(Ashland, Ore.) – The Theatre Arts program of the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University presents “She Stoops to Conquer” by Oliver Goldsmith in the Center Stage Theatre on the Southern Oregon University campus. Performances run on Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 26-28 and March 5-7 at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8 at 2 p.m.
One of the most popular comedies of all time, “She Stoops to Conquer” centers on the misadventures of Marlow, a young gentleman who can barely speak to genteel ladies but easily flirts with lower-class women. Enter Kate Hardcastle, a cousin of Shakespeare’s resourceful comic heroines, who conquers—and reforms—our callow hero by stooping to the disguise of a serving girl. Subtitled “The Mistakes of a Night,” Goldsmith’s play abounds with pranks and deceptions and some of the most memorable comic characters ever created.
“This is possibly the funniest, most accessible play of the Restoration comedy of manners genre,” said director Dennis Smith. “At the time that Goldsmith wrote the play, there were two types of comedies: romantic comedies, intended to create emotion in the audience, and laughing comedies. This play is a laughing comedy in the style of Shakespeare’s ‘Comedy of Errors,’ with lots of satire, farce, mistaken identities and physical theatre.”
Smith, an emeritus professor with the SOU Theatre Arts program, has directed 30 productions in 26 seasons at Southern Oregon University, most recently “Lucky Stiff” by Ahrens and Flaherty, “Taking Steps” by Alan Ayckbourn, “Wild Oats” by John O’Keeffe, his adaptation of “An Enemy of the People” by Henrik Ibsen, and “Arcadia” by Tom Stoppard. He has also directed productions for the Rogue Opera, Britt Festivals, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, and Lyric Theatre.
The ensemble features Sarah Brizek, Mark Brown, Connor Bryant, Connor Chaney, Charlie Melville, Karl Osladil, Chandler Parrott-Thomas, Jonathan Reeves, Kyle Sanderson, Neal Schoonmaker, Erik Weiss, Mig Windows and Aleah Zimmer. “This production is a wonderful chance for the cast to explore a classic genre and develop technical comedic skills,” said Smith. “Such modern-day playwrights as Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Noël Coward and Tom Stoppard carry on Goldsmith’s comedic tradition.”
The scenic designer is Sean O’Skea, costume designer is Clara Painter, lighting designer is Katherine Landon and sound designer is Evan Carbone. The assistant director is Geoffrey Brabham, technical direction is by Jesse Purkerson and stage manager is Steven Beatty.
Tickets are $21 regular admission, $18 senior, and $6 for students. The Performing Arts Box Office is located in the SOU Music Recital Hall lobby. Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and two hours prior to each performance. Tickets can be purchased with a credit card over the phone by calling 541-552-6348 or online at sou.edu/performingarts.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.