Fall play replaced by two smaller plays

Dec. 31, 1969, 7 p.m. | By Griff Rees | 51 years ago

Breaking with longtime tradition, Kelly Newman, Blair's theater director, has decided to perform two small plays, "Charlie's Aunt" and "The Rivals," in the fall and winter respectively, instead of the customary single fall play.

"They're two scripts I really want to do," explained Newman. "I've seen them live, and they're very funny," she continued.

Charlie's Aunt, written by Brandon Thomas, takes place in England and is the story of two men (one of whom is Charlie) who wish to entertain two ladies. The ideals of the day dictate that the four must be chaperoned, so Charlie's millionaire aunt is asked. When she is unable to come, the men force their friend to impersonate her. Eventually the real aunt shows up under a different name, and things become comically confusing.

The Rivals, another British play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, is another story of mistaken identities. A wealthy captain in the British army falls in love with a rich woman who is so romantic that she will only marry someone poor. So he pretends to be poor but their respective parents try and arrange their marriage anyways, again to a comic result.

In past years, Newman has chosen to direct plays with many parts or to "pad" plays to increase the cast size. This fall, however, things will be different. "I've never directed such a small cast before," she said. "These are the kind of plays you cannot pad." Also, due to their size, Newman has decided to have each play run one weekend, as opposed to the usual two.

The traditional spring musical will remain in place, though it will run slightly earlier in the year than usual.

Another consideration is the normal imbalance of actors versus actresses trying out, the latter being more numerous. "The appeal is there are lots of sizable roles," said Newman. "'Charlie's Aunt' has better parts for guys, and 'The Rivals' has better parts for girls."

Outside of the cast, problems threaten. Due to Dr. James Distler's retirement from the post of sponsor, the stage crew is currently without a supervisor and unless something is done soon, parents may be asked. "No one stepped up," said Newman.

The sign up sheet for "Charlie's Aunt" tryouts is already up. The play will be performed the weekend of November 14.

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Griff Rees. Griffith Rees was born on a dreary, humid August 17, 1985 at approximately 2:00 in the afternoon. Near the advent of his fifth birthday Griffith underwent a traumatic and life changing experience: he matriculated at Wyngate Elementary School. After six years and precious few visits … More »

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