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The Servant of Two Masters: Spring Show 2016


Hufflepuff (5/20 @ 7:00  and 5/21 @ 7:00)
Truffaldina Jess O’Connor
Smeraldina Krista Cobbold
Pantalone Ian Martin
Dottore Jake Haas
Beatrice Claire Lampson
Clarice Alyssa Goody
Silvio Lucca McKay
Brighella Lailah Meyer
Florindo Jack Roney
Giovanni Ryan Forsberg
Giovanni Samantha Woo
Ravenclaw (5/19 @ 7:00 and 5/21 @ 2:00)
Truffaldino Jake Lawson
Smeraldina Michelle Jakab
Pantalone Ian Martin
Dottore Jake Haas
Beatrice Emma Demorest
Clarice Alysa Buckler
Silvio Caleb Richards
Brighella Lailah Meyer
Florindo Devin Salmonsen
Giovanni Ryan Forsberg
Giovanni Samantha Woo
Director Jenifer Coté


The play opens with the engagement of two young lovers, Silvio (Lucca/Caleb) and Clarice (Alysa B/Alyssa G). For financial reasons, Clarice had previously been betrothed to Federigo Rasponi of Turin, but to her delight, he was murdered and so she is now free to marry her true love, Silvio—also much to the delight of Silvio’s blustering and professorial father, Dottore (Jake).

Next to arrive on the scene is Beatrice (Emma/Claire), who has come to Venice disguised as her brother, the deceased Federigo Rasponi (former fiancé of Clarice). Her plan: to recover the dowry to which her dead brother was entitled from Clarice’s father, Pantalone (Ian), and use the money to hire a lawyer to free her lover, Florindo (Devin/Jack), from persecution. The fact that Florindo has been accused of her brother’s murder causes Beatrice some consternation, but the heart wants what it wants.

We also meet Truffaldino (Jake/Jess), the comical servant to Beatrice, who is always complaining of an empty stomach and always trying to satisfy his hunger by eating everything in sight. When the opportunity presents itself to be the servant of another master who has just come to town (Florindo, Beatrice’s lover), he sees the chance for an extra paycheck and dinner, and even though serving two masters is highly frowned upon, seizes the opportunity.

Truffaldino runs around Venice carrying out the orders of two masters and living in a constant state of anxiety that his clever scheme will be revealed, especially because other characters repeatedly hand him letters, money, etc., and say simply "this is for your master," without specifying which one. To complicate matters, Beatrice and Florindo are staying in the same inn
run by the often frightening innkeeper Brighella (Lailah)and are desperately searching for each other. To further complicate matters, and in order to cover for his many mistakes, Truffaldino creates a fictitious scapegoatanother servant named Donaldo Trump.

In the end, with the help of Smeraldina (Krista/ Michele)
Pantalone's feisty servant, who is smitten with TruffaldinoBeatrice and Florindo eventually find each other. And with Beatrice exposed as a woman (and not suddenly-back-from-the-dead Federigo Rasponi), Clarice is at last allowed to marry Silvio. Florindo also turns out to be innocent of the murder of Beatrice’s brother, Federigo Rasponi, and therefore he and Beatrice are free to marry. The last matter up for discussion is whether the servants, Truffaldino and Smeraldina, can get marrieda development which at last exposes Truffaldino for having been a servant to two masters all along. Unless he can convince them it was all the fault of the “other servant,” Donaldo Trump!

Director's Note

by Jenifer Coté, Theater Director

About the Production & Design Studio Class
Trying something new is always an adventure, so last year when we decided to add a new course to the theater offerings at SAone that would conclude with a second theater productionI was both excited and apprehensive. It has always been part of my vision as Director of Theater at SA to increase the technical theater and design program and to give more students real leadership experience behind the scenes on our productions. Adding a spring performance also allows us to incorporate fall and winter athletes into our cast and crew. With the addition of the Production & Design Studio class, which meets during the academic school day, I think we have taken great strides toward making these two visions a reality.
Under some wonderful and skilled adult guidance (Ryan Severt, Sean Freese, Pamela Johnson, and Robin DeLuca), the technical theater students did a tremendous amount of work in helping to design and create the set, lights, props, costumes, and poster. While the actors rehearsed, the “crew” would head to the shop each class period to build. We also had our first student lighting designer on a main stage show (go MacKenzie!). The actors used class time to re-write the text as a group, which was both an enormous undertaking and ultimately a fulfilling challenge, as we debated additions to the text and made the adaptation our own. It was truly a collaborative environment with everyone working towards a common goal and enjoying the ensemble nature of the creative process of staging a full production!

Our Production
I chose The Servant of Two Masters because of the fantastic adaptation I saw at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival years ago. That performance paid homage to the classical 1700s text, but added a modern and irreverent twist. I also liked the challenge this material created for the students in exploring a new genre and introducing them to the improvisational and “over the top” stock character work required for Commedia Dell'Arte. In keeping with the true Commedia tradition, our actors have added current social and political commentary to the textreferences drawn from contemporary culture and recognizable to the community where the production itself takes place. You may notice a lot of “inside jokes” that feel very Sonoma Academy, but that is how the troupes of the 1700s would engage their audiences as they moved from town to town, seeking out information about the social climate and creating jokes about their current audience and community. And considering some of the darker and more provocative material we have addressed over the past few years, the timing felt right for a light and fun period comedy.
Acknowledgments and Deep Appreciation
With the amount of time we actually had to both teach and learn to build in the course of one block period per dayand under the pressure of getting the set and costumes completed in time for the openingwe could not have been more blessed with the parent support that appeared on this production. Just when we needed it most, Krista Cobbold’s parents, Robert and Nina, dropped in like angels from above (a real Deus ex Machina moment) and spent countless hours pulling everything together, often with personal items from their “magical barn.” I am so grateful for their expertise
and skill and the tremendous amount of time they dedicated to helping us with the set, props, and costumesall with great warmth and a true educational spirit. I would also like to thank our very own Sean Freese for taking it upon himself to help me with this course, not only for helping to redesign and reconstruct our shop space to make it more user friendly for building, but for the countless hours he dedicated to our class this semester.
I would also like to thank the other adult leadership on this production: my dear friend Kate Brickley, who helped with voice/speech and dialect; Pamela Johnson, who came in to lecture on Costume Design; and Larry Williams, who organized a Commedia workshop for the actors. We were also fortunate to have very strong student leadership on this production. Sarah and Stacey were an outstanding team in the roles of Assistant Director and Stage Manager. Stacey also took on a huge role in construction (wielding power tools like a boss), and I appreciate all the hours she dedicated to building the set.
And as always, I am particularly grateful to YASA for their tireless help throughout this process with meals, concessions, ticketing, and house management. The Arts at SA rely on YASA heavily and we so appreciate their presence and nurturing support! Also a final thanks to the parents, staff, and students at Sonoma Academy for helping the arts to flourish on our campus, and for always supporting and championing our productions!
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