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Plot Summary

By William Shakespeare as adapted and directed by Dennis Rendleman

Setting—Sometime in the mid 1950’s to mid 1960’s as we imagine they might have been in TVLand.

Imagine if you will Sir John Falstaff who has inherited the family brewery making Falstaff beer.  Sir John is a ne’er do well who lives off the family business, but doesn’t manage it well.  As such he faces financial problems.  In an effort to remedy his penury, he embarks on misbegotten schemes to raise money through his imagined irresistible appeal to ladies.  To that end, he has in his sights two ladies in Windsor, Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page, who are married to wealthy, successful members of the community, Mr. Ford, who owns the local Ford dealership, and Mr. Page who is independently secure, though no one really knows from whence his income derives. 

Sir John is aided by three factum hangers-on—Pistol, Nym, and Bardolth—who, like the Three Stooges/Marx Brothers/Ritz Brothers/Larry, Daryll, and Daryll serve many comedic useful and useless functions assisting and obstructing Falstaff.

Falstaff’s plan is to woo both these ladies and obtain funds from them both…go figure.

At the same time, there are three suitors for Mr. and Mrs. Page’s daughter, Mistress Anne.  The first, favored by her mother is Doctor Caius-Putin, a Russian physician. Dr. Caius-Putin has an office assistant, Nurse Quickly, who is far more involved in the activities than one would expect given you position.  Anne’s father’s choice is Master Slender, who is rather sexually ambivalent about marriage and has a very dim servant named Simple.  Slender is also the cousin of Justice Shallow who, along with the Irish priest, Father Hugh Evans, are community leaders.

Mistress Anne—often called Nan—is a dutiful daughter and one who is growing into her own mind.  She prefers young Felton, a bit of a free spirit who might have been called a beatnik.

Much merriment and slapstick and irreverent fun will be had by all…except perhaps Falstaff.

And, as Shakespeare usually plans it, the disparate pieces fall into place and the Merry Wives prevail.

Cast List

Sir John Falstaff: Rick Dunham
Mr. Francis Ford: Andy VanDeVoort
Mrs. Alice Ford: Rachel Hettrick
Mr. George Page: Doug McDonald
Mrs. Margaret Page: Katie Barrett
Mistress Anne: Grace Schofield
Master Fenton: John Olmstead
Justice Thomas Shallow: Mary Disseler
Abraham Slender: Logan Baskett
Peter Simple: Lauren Nale
Father Hugh Evans: Kayla Primm
Dr. Caius-Putin: Mark Buckholz
Nurse Quickly: Jane Buckholz
Pistol: Kyle Sottoriva
Nym: Miriam Carter
Bardolph: Logan Keysear