Cover photo by Richard Termine from the Yale Rep production

The Servant of Two Masters (Revised Director’s Version)

Carlo Goldoni, adapted by Constance Congdon, further adapted by Christopher Bayes and Steven Epp
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30-page PDF piano/vocal score required for production. The $100 flat fee above is for nonprofessional productions only. For professional productions there is an additional weekly performance license fee. For information on professional licensing of the score, contact composer Aaron Halva.


Goldoni’s eighteenth-century masterpiece is an enduring story of love, passion, and mistaken identity. Young Venetian Clarice can’t marry her lover, Silvio. She had been betrothed to Rasponi, who appears to have returned from the dead to claim her. But the Rasponi who appears is actually Beatrice, Rasponi’s sister who is in disguise as her brother and has come to Venice to find her suitor, Florinda. Complications arise when a servant greedily seeks employment with both the disguised Beatrice and Florinda and spends the rest of the play trying to serve two masters while keeping the two unaware of the other’s presence. The play is based on the Italian Renaissance theater style commedia dell’arte and reinvigorated the genre, which is so heavily drawn from carnival while bringing to it an element of realism, mishaps, mix-ups, confusions, disguises, and mistaken identity that come with the style.

Production Info

Cast: 10 total (3 female, 7 male, bit parts)
Full Length Comedy (about 115 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Period Costumes
Category: Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“Director Christopher Bayes’ and star Steven Epp’s adaptation on Carlo Goldoni’s 18th-century Commedia dell’arte piece … is pure comedy gold.” —Broadway World Seattle

“Sublimely directed by Christopher Bayes — provides an equivalent bowlful of joy … deliriously happy-making version of Carlo Goldoni’s THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS. Bayes and company, egged on by adapter Constance Congdon’s buoyant script … consistently locate Goldoni’s sweet spot.” —The Washington Post

“… revels in the transformative power of theater. The laughter would be quite enough to propel THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS onto a theater lover’s must-see list. But then there’s the magic. Now that’s theater!” —The New York Times

“… an uproarious, unapologetically lowbrow, compulsively enjoyable excursion into the outer realms of farce.” —The Boston Globe

“It begins in elegance. Two Italian workmen stumble upon the remnants of an abandoned theater; when they open a trunk, fireflies flutter out and turn into the stars above a Venice of yore. But from then on we’re mostly in the broadly colorful land of commedia dell’arte: a world of crafty servants and passionate lovers and notably bad communication … stock characters, one-liners, slapstick, masks, songs and snatches of anachronistic improvisation.” —Time Out New York

“Think the Three Stooges meets Family Guy meets a bawdy clown troupe, with a few musical numbers tossed in for good measure and a tendency to beat a dead horse of a joke until it miraculously stands back on its feet and becomes funny again … The gonzo glee of the performances holds it all together … while the whole thing doesn’t add up to more than goofy fun, sometimes that is just what you need.” —Brooklyn Paper

“Laughter is the best medicine sometimes. This is one of those times.” —Lore Croghan, Brooklyn Daily Eagle

“[A] raucously entertaining farce … boy, do we laugh. Every formula for comedy is either turned on its head or played to its full predictive hilarity. And when the unpredictable moments happen — this archetype of commedia dell’arte requires a fair amount of improvisation and ad-libbing — the risk of going off-script is richly rewarded … For the jaded theatergoer, [THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS] provides all the things the wearied mind desires: longing, love, song, dance and the simple beauty of laughter.” —OffOffOnline

About the Author


  • Carlo Goldoni

    Carlo Goldoni was born at Venice in 1707. From his earliest years he appears to have been interested in the theater: his toys were puppets and his books, plays. It is said that at the age of eight he attempted to write a play. The boy's father placed him under the care of the philosopher Caldini at Rimini, but the youth soon ran away with a company of strolling players and came to Venice. There he began to study law; he continued his studies at Pavia, though he relates in his Memoirs that a considerable part of his time was spent in reading Greek and Latin comedies. He had already begun writing at this time, and, as a result of a libel in which he ridiculed certain families of Pavia, he was forced to leave the city. He continued his law studies at Udine, and eventually took his degree at Modena. He was employed as law clerk at Chioggia and Feltre, after which he returned to his native city and began practicing. But his true vocation was the theater, and he made his bow with a tragedy, AMALASUNTA, produced at Milan, but this was a failure. His next play, BELISARIO, written in 1734, succeeded. He wrote other tragedies for a time, but he was not long in discovering that his bent was for comedy. He had come to realize that the Italian stage needed reforming, and adopting Molière as his model, he went to work in earnest, and in 1738 produced his first real comedy, L'UMO DI MONDO. During his many wanderings and adventures in Italy, he was constantly at work, and when, at Leghorn, he became acquainted with the manager Medebac, he determined to pursue the profession of playwriting in order to make a living. He was employed by Medebac to write plays for his theater in Venice. He worked for other managers, and produced during his stay in that city some of his most characteristic works. In 1761 he went to Paris, where he continued to write. Among the plays which he wrote in French, the most successful was LE BOURRU BIENFAISANT, produced on the occasion of the marriage of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in 1771. He enjoyed considerable popularity in France, and when he retired to Versailles the King gave him a pension. But when the Revolution broke out, he was deprived of it. The day after his death, however, the Convention voted to restore the pension. He died in 1793.

