“Three Musketeers” to swashbuckle audiences

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William Sikich

On January 25, 2019, the Augustana theater department will premiere its production of Ken Ludwig’s stage adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s “ The Three Musketeers.”

The play is being directed by Jeff Coussens. Ludwig’s interpretation promises to bring humor and live action swordplay to the swashbuckling epic.

Though the story of “The Three Musketeers” is aged and well-known, Ludwig’s adaptation has a few stylistic deviations from the original that make it better-suited for live performance.

“I happened to see a version of this at a regional theater in Minnesota, and it was a version by Ken Ludwig,” said Coussens, when asked why he chose Ludwig’s version of the play.

“It takes what is normally considered a very epic, cinematic kind of story and turns it into something more theatrical.”

Ludwig, best known for his comedies, uses his expertise to interject humor into the pre-existing drama of the show, and in doing so, transforms it into something altogether more appropriate for the stage.

While a multifaceted story, “The Three Musketeers” mainly focuses on the young d’Artagnan, played by Junior Peter Alfano, and his quest to become a musketeer.

“There’s drama, there’s comedy, there’s action,” said Alfano.

“There’s really no other way to describe it, other than ‘a blast,” Alfano continued.

Alfano has held roles in past Augustana productions, but d’Artagnan is his first lead role, and he’s excited about the progress of the show.

“Rehearsals are so much fun,” Alfano said, catching his breath after swordplay.

“This is a really, really funny play. Every actor, everybody involved with this process just has a blast every second,” Aflano stated.

In addition to humor and drama, the show also contains its fair share of stage combat, which inevitably adds excitement and action to any production.

“With the stage fighting, it’ll be a very stunning production, visually. It’s one of those adventure-epics that has everything and makes people want to engage with it,” said Coussens about the combat aspect of the play.

In rehearsal, however, the added element of stage fighting also requires a great deal of work on the part of the cast and crew.

With such a large amount of extra thought and planning needed to pull off realistic and entertaining combat on stage, everyone involved with the play has had to spend a lot of time practicing their moves.

“We’re spending a lot of time on the movement, and the choreography of the movement,” said Coussens, who specializes in stage fighting.

Coussens’ expertise in the field, along with the efforts of the cast and crew, are sure to produce spectacular results.

Although “The Three Musketeers,” itself is nothing new, Augustana’s production, beginning on Jan. 25, will surely bring something funny and fresh to the longtime favorite.

So, if you’re a fan of action, drama, comedy, and good-old-fashioned sword fighting, come down to Brunner to laugh, cry, and cheer in support of your fellow students.