Slapstick and mistaken identity are the hallmark of one of Shakespeare’s early plays — “The Comedy of Errors” and Rome residents get to enjoy it on the Town Green.

Starting Sept. 24, The Rome Shakespeare Festival returns to the Town Green in downtown Rome with the hilarious comedy while audience of all ages enjoy picnics and a show.

The free shows and entertainment are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. each evening.

Before each “Comedy of Errors” performance, young Shakespeare artists will perform an irreverent, abridged performance of “Romeo and Juliet.”

“’Julius Caesar’ was originally planned last year,” said RSF Artistic Director Gail Deschamps, “but when the pandemic hit in March, we changed the show to ‘comedy’ thinking everyrone would need to laugh.”

Set in the Greek city of Ephesus, “Comedy of Errors” is the story of two sets of identical twins who were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio of Syracuse arrive in Ephesus which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession.

Deschamps said the play’s set, designed by Evan Brackett, will have multiple windows, allowing for neighbors to snoop and gossip. The citizens of Ephesus are curious busybodies, after all.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, Family Day on the Green will feature activities starting at noon and running till 6 p.m. when “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Comedy of Errors” hit the stage.

Social distanced tables of 2, 4, 6 and 10, complete with shade umbrellas, can be reserved for the festival. Picnickers can order tables and umbrellas for each of the performances including family day.

Table prices range from $65 for a table of four to $194 for a table of 10. Social distanced blanket seating is free.

For more information or to reserve a table, visit online at www.romeshakespearefestival.com or call 706-331-1006.

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