In Russia, there is a little village called Kulyenchiov. At first glance, it seems pretty ordinary—until you realize the villagers are under a curse.
A curse of stupidity.
When teacher Leon Tolchinsky (played by Evan Detwiler) moves to the village and unexpectedly falls in love with his student, Sophia Zubritsky (Becky Malas), he decides he must do everything in his power to lift the curse.
According to tradition, though, the only way for the curse to be lifted is if Sophia marries a member of the Yousekevitch family, so Gregor Yousekevitch (William Stiffler) proposes to her twice a day in order to win her over and end the curse.
This chaotic love triangle produces a lot of laughter. “Fools” is absolutely hilarious; every single character will have the audience cracking up.
Colin Sebastian, who plays Slovitch, said, “Even though it was already funny, I asked myself, ‘How do I make [the shows even] more funny?’”
The hilarity of the play is emphasized by the realistic costumes and sets, both of which were inspired by Russian artists.
Julie Dauber, the show’s costume designer, said, “We just recreated how they were dressed in that time.”
According to first-time ENC director Edward Barker, his biggest challenge was “to find the honesty in the comedy.”
The little nuances of the show made for a standout performance. Some of the funniest parts were not necessarily the dialogue, but changes in tone, gestures, and facial expressions. Kayla Peterson, who played Snetsky, got most of her laughs just from her reactions to events and other characters.
Except for brief moments in the suspenseful climax, audiences were laughing at and with and because of the characters.
Athena Horton, who played Yenchna, said, “When I look at the show, I don’t see [the characters] as dumb people. They’ve just convinced themselves they can’t change things.”
And after laughing for two hours that fly by, you won’t think of them as just dumb village people either. You’ll understand that at some point or another, all of us are fools. And that’s okay—just as long as we don’t stay there.