The Man Who Came to Dinner to provide comic relief

Snapshot – 10/14/16
October 14, 2016
October 21, 2016

The Man Who Came to Dinner to provide comic relief

People acting out "The Man Who Came to Dinner." Photo by Rebecca Snyder 30.5

The Man Who Came to Dinner, a classic addition to modern American theater, is coming to Bob Jones University.

This three-act comedy originally debuted in New York City in 1939 and was performed more than 700 times in just one theater.

Imagine if your worst house guest got stranded at your home for several days.

Well, this play is a comedy based on actual events that happened to the two writers, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, when their friend arrived for an unexpected visit and began to wreak havoc.

Based on the real-life celebrity Alexander Woollcott, the play follows the fictional Stanley family when they are forced to take their guest in, but what follows is nothing ordinary.

Directed by Anne Nolan of the theatre arts department, The Man Who Came to Dinner is part of the 2016-2017 Performance Hall series featuring American theater and provides a unique cultural experience for its 2016 viewers.

Senior theatre arts major Elisabeth Emhof plays female lead Maggie Culter.

“This play is a nice way to kick back, have a ton of laughs and not have to think too hard,” Emhof said.

“I hope our audiences are able to fully immerse themselves in 1939 and forget that  in 2016, at least for two hours.”

What is the director’s favorite part?

“I love this period,” Nolan said. “I love the costumes, the hair styles, and I even love the language of the day.”

Nolan said it took a bit for all of the cast to get used to the idiomatic expressions from the 1930s.

Her directing experience with theater from plays set in the 1930s and 1940s definitely became useful.

Tickets are on sale now, and the show runs from Oct. 24 through Oct. 29.

The crew highly recommends a weeknight performance as the weekend shows tend to sell out.

For an experience in 1930s U.S. culture, including fashion and comedy, this play will be a teaching moment and a chance to experience a U.S. mark on the theater world.

“There’s slapstick humor, biting wit, romance and a little bit of mystery mixed in,” Emhof said. “There’s something for everyone.”