WILDLY WICKED AND WITTY, NEW BEAUX’ STRATAGEM REJUVENATES AN 18TH CENTURY RESTORATION CLASSIC
Villanova, PA (October 19, 2010)…Villanova Theatre is thrilled to continue its 2010-2011 season with an effervescent new adaptation of George Farquhar's comedy, The Beaux' Stratagem. Adapted initially in 1939 by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Thornton Wilder (Our Town) and completed in 2006 by Ken Ludwig (Lend Me A Tenor), The Beaux' Stratagem illuminates the stage with its hilarious and astute observations about society and differences between the sexes. Reviewing the adaptation's recent premiere, The Washington Post praised the way it "glides confidently from silly to wry, from the pratfall to the riposte."
Villanova University Theatre professor Shawn Kairschner directs a cast of twenty, accompanied by an award-winning creative team that includes Janus Stefanowicz (Costume Designer), Jerold R. Forsyth (Lighting Designer), Jeremy Foil (Scenic Designer), John Bellomo (Fight Choreographer), and Jenny Jacobs (Choreographer). Complete with beautifully intricate period costumes and musical flourishes -- including a live harpsichordist, violinist and flutist -- the production marries the aesthetics and discipline of an 18th - century period piece with the fun and lightning wit of a contemporary comic romp. The Beaux' Stratagem will be on stage at Villanova Theatre from November 9 - November 21, 2010.
Villanova Theatre is located in Vasey Hall on the Villanova University campus. Performances will be held at 8:00pm on Tuesday – Saturday and at 2:00pm on Sundays. Tickets cost $21-$25, with discounts available for seniors, students and groups, and may be ordered through Villanova Theatre Box Office at (610) 519-7474 or online at www.theatre.villanova.edu..
A seldom-seen gem of a play, The Beaux' Stratagem tells the story of Aimwell and Archer, two young gallants who are short on cash and long on schemes, who roam the English countryside in search of wealth and women. When they happen upon the beautiful Dorinda and her equally charming sister-in-law Mrs. Kate Sullen, they hatch a plot to woo and win them. But plenty of hurdles stand in their way: a feisty barmaid with her eye on Archer, Kate's drunken slacker of a husband, Dorinda's eccentric mother, and a band of thugs that threaten to ruin even the best-laid plans.
The play's appeal lies not only in its ability to delight audiences and have them laughing in their seats for over two hours, but also in touching on issues of love and relationships (the process of finding a match, falling in love, revealing one's true identity, living in an unhappy marriage) –all as relevant in the 18th century as they are today. According to director Shawn Kairschner, the adaptation's vibrancy and fun are a synthesis of the particular talents of Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig, who managed to breathe new life into a classic comedy, making it sharper, more relatable and fit for a modern audience.
Portraying the madcap 'doctor,' Lady Bountiful, is Kimberly Fairbanks, last seen on the Villanova stage as the title character in Medea. Audiences will recognize second-year acting scholar Tim Rinehart as Archer from his appearances last season as Orlando in As You Like It and Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun, and as Pip/Theo in this season's Three Days of Rain. First-year acting scholar Felicia Leicht, who also appeared in Three Days of Rain (Nan/Lina) will be portraying Mrs. Kate Sullen, opposite second-year graduate student Chris Serpentine (last seen as Jason in Medea). As her drunken husband, Sullen. Charles Illingworth IV, a recent alumnus of Villanova's graduate theatre program, will be playing the role of Aimwell, opposite second-year Costume assistant Stephanie King as the lovelorn Dorinda.
Director Shawn Kairschner has performed and directed in numerous venues in the United States and in Europe. Favorite acting roles include Berowne in Love's Labours Lost, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and Antonio Vivaldi in Theresa Bassoon. He is proud to have been in the first cast of American actors to perform at the new Globe Theatre, Southwark, London. As a director, he has worked on both coasts, including a three-year stint as Artistic Director of the Sideway Theater Company in Berkeley, CA, where he directed or produced a variety of pieces from Shakespearean comedies to original one-person shows. For Villanova Theatre, he has directed, among others, Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses and, most recently, last Spring's production of Medea. Other directorial credits include The Caucasian Chalk Circle in Williamstown, MA and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D.
The Villanova University Theatre Department came into being in 1958 under the leadership of Dr. Dick Duprey. Today, Villanova's Department of Theatre offers both a Master of Arts degree and a Graduate Certificate in Practical Theatre. Students enrolled in the theatre program undergo a course of study that combines both scholarly and practical approaches to theatre. Guided by award-winning faculty and staff who are actively involved in the region's professional theatre industry, students gain knowledge and experience through hands-on production work and in-depth academic study in the areas of dramaturgy, script analysis, dramatic literature, playwriting, acting, and directing.
The Beaux' Stratagem will be on stage November 9th-21st, 2010. Show times are 8:00pm Tuesday – Saturday and 2:00pm Sunday. Tickets cost $21 - $25 and may be ordered by calling the Villanova Theatre Box Office at (610) 519-7474 or online at www.theatre.villanova.edu.