It’s a Plaid, Plaid, Plaid, Plaid World
Can a practical joke go too far? What if you’re clever enough to use it to your advantage? Seattle Shakespeare Company presents a Restoration Comedy mashup of ska music, hipster bars, gender dynamics, and mistaken identities in Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer. Makaela Pollock directs the production which begins previews on March 19 at the Center Theatre .
“This is a project that’s been in the works for quite some time,” said Seattle Shakespeare Company Artistic Director George Mount. “We did a reading of She Stoops to Conquer three years ago and I’m so glad to welcome Makaela back to helm this funny, funny show.” Director Makaela Pollock staged Seattle Shakespeare Company’s 2015 production of Tartuffe and the 2012 Wooden O production of Twelfth Night.
“This is a show about love and about figuring out who you are,” said Pollock at the first rehearsal for She Stoops to Conquer. “It’s also about generational change, class, and gender politics. It’s about fulfilling and bucking expectations.”
In She Stoops to Conquer, Marlow, a young man that Kate Hardcastle desires, is too shy to talk to well-born ladies. When a practical joke has him believing she’s a working class barmaid, Kate seizes the opportunity. She hatches a plan with her cousin Constance, but it throws the whole household into madcap mayhem in order to conceal her identity. While wrangling her meddling step-mother, blusterous father, and rascally step-brother, can Kate convince Marlow to love her for who she really is?
Subtitled The Mistakes of Night, the action of the play takes place during the course of one day. To try to find a raucous equivalent to the world of Goldsmith’s Restoration Comedy, the design team for She Stoops to Conquer have created a fun and whimsical world where 90s ska music and fashion meets 18th Century winking bawdiness. The Center Theatre will be transformed into a hipster bar/hunting lodge with an onstage mini-ska band fronted by the character of Tony Lumpkin. Five original songs will be composed for the production. Plaid patterns abound for both the costumes and the set hearkening to both traditional English countryside and the rebellious youth culture of the 90s.
Shanna Allman and MJ Sieber will play Kate Hardcastle and Charles Marlow. They are joined by R. Hamilton Wright as Mr. Hardcastle, Julie Briskman as Mrs. Hardcastle, and Basil Harris as Tony Lumpkin.
Set design for the production is by Julia Hayes Welch, costume design by Chelsea Cook, lighting design by Andrew D. Smith, and original music by Brendan Milburn.
Tickets to She Stoops to Conquer are now on sale.