Who's who? Confusion among the ruins
For the past 14 summers, Four County Players has partnered with the Barboursville Vineyards to put on a show that’s worthy of a good picnic and a good bottle of wine. Their signature "Shakespeare at the Ruins" performances take place at Governor Barbour’s mansion, a beautiful setting for al fresco dining and a star-lit stage.
If you like, you can pack your own supper and bring it along, but if you’re in a pinch, you can reserve a buffet meal 48 hours in advance and enjoy it once you arrive. There is a caveat: any alcohol has to come from the Barboursville wine collection, but that’s no problem. It’s readily available for purchase at the show.
This year, Lydia Horan directs a cast of local actors in one of the Bard's early short plays, The Comedy of Errors. Not surprisingly, the plot centers on the topsy-turvy world of mistaken identities (a trademark for Shakespeare, of course). Pandemonium results when two sets of twins, separated in a shipwreck as babies, meet up 25 years later in the town of Ephesus. Horan has also directed Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream for Four County Players in years past.
Adding to the merriment of the evening is a new offering: pre-show entertainment. The students involved in Live Arts Summer Theater Institute are spending many hours crafting skits and improvisations featuring plot lines and characters from the play. They’re offering performances that include dance and music on selected evenings before the play begins.
"Shakespeare at the Ruins" is always immensely popular. Every year is a sell-out, so you'll want to dig out your picnic basket and blanket and reserve your spot now. Tickets are going fast.
The Comedy of Errors runs weekends July 26-August 18. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8pm; Sunday performances start at 5pm. $12-15. Gates open 90 minutes before the show. Reservations are required. Barboursville Vineyards, 17655 Winery Road, Barboursville. 832-5355 or 888-427-4427