alex Hernandez, Tarissa Lewis, Luis Lujan, Steven Ngyuen, Steve Parker, Kyle Roberson, Evelyn Ruvalcaba, and Taylor Skidmore.