ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — SBU Theater will be presenting Marc Camoletti’s farce “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” adapted by Robin Hawdon, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5, and Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 10-12, at St. Bonaventure University’s Garret Theater, located adjacent to Devereux Hall.
While traditional farces deal mainly with middle-age or older characters, “Don’t Dress for Dinner” features the comic goings-on of a younger cast, forming a tangled web of lies involving mistaken identities and scandalous secrets.
Hawdon’s adaptation of this charade from 1991 is a comedy about a married couple who are both involved with other people, or at least they think they are, and is set during a weekend getaway in a French country house. Director Ed. Simone, Ph.D., professor of theater, hints, “Things go terribly wrong ... in a terribly funny way.”
The cast includes Brooke Perkins, a sophomore theater major; Victoria Lanzillo, a freshman theater and journalism and mass communication major; Ian Rogers, a sophomore modern languages major; Mike Dlugosz, a senior theater minor; Ashley Waterman, a senior theater and English major; and Sean O’Brien, a freshman theater and journalism and mass communication dual major.
Catherine Turner, senior sociology major, serves as the production’s stage manager. Assistant stage managers include sophomore theater major Liz Peskor and freshman marketing major Chaelon Brennan. Emily West, a junior theater and journalism and mass communication dual major, acted as the play’s set dresser, designing the aesthetics of the set and the color palette for the production.
“Working on the ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’ set has been a lot of fun, because the characters basically live in a luxury home, so we get to decorate it for that," said West. “It's been challenging, too. We hadn’t done a box set (building a full room) in my time here, and the scale of it can be intimidating. Everyone has been doing a great job of working together. I think when it all comes together it’ll be a really great show.”
“Our goals were to create a space that blended rustic countryside charm with upscale sophisticated style and taste,” said Rebecca Misenheimer, assistant professor of theater. “While it’s a modern play, it’s a completely different cross-section of society than we’re used to.”
“This is the first farce the theater program has done in many years,” said Simone. “Farce is hard. It’s very demanding because things move very fast and actors have to continually shift back and forth between lying and telling the truth, which is where the humor comes from. It’s a real challenge for our actors and they’re enjoying it.”
All shows start at 7:30 p.m. After the Friday night performances, the cast will take part in an talkback in which audiences have the opportunity to ask the cast, crew, designers, and directors any questions they may have about the production.
Reserved seats are $8 for the general public and $6 for seniors, Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts subscribers, students, and SBU employees. For information and reservations, phone the box office at 716-375-2494. Any unsold tickets will be available as free student rush seats with a valid student ID beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Garret Theater on the day of the show. One ticket per ID will be issued, in person only.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.