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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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Theatre department performed "Scapino" for Family Weekend show

<p>Greek theater</p>

Greek theater

The University of Richmond theatre department performed “Scapino,” a comedy written by Moliere, in the Jenkins Greek Theater from Sept. 30 until Oct. 2.

“Scapino” is a play about two men who break custom by getting married without their fathers’ permission and how the titular character Scapino helps them resolve the issue.

UR’s adaptation was directed by Walter Schoen, chair of the theatre and dance department, who  began working at UR 30 years ago. Schoen has directed at least one show every year since he became a faculty member, he said. 

The theatre department selected to perform “Scapino” because UR had not performed a comedy in a while, Schoen said. 

“It has been a long time since our department had just done a straight up comedy,” he said. “The goal was to do something fun to give ourselves a little break given all the social upheaval going on around us. 

Moliere, who wrote “Scapino,” also wrote other works that the theatre department has performed, including “The Learned Ladies” and “Tartuffe.” 

The biggest hurdle with “Scapino,” which was originally written in French, was finding an appropriate translation, Schoen said. 

“I read probably seven or eight different translations of Scapino, and I didn’t find one that gripped me in some way, or -- more importantly -- made me laugh,” Schoen said. 

Schoen approached alumnae Matt DiCintio, UR ‘00, and asked if he wanted to do a new translation of the play and the two of them ended up working together on a new adaptation, Schoen said. 

The Scapino cast also had to adjust to performing in the Greek Theater because of projection and visibility issues that come with acting in that setting compared to performing in the Modlin Center , Schoen said. 

Despite having so many hurdles to overcome, sophomore Gabriel Matthews, an actor in the play, said he had a positive experience working on “Scapino.” His favorite part about the play was how it does not attempt realism.

“It’s a farce,” he said. “I very much did have to worry about what my character wanted to achieve, but those things weren’t exactly rational. It was nice to not have to worry about being true to life.”

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Sophomore Emma Light, who saw the play on Friday night, said she felt there was a lot of good humor incorporated in the performance. 

“I enjoyed the variety of it: the slapstick, the puns, everything,” she said. “It was really fun, and I thought the play was really good.” 

After the cast of “Scapino” put on its final performance on Oct. 2, most of the actors and actresses started rehearsing their next performance. Matthews will help direct “Les Blancs,” which is set to go on stage in November. 

Contact news writer Abdulghaffah Abiru at ghaffah.abiru@richmond.edu.

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