UNM's Department of Theatre and Dance Presents THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
No one is safe from the salacious slander of Lady Sneerwell and her scurrilous pack of shameless ne'er-do-wells! A rich guardian secretly tests the character of his nephews (who vie for the love of the same woman) to determine which is the worthier heir. A timely tale of love and legacy, this production whirls Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 18th century comic masterpiece into a heightened and colorful fictional reality influenced by Late 60's Swinging London. A riotous romp, Sheridan's sharp-witted satire offers hilarious lessons about the best and worst of human nature.
This is the UNM directorial debut for Assistant Professor Kate Clarke, who joined the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance in August. Kate specializes in acting, voice, and movement techniques. A graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program, Kate brings 15 years of experience to coaching actors, creating dynamic theatre classes, and to cultivating holistic practices for actors and singers through movement and voice work. Kate is an Associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, and a certified instructor of Open Source Forms. She is also a skilled singer, actress, movement theatre artist and voice talent. Her teaching pedagogy includes: Fitzmaurice Voicework , Viewpoints, Suzuki, Laban, Alexander Technique, Stella Adler and Meisner studio work, Shakespeare, Musical Theatre, Singing, and Low Flying Trapeze. She is a member of VASTA, Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity.
"I have been having the time of my life with this production," she said, "the cast, crew, and design team have been phenomenal, and we are having a very fruitful, creative time in rehearsals." Ms. Clarke has adapted the classic play and re-set it in Carnaby Street-era London in the swinging late 60's, and she has added "some festive elements in the form of dance numbers and a bit of song as well." Speaking about this new way of looking at Sheridan's classic comedy, Clarke said, "I have been surprised every night in rehearsal at how well this play has stood the test of time. The comedy lies in the characters as much as it does in the plot of the piece. We have been inspired by Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Laurie in Blackadder, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French from Absolutely Fabulous, Monte Python, and even a bit of the Austin Powers films in our character work. The characters are bold and colorful and larger than life--as are our scenic, costumes, and lighting elements. There's also a fair amount of...shall we say...sauciness... just under the surface of the text, and we are having a lot of fun bringing that forward."
Speaking of the both the timelessness as well as timely-ness of School for Sandal, Kate Clarke said, "There is a lot of comedy in this play, but underneath it there is a wounded heart--one that suffers the consequences of being slandered, and gossiped about. At the time of it's writing, London society took spreading gossip about others as a major pastime, and people's lives were ruined as a result. I think there are some very obvious parallels to our society today."
The cast includes Philipa Lois Anamoah as Lady Sneerwell, Eli Calkins as Snake, Antonio Granillo as Sir Benjamin Backbite, Lucas Lujan as Crabtree, Alexandra Bernard as Mrs. Candour, Anelisa Montoya as Lady Teazle, Samuel Shoemaker-Trejo as Sir Peter Teazle, Jordan Herron as Maria, Douglas Brandt as Joseph Surface, Abhishek Mehta as Charles Surface, Sam Lewis as Sir Oliver Surface, Hanna Cooper as Madame Moses, Monica Villalba as Miss Rowley, Jordan Herron as Trippe, Adam Koleske as Careless, and Maya Macdonald as Wilhelmina. Christa Bell, Addison Flores-Thorpe, Jodi Benavides, and Melanie Alderette round out the cast as dancers and servants.
UNM Faculty designers are bringing the Swinging 60's to life on Rodey stage. Professor Dorothy Baca is the costume designer and the Scenic Design is by Assistant Professor Inseung Park, with sound design by Associate Professor William Liotta and Kate Clarke. Joining them are Shawn Nielson as lighting designer by and Moy Hinojos as property designer. Leah Ellis is the stage manger.
The School for Scandal runs April 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 at 7:30pm and April 23 and 30 at 2:00pm in Rodey Theatre, located in the Center for the Arts on UNM's main campus at 203 Cornell Avenue NE. Ticket prices are $15 General admission, $12 UNM Faculty & Seniors, and $10 UNM Staff & all Students. Tickets are available at the UNM Ticket Offices located at the UNM Bookstore, Central and Cornell, or the Arena (The Pit), University and Avenida Caesar Chavez, and by calling (505) 925-5858. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.unmtickets.com. More information is available online at http://theatre.unm.edu or by calling 277-4332.