Youth theater: 'Servant of Two Masters'


This month, Gunn High School Theatre will present "Servant of Two Masters," a play based off the 1746 story by Carlo Goldoni and revised to be a modern meta-comedy set in Gunn's own high school.

The original story follows two couples throughout relationship tribulations and wild antics while their servants -- Truffaldino Battochio (Henry Alper) and Smeraldina (Anjali Parikh) -- complicate their lives. In the style of commedia dell'arte, a classic form of Italian theater, the story contains multiple archetypal characters that the audience is meant to recognize.

However, Gunn's approach will layer "meta-comedy" over the basic storyline, showing a group of fictional students at Gunn putting on Goldoni's original play. This creates a "wacky" show-within-a-show effect, said show director and performing arts teacher Jim Shelby, who added the play is full of asides to the audience. One insider storyline involves the fact that Gunn is under construction both in real life and the play.

Shelby hopes that viewers will, above all, have a good time.

"Laughter is so profoundly important these days," he said.

The show runs from Nov. 2-12 at Gunn High's Studio Theater, 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. Visit gunntheatre.org for ticketing information.

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