posted November 4, 2013

Hope Theatre Presents “Playboy of the Western World”

Hope College Theatre will present “Playboy of the Western World” on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 15-16, and Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 20-23, at 8 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

Written in 1907, “Playboy of the Western World” is considered the Irish playwright John Millington Synge’s masterpiece. The play tells the story of Christy Mahon a young man, who escapes to a small town claiming he killed his father. Enraptured by the newcomer’s story, the townspeople make him into a celebrity instead of condemning him. Christy especially captures the attention of the women with his charisma, specifically the bar-maid Pegeen Mike and the Widow Quin.

“I am very intrigued by the themes of public fascination with criminals and celebrity, and certainly that is the heart of our story,” said the show’s director, Richard Perez, who is an assistant professor of theatre at Hope and managing director of Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. “But also, how mob mentality can quickly get out of control and how fickle we can sometimes be when we realize our heroes have feet of clay. Equally intriguing, is the Irish culture, language and their great tradition of storytelling used as the backdrop for the story.”

In addition to Perez, the production team includes 2013 graduate Kaija Von Websky of Holland, assistant director; senior Alexa Duimstra of Appleton, Wis., costume designer; Michelle Bombe, faculty costume design mentor; guest artist, Joseph Flauto, props and scenic designer; senior Andrea Lindsay of Phoenix, Ariz., assistant properties design; faculty member Perry Landes, lighting and sound designer; and senior Aaron Haecker of Winchester, Va., assistant light designer. Staff members include Paul Anderson, technical director; and Darlene Veenstra, costume shop manager. The show is stage managed by junior Dylan Connor of Tallahassee, Fla. The assistant stage managers are junior Jacqueline Marschke of Glenview, Ill., and freshman Aaron McEachran of Golden, Colo.

The cast includes sophomore Kira Alsum of Grand Rapids; sophomore Emilie Bickel of Denver, Colo.; sophomore Ellie Campbell of Barrington, Ill.; sophomore Kenny Cole of Jenison; senior Aiden de Jong of Holland; freshman CaliRose DiGiuseppe of Portage; junior Jared Duimstra of Appleton, Wis.; senior Lauren Ezzo of Haslett; sophomore Emma Fondell of Wilmette, IL.; senior Bradley Hamilton of Southfield; freshman Connor Hernandez of Glen Ellyn, Ill.; freshman Mary Margaret Hollstein of Morenci; freshman Dylan Kerfoot of Holland; freshman Jake Mate of Jenison; freshman Madalyn Navis of Cedar Grove, Wis.; sophomore Cameron Pratt of Zeeland; junior Allison Simmons of Port Huron; sophomore Hania Szymczak of Wtoctaw, Poland; and freshman Sean Zorn of Clinton Township.

Tickets for “Playboy of the Western World” are $10 for regular admission, $7 for senior citizens and Hope College faculty and staff, $5 for children 18 and younger and Hope students, and are available at the ticket offices in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse (222 Fairbanks Ave.) and the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). Both offices are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tickets are also available online at tickets.hope.edu/ticketing/ or by calling (616) 395-7890.

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.