An 18th Century delight filled with extravagant characters and hilarious circumstances that proves just how far to go to capture the elusive magic of true love.

The Rivals

By Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Directed by George Mount

Performed at the Center Theatre

January 7, 2020–February 2, 2020


All You Need is Love. Romance novels have given young (and wealthy!) Lydia Languish some ridiculous notions, and she insists on marrying a poor man for the sake of true love. Hoping to woo the young woman, Captain Jack Absolute pretends to be a poor army officer. Aiding and thwarting Jack’s pursuit are a collection of comic characters including his crusty and cranky father, Sir Anthony, Lydia’s meddling and misspoken aunt, Mrs. Malaprop, and a pair of adversaries: the jovial Bob Acres and the salty Sir Lucius O’Trigger. Will romance spark in the midst of hilarious circumstances and mistaken identities?

A Crazy Courtship. One of the funniest jewels of the late 18th Century, Sheridan’s The Rivals paved the way for fellow Irish writers Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. This landmark play helped revive English stage comedy with its unconventional wit, keenly drawn characters, and heartfelt emotion.

The Elusive Magic of Love. Chock-a-block with clever and conniving servants, silly lovers, intrusive parents, and a duel, The Rivals is a romantic and very human comedy about how far to go in the quest for true love. With sparkling and matchless wit, this enduring classic is a joyous romp that skewers marriage, class, and wealth…all the while providing a great belly laugh.