Act 1 DeSales University Theatre has the perfect remedy for the winter blahs. She Stoops to Conquer by Irish playwright Dr. Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) is a bawdy and charming masterpiece of comedy that will lift audiences out of the winter doldrums and into a world where miscommunication, mistaken identity, and hilarity reign.
The production runs February 23 to March 6 in the Main Stage Theatre of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, Center Valley, PA. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. A talk-back with the director and cast is scheduled for Sunday, February 27, following the 2:00 pm performance.
Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors on Wednesdays and Thursdays; $23 for adults and $21 for students and seniors on Fridays and Sundays; and $24 for all patrons on Saturdays. Group discounts, and student matinees are also available. Purchase tickets online or call the Act 1 Box Office at 610-282-3192.
“Playwright Oliver Goldsmith called the play a ‘laughing comedy’ and the description couldn’t be more apt for this spirited tale of light romance and spirited hijinks,” says performing arts division head John Bell. “Fed up with the ‘weeping sentimental comedy so much in fashion at present,’ Goldsmith devised a different comedy—one that poked fun at the social customs and way of life of, in the case of this play, the upper class.”
The dashing and debonair Mr. Charles Marlow is at ease with lower class women but quite shy and uncomfortable around upper class ladies. On his way to become acquainted with Kate, the daughter of his father’s old friend Mr. Hardcastle, Marlow and his friend become lost and seek direction at a local pub. There they encounter one of literatures most famous tricksters of all time (and Mr. Hardcastle’s stepson), Tony Lumpkin. Tony can’t pass up the opportunity to play a practical joke and tells the young men that they are a long way from their destination and will have to spend the night at an inn. He furthers the joke by directing them to the Hardcastle manor, which he tells them is the inn. Hilarity ensues when the two men arrive at the manor, treating it as an inn and Mr. Hardcastle as the mere innkeeper. When Marlow meets Kate in formal attire, he stammers and bumbles about. However, when he sees her in a simple housedress he mistakes her for the barmaid. After discovering Marlow’s unfortunate social dilemma, Kate decides to keep up the charade, realizing that, in order to uncover Marlow’s true personality, she must play the role of the barmaid and thus “stoop to conquer” his affection.
“As one of the most popular comedies in the English language, She Stoops to Conquer, unlike other plays of its time period which tend to be cynical and sarcastic, is warm, winning, big-hearted, and hilarious,” says Bell. “It’s a perfect pick-me-up just as winter months grow long.”
The play is directed by associate professor of theatre Anne Lewis. “What I enjoy about the play is the masterful way that Dr. Oliver Goldsmith reveals human foibles without judgment and corrects their shortcomings in a playful manner by the end of the play,” says Lewis. “Dr. Goldsmith treats the particular problems of his time in a comic manner. I find these topics are still timely in the 21st century.”
Faculty members Will Neuert, Amy Best, and Elizabeth Elliott designed the sets, costumes, and lights, respectively. Sophomore musical theatre student Erik J. Huertas designed the sound. Junior theatre major Michael Liiro is the stage manager.
The Labuda Center is fully accessible and equipped with a listening enhancement system sponsored by The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation and Schubert Communications, Inc.Special seating is available for our patrons using wheelchairs or requiringother assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.
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