  • Constance Congdon

    Constance Congdon has been called "one of the best playwrights our country and our language has ever produced" by playwright Tony Kushner in Kushner's introduction to her collection TALES OF THE LOST FORMICANS AND OTHER PLAYS. In addition to TALES OF THE LOST FORMICANS, which has had more than 200 productions worldwide, Congdon's plays include: CASANOVA, DOG OPERA, NO MERCY, LOSING FATHER'S BODY, LIPS and NATIVE AMERICAN. PARADISE STREET, was produced in Los Angeles and Amherst. Three commissions from the American Conservatory Theater: A MOTHER, starring Olympia Dukakis, a new verse version of THE MISANTHROPE, and a new adaptation of THE IMAGINARY INVALID, were all produced by ACT. Also at ACT: MOONTEL SIX, a commission by the ACT Young Conservatory and subsequently performed at London's National Theatre, followed by another production of the two-act version at San Francisco's ZEUM. THE AUTOMATA PIETÀ, another YC commission, received its world premiere at San Francisco's Magic Theatre in 2002; NIGHTINGALES went to the Theatre Royale Bath's Youth Theatre. Congdon's NO MERCY, and its companion piece, ONE DAY EARLIER, were part of the 2000 season devoted to Congdon at the Profile Theatre. She has written a number of opera libretti and seven plays for the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. THE CHILDREN OF THE ELVI, Congdon's epic and NOT suitable for children, play received its premiere at the Key City Public Theater in 2007. Congdon's plays have been produced throughout the world, including Cairo, Tokyo and Berlin. Her new verse version of TARTUFFE is in a single-volume Norton Critical edition and in the Norton Anthology of Drama. In 2013, Congdon was the Honored Playwright at the GPTC and had a fully-staged workshop of her play about the water crisis in the West, TAKE ME TO THE RIVER. Her recent play HAIR OF THE DOG is about Shakespeare and Marlowe. Her most recent play, ENEMY SKY, is about drones, Islamaphobia, and late-in-life love. Congdon has received three NEA grants, two Rockefeller grants (one for Bellagio), an Albert Sloan grants for TAKE ME TO THE RIVER, The Berilla Kerr Award, Helen Merrill Award, The Albert Weissberger Award, New York Newsday's Oppenheimer Award for Best New Play in NYC, New England Theater Conference Award for Distinguished Service to the Theater (2004), two Great Plains Theater Conference Awards, one for Distinguished Service to the Theater and the other as the 2013 Honored Playwright. She is an alumnus of New Dramatists, The Playwright's Center of Minneapolis, and a current member of The Dramatists Guild and PEN. Congdon has taught playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, but her home is as playwright-in-residence at Amherst College where she has taught playwriting for 25 years. Her work is published by Norton, TCG, Inc, but mostly by Broadway Play Publishing.

