posted February 5, 2007

Hope Theatre to Present "The School for Scandal"

Hope College Theatre will present "The School for Scandal" in the DeWitt Center studio theatre on Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 15-17, and Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24, at 8p.m.

The comedy, written by Robert Brinsley Sheridan, allows audience members to eavesdrop on the intricate and scandalous lives of a close group of acquaintances.

Although the script was written in 1777, the production team has set the show in the early 20th century. Director Daina Robins believes that contemporary audiences will find that they connect more with the show than they might imagine.

"Our day and age is connected to appearances, visibility, and popularity," said Robins, who is a professor of theatre and chairperson of the department. "We are obsessed with knowing every gory detail, whether through Facebook or reality shows."

Robins believes that "The School for Scandal" is a smart, sophisticated, ironic look at transparency versus honesty in human relationships.

In the play, middle-aged Sir Peter Teazle has recently married a young girl from the country. In an earnest attempt to be considered fashionable by gossips like Lady Sneerwell, Mrs. Crabtree, Mrs. Candour and Sir Backbite, she attempts an affair outside her marriage with Joseph Surface.

At the same time, Joseph's brother Charles is enthralled with Sir Peter's ward Maria. The untrustworthy Snake spreads rumors in an attempt to break the couple apart, so that his friend Lady Sneerwell may enjoy the company of Charles herself.

Meanwhile, Lady Olivia, the wealthy and honorable aunt of the Surface brothers, arrives back in town from a long absence wishing to name a suitable heir. She travels under aliases to discover the true nature of each Surface before making her decision.

In addition to Robins, "The School for Scandal's" production team includes staff member Paul Anderson, technical director; and faculty members Michelle Bombe, costume advisor; Perry Landes, lighting and sound designer; and Richard Smith, properties designer. Hope students serving on the production staff include senior Michael Braaksma of Cambria, Wis., costume designer; junior Stephanie Lawson of Mount Vernon, Ohio, stage manager; sophomore Katie Terpstra of Zeeland, assistant stage manager; junior Jeremiah Vipond of Traverse City, assistant stage manager; and junior Sarah Watkins of Detroit, scenic designer.

Cast members include: sophomore Isaac Bush of Muskegon, as Snake; junior Reagan Chesnut of Ada, as Lady Olivia; junior Dane Dandridge Clark of Grand Rapids, as Joseph Surface; senior Katy Eagen of Holland, as Mrs. Crabtree; senior Kate Finkbeiner of Haslett, as Lady Teazle; freshman Andrew Franks of West Olive, as Sir Benjamin Backbite; sophomore Ritchie Latimore of Dayton, Ohio, as Careless; senior Cody Masalkoski of Lansing, as Moses; sophomore Maggie McGurn of Traverse City, as Rowley; junior Sam Mirto of Fennville, as Sir Peter Teazle; freshman Ariel Ojibway of Lansing, as Maria; freshman Glennyce Paetzmann of Fishers, Ind., as Trip and other characters; junior Brandon Ruiter of Grand Rapids, as Charles Surface; junior Jocelyn Vammer of Midland, as Lady Sneerwell; and junior Rachel Wells of West Bend, Wis., as Mrs. Candour.

Tickets for "The School for Scandal"are $7 for regular admission, $5 for Hope faculty and staff, and $4 for students and senior citizens, and are available in the ticket office inside the main east lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, which is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ticket office may be contacted at (616) 395-7890.

In addition, the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center will be open on performance nights shortly before 8 p.m.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave. between Ninth and 11th streets. The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.