Students will ‘connect’ with new theatre production

Practical jokes and comedic misunderstandings are the result of an arranged marriage in UW-Whitewater’s upcoming play, “She Stoops to Conquer.”

Taking place in the 18th century, “She Stoops to Conquer” was written by Oliver Goldsmith who felt comedy should be funny. For about 100 years, comedy had been more about sentimental situations and resolutions and got away from the idea of being funny. As a result, Goldsmith called his comedy, “laughing comedy.”

“There are comic misunderstandings all the way through the play,” associate professor and director Charles Grover said. “It’s one of the better known plays to come out of England in [its] whole history of theater.”

Although the play takes place in the 18th century, there are still situations students and community members can relate to.

“Three to five of the central characters are around college students’ age,” freshman Eric Pfieffer said. “It kind of deals with some of the matters that college students would have to deal with, so I think students would really connect to it.”

“She Stoops to Conquer” will have performances at 7:30 p.m. on April 24-28 in Barnett Theater. Tickets for the general public are $10, $8 for over 65, $5.50 for people under 18, and $4.50 for UW-Whitewater students with a student I.D.

Pfeiffer
Freshman Eric Pfeiffer has been acting for seven or eight years now and is playing the part of Tony Lumpkin.

“Tony is very outlandish,” Pfieffer said. “All he really cares about is himself, and the only important thing he wants in the play is his own freedom.”

Tony Lumpkin is the son of Mrs. Hardcastle and stepson to Mr. Hardcastle. Lumpkin is responsible for many of the comic aspects of the play. He accidentally meets Charles Marlow and Marlow’s friend Hastings and deliberately misdirects them, which causes them to believe the Hardcastle’s house is an inn.

Ruge
Junior Aly Ruge, who has been in nine other productions, is playing the part of Kate Hardcastle.

Kate Hardcastle has arranged to marry Charles Marlow. Kate pretends to be lower class so Marlow will be able to talk to her and be himself around her.

“I think students would be interested because it’s very relatable,” Ruge said. “It’s about a guy who is really embarrassed in front of this girl he’s suppose to be marrying and he can’t talk to her. That happens with guys all of the time.”

Sophomore Madison McCarthy has been acting since she was four. She will be playing the part of Constance.

“Constance is head strong,” McCarthy said. “She really loves George Hastings, but she would prefer to live an easy life. She’s trying to get her jewels from her aunt the entire course of the play.”

George Hastings tries to convince Constance that they can leave and that they don’t need the jewels, but she feels her life would be better with them.

Thompson
Mrs. Hardcastle will be played by senior Tawnie Thompson.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Thompson said. “Everything in this show is going to make you laugh. It’s going to leave you with a feel-good feeling. It’s going to be a lot of fun for all of us acting, as well as the audience members. When the audience is responsive we’re going to give it even more.”

Thompson said the play was one of the first feminist plays. The female characters are “so strong” and the ones making the decision, Thompson said.

Kelly
Charles Marlow will be played by junior Peter Kelly, who has been acting since he was in middle school.

Marlow is the son of a wealthy man from London. Marlow is shy around upper-class women, but is able to be himself around lower-class women. Therefore, Kate Hardcastle dresses down when she is around him because he doesn’t know who she really is.

“Marlow is a very awkward, uneasy, stuttery guy,” Kelly said. “Around certain women, he’s really slick and smooth. So, I get to play like almost Richie Cunningham from ‘Happy Days,’ and my version of Don Draper.”