She Stoops to Conquer
November 18 - November 21, 2010
The Boston College Theatre Department and the Robsham Theater Arts Center wish to extend a special invitation to the recipients of the Arts Spotlight to come out this weekend for "She Stoops To Conquer." Why? Because it promises to be pure fun.
Oliver Goldsmith's English classic is one of the most enduring comedies of the past 300 years. She Stoops to Conquer premiered at London's Covent Garden in March 1773, just a year before Goldsmith's premature death at age 46. It was inspired by an incident that lived in Goldsmith's memory for decades. At age 16, passing through the village of Ardagh in Ireland, he asked a fellow for directions to the nearest inn, and as a joke the local pointed him to the private home of one Squire Fetherstone. Goldsmith was on the premises for some time, behaving like a paying guest, before the mistake was discovered.
The play takes a similar premise and uses it to trigger a plot that combines elements of farce, romance, and comedy of manners. In the process, it exposes the vanity and the foibles of a delightful array of robust comic types. These include Mr. Hardcastle, the mild-mannered squire who favors the simplicity of country life, and his boorish wife Dorothy, who dreams of London high society but reveals herself as a money-grubbing schemer. She dotes on her son Tony Lumpkin, an idle, brash prankster who spends most of his time at the local tavern.
And then there are the young lovers, Kate Hardcastle and young Marlow, the eligible bachelor summoned from London to woo her. There's only one problem: Marlow is pathologically shy around proper young ladies of social distinction. So it is that Kate poses as a low-class barmaid in what Marlow supposes an old country inn in order to put him at ease and win his heart.
In other words, she stoops to conquer.
Staged by long-time faculty director Dr. Stuart J. Hecht, Boston College's production features wonderful costumes by resident costume designer Jackie Dalley and a playful set by guest designer Dan Bilodeau.