November 24, 2009

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 7

Niagara 'Stoops' to the 18th century

Niagara 'Stoops' to the 18th century

Niagara 'Stoops' to the 18th century

Who needs television when you have the theater?

That's what the NU Theatre Department's buzzing about for its next production, "She Stoops to Conquer" by Oliver Goldsmith.

"It's a side-splitting laughter comedy with marvelous costumes, cool dialects, and a great story - what more could you ask for?" said actress Meagan Kurilovitch
Given that from all aspects, "She Stoops" appears to be a rather serious Shakespearian period play, that's an interesting summary at first glance. The further in the show it gets, though, the more evident it becomes that this isn't just any period piece.

The one thing director Doug Zschiegner wants to clear up is the impression that this piece is at all like Shakespeare in terms of its language.

"The language is more realistic than Shakespeare," he said. He even went so far as to say that while it may sound like high-class British society at times, most of the characters are, in fact, country people, and therefore they are making fun of that style of speech. And the reason why he chose this show as one he wanted to do seems to be echoed by everyone in the show, "It's genuinely funny, in a way that's universal," he said.

With a plot riddled with familiar devices like hidden identities, romance and familial black sheep, the play could have walked right out of a modern sitcom and put itself on the NU stage.
Actress Erica Diederich agrees with Zschiegner, saying that "the language is very sophisticated but ... it's very easy to understand the way we play it."

The cast and director have made very specific steps to make sure that this show is accessible to the general public - especially since the story is one that everyone could relate to.
"There's so much about human nature, and the themes are still relevant today," said actress Jessica Bill.

This play used to be the most commonly produced comedy in the English language that was not written by Shakespeare. It may not be as revolutionary as it once was, but with characters that Zschiegner, Diederich, Kurilovitch and Bill all describe as "crazy," it is certainly showing significant promise to be funny.

"She Stoops to Conquer" runs from Dec. 3-13 at the Niagara University Theatre-at-the-Church in Lewiston. All NU students can get one free ticket to each production of the regular season.

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