March 28, 2019
Contact Rick Walters at 608-796-3793 or firstname.lastname@example.org
VITERBO TO PRESENT SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER APRIL 5–6, APRIL 12–14
LA CROSSE, Wis. – Comedy and farce comes to Viterbo University’s LaCroix Black Box Theatre with Oliver Goldsmith’s hilarious She Stoops to Conquer Friday, April 5–Saturday, April 6 and Friday, April 12–Sunday, April 14 in the Fine Arts Center LaCroix Black Box Theatre.
“It’s truly a classic play and we haven’t produced it at Viterbo in quite some time,” said Rick Walters, Viterbo theatre and music theatre professor and director of the production. “The play was first performed in 1773 and has been an audience favorite and has been regularly performed ever since.”
The time-tested comedy comes with a twist, however. Instead of “boy chases girl,” in She Stoops to Conquer it’s “girl chases boy.” The plot revolves around wealthy countryman Mr. Hardcastle and his scheme to arrange for his daughter Kate to meet Marlow, the son of a rich Londoner. Hardcastle’s intent is for the two to marry.
Young Marlow, however, is intimidated by women his equal and prefers to pursue lower-class women. Upon meeting, Kate is attracted to Marlow but realizes that she must become “common” if she hopes to attract Marlow’s attention. And so, she pretends to be a maid as she seeks to “conquer” the unwitting Marlow. From there it’s madcap mix-ups in merrie olde England.
“You might describe it as the forerunner of the modern-day TV or movie romantic comedy—with a dash of TV’s The Office thrown in,” Walters said. “People familiar with the TV show know there are times where the characters look and speak directly to the camera. In She Stoops to Conquer, there are asides where the actors approach the edge of the stage and speak directly to the audience. It’s great fun.”
Walters is himself quite familiar with The Office and particularly with actor Rainn Wilson, aka Dwight K. Shrute in the TV show. While acting at the famous Guthrie Theater early in his career, Walters shared a dressing room with Wilson.
Regarding the Viterbo production, Walters said, “We purposely did not modernize the play. This play is a great opportunity to introduce our music and theatre students to the dress and style of the 18th century time period.”
Walters credits Viterbo theatre and music theatre professor Jeffrey Stolz for his terrific work in designing and creating the wonderfully elaborate 18th century costumes and settings.
“The women’s costumes, especially, are very elaborate with numerous layers and—true to the time period—corsets,” said Walters.
Performance times are 7:30 p.m. April 5–6 and April 12–13 and 2 p.m. April 14. Tickets are $16 for general admission seating. For tickets, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or visit www.viterbo.edu/tickets.