Actors' Theatre of Columbus will end its 32nd season in Schiller Park on a humorous note.
The troupe will perform Beaux' Strategem at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, Aug. 1 through Sept. 1, in Schiller Park in German Village.
All performances are free and open to the public.
The play centers on Archer and Aimwell, a foppish duo that have burned through their inheritance and seek to continue their free-wheeling ways by marrying into money.
They head to the countryside with the plan of alternating as lord and servant, a ruse intended to make an impression on the locals.
As with all great plans, love, deception, indifference and interpersonal conflicts intercede, creating a theatrical frolic rife with bawdy, irreverent humor, said Adam Simon, the play's director.
"This is their last ditch effort to marry into money before they enter the military," Simon said, "and they have a lot of fun."
The play, written by George Farquhar, was first produced in 1707 at the Queen's Theatre, now the site of Her Majesty's Theatre, in London. It was later adapted by Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig.
Simon said there's a timeless, poignant message about caste systems in society.
"And we're showing that," he said. "Just because we have an upper class and a lower class, it doesn't mean we're all that different."
John S. Kuhn, artistic director for Actors' Theatre, said audiences seem to respond well to comedies in August and are willing to brave the heat to get a laugh in the final throes of summer.
"There's sort of that psychological change of the year," Kuhn said. "I think a comedy just plays better in August."
It's been a busy year for Actors' Theatre, which staged The Crucible in February at the Columbus School for Girls, followed by Comedy of Errors at Columbus Commons. King Arthur and the Sword of Britain opened this year's shows at Schiller Park.
Meanwhile, the troupe has branched out to Easton with All the Great Books (Abridged). That show's run will end Aug. 1.
The theater company is wrapping up a 1980s adaptation of Twelfth Night, July 28 at Schiller.
Actors' Theatre will return to Columbus Commons with Romeo and Juliet, which will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays Sept. 13-22.