  • Christopher Bayes

    Christopher Bayes began his theater career with the internationally acclaimed Theatre de la Jeune Lune where he worked for five years as an actor, director, composer, designer, and artistic associate. In 1989 he joined the acting company of the Guthrie Theater where he appeared in over twenty productions. His roles included Caliban in THE TEMPEST, Edgar in KING LEAR, The Herald in MARAT/SADE and Harlequin in TRIUMPH OF LOVE. In 1993, commissioned by the Guthrie Theater, he produced his one-man show THIS RIDICULOUS DREAMING based on Heinrich Boll's novel The Clown. In New York, he has directed RED NOSES by Peter Barnes, FOUR by Feydeau, THE BOURGEOIS GENTLEMAN, THE MOLIÈRE ONE ACTS, and THE LOVE OF THREE ORANGES by Carlo Gozzi at the Juilliard School; THE IMAGINARY INVALID by Molière, THE NEW PLACE by Carlo Goldoni, WE WON'T PAY… by Dario Fo, and his new adaptation of Molière's THE RELUCTANT DOCTOR OF LOVE for New York University's Graduate Acting Program; THE RAVEN by Carlo Gozzi at NYU's Experimental Theater Wing; UBU ROI at both NYU's Experimental Theater Wing and Fordham University; and Timeslips at HERE. Additionally, he has staged several original works including WRECKAGE at P.S. 122, THE BIG DAY (a clown show) and THE FIASCO BRO, CIRCUS at the Juilliard School, ZIBALDONÉ at HERE and the Present Company Theatorium, THE FOOLS/LOS LOCOS DEL PUEBLO at Touchstone Theater, NECROMANCE, A NIGHT OF CONJURATION at Dixon Place, CLOWNS at the New York International Clown Festival and The Public Theater and EVEN MAYBE TAMMY at The Flea. Outside of New York, his directing credits include THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS (Yale Rep, Shakespeare Theater, Guthrie Theater, Arts-Emerson and Seattle Rep), THE DOCTOR IN SPITE OF HIMSELF (Intiman Theater, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep), ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST (Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep), co-production of SCAPIN at the Intiman Theater in Seattle and Court Theater in Chicago, COMEDY OF ERRORS at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Len Jenkin's new adaptation of THE BIRDS at Yale Repertory Theater, ENDGAME at Court Theater, THE MOLIÈRE IMPROMPTU at Trinity Repertory Theater. He was part of the creative team for the Broadway and Touring productions of THE 39 STEPS, for which he created additional movement and served as Movement Director. He also created the movement/choreography for John Guare's THREE KINDS OF EXILE at The Atlantic Theater. He has received numerous awards and grants including a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study Grant, a General Mills Foundation Artist Assistance Grant, and both a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant and a Career Opportunity Grant. He is a 1999/2000 Fox Fellow. He has taught classes and workshops internationally at Cirque Du Soliel, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Big Apple Circus, Interlochen Arts Center, Vassar College, Stella Adler Conservatory, Bard College, Fordham University, University of Texas Graduate Acting and Directing Programs, National Shakespeare Conservatory, University of Minnesota Graduate Acting Program, the Guthrie Theater, Iowa State University and Theater de la Jeune Lune. He has served on the faculty of the Juilliard Drama School, the Actor's Center (founding faculty & master teacher of physical comedy/clown), Yale School of Drama, the Public Theater's Shakespeare Lab, the Academy of Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theater in Washington D.C., New York University's Graduate Acting Program and Tisch School of the Arts. His most recent position was that of Clinical Professor of Theater, Speech and Dance at Brown University and Director of Movement and Physical Theater at the Brown/Trinity Consortium in Providence, RI. In 2006, however, he threw caution to the wind, packed up his family and all of his nonsense and headed back to New York City. He is currently Professor and Head of Physical Acting at the Yale School of Drama.

  • Steven Epp

    Steven Epp has been an actor in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He's played Tartuffe, Hamlet, Gulliver, and Curusoe. Most of his career was spent on the stage with Theatre de la Jeune Lune, which closed its doors in 2008. Today, Steven still is considered a master of farce and quick change.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 3/26/2017
Pages 90
ISBN 9780881456080

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

Originally produced by Yale Repertory Theatre

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
The Servant of Two Masters (Revised Director’s Version) is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


11/2/2023 – 11/4/2023
Iolani School
Honolulu, HI

11/11/2022 – 11/13/2022
Portsmouth Abbey School
Portsmouth, RI

2/24/2022 – 3/6/2022
Southern Oregon University, Theatre
Ashland, OR

2/20/2020 – 2/23/2020
Oglethorpe Univ
Atlanta, GA

11/14/2019 – 11/16/2019
Southeastern Oklahoma State University

10/3/2019 – 10/5/2019
McLennan Community College
Waco, TX

3/14/2019 – 3/16/2019
Florida School Of The Arts
Palatka, FL

11/8/2018 – 11/10/2018
Westminster School
Simsbury, CT

11/6/2018 – 11/9/2018
Ironwood High School
Glendale, AZ

4/26/2018 – 5/5/2018
Mercer Island High School
Mercer Island, WA

4/19/2018 – 4/22/2018
Marymount Manhattan College
New York, NY

10/19/2017 – 10/28/2017
Bruin High Players
Twin Falls, ID

10/16/2017 – 10/17/2017
Stamford American International School
Singapore, Singapore