Midcoast Actors’ Studio promises a wild night of laughter, melodrama, sword-fighting and more in its family-friendly slapstick comedy, "The Servant of Two Masters," running Friday, Sept. 10, through the 27th at the Troy Howard Middle School Stage, 173 Lincolnville Ave. There is a "pay what you can" preview Thursday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m.

Written by Carlo Goldoni in 1746, "The Servant of Two Masters" is a classic example of commedia dell'arte, a type of street theater popular during the Renaissance that used masks and slapstick comedy. Everything from The 3 Stooges, Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey; to Homer, Bart and Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons" stems from commedia. While true commedia was improvised, "Servant" was an attempt at reviving commedia dell'arte by scripting the dialogue and still leaving room for improvisation.

The play focuses on a simple-minded character named Truffaldino (played by Tyler Johnstone), who gets himself into trouble when he attempts to care for two masters at once without either finding out. Throughout the play he is asked by both masters to perform similar tasks, often confusing one master’s task with the other, causing each to question him. When both masters eventually do find out, he uses a made up character named Pasquale to convince his masters that there is another servant and tricks both into letting him care for the other. In the end, Truffaldino admits that there is no other servant and that he has served both all along feeling very accomplished with himself.

In addition to all the zaniness that Truffaldino creates, "The Servant of Two Masters" has other stock characters with their own unique quirks. Pantalone (Jay Rosenberg), Dottore (Bob Daisey), Brighella (Sonia Vazquez) and Smeraldina (Jen Wendell) all wear masks, have distinct body languages and eccentric personalities. The lovers are traditionally maskless and very melodramatic. The lovers are Beatrice (Nicole Provonsil), Florindo (Michael O’Shea), Clarice (Leah Darcy) and Silvio (Cameron Pillitteri). Two more masked servants round out the cast (played by sisters Latricia and Patricia Saucier).

Directed by MAS Producing Artistic Director Jason Bannister, "The Servant of Two Masters" has a set design by John Bielenberg, costumes designed and built by Nell Moore and Deidre Sousa, stunt/fight choreography by Angela Bonacasa, props by Ivy Lobato, and sound by Jay Rosenberg. Cassandra Cunningham is the stage manager.

Bannister said he is pleased with the production, calling it a "wonderful production for the whole family.” The show also includes an original opening number, with music by Jeff Weinberger and lyrics by Bannister.

"The Servant of Two Masters" runs three weekends, Sept. 11-27, with Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students/seniors.

The show is supported in part by the Basil Burwell Foundation. For more information, call the MAS box office at 370-7592, email midcoastactors@gmail.com, or visit midcoastactors.org or on Facebook.