The SUNY Fredonia Department of Theatre and Dance will conclude the 2011-12 Walter Gloor Mainstage Series with six performances of "Stage Door" from April 20 to 28 in Marvel Theatre at Rockefeller Arts Center.
Opening weekend performances will be at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The second weekend features 8 p.m. performances from April 26 through April 28.
This American classic by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, which inspired the 1937 film that starred Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers, is being directed by James Ivey.
Terry Randall (Madison Osgood), right, makes a point while Jean (Kathleen Grace Fiori), left, and David Kingsley (Nicholas Gerwitz) look on in a scene from the SUNY Fredonia Department of Theatre and Dance production of “Stage Door.” The play opens April 20 for six performances in Marvel Theatre.
"Stage Door" tells of the tale of a group of aspiring actresses who share a boarding house and dreams of stardom in 1930s New York. At the center of the group is Terry Randall, a girl from the Midwest who wants to be a leading lady on the Great White Way. Along the way, she becomes involved with an arrogant playwright and a handsome film producer.
"There are touching and tragic moments, as well as a good amount of comedy and romance," Ivey said. "'Stage Door' was written when the Broadway theatre was experiencing a great struggle with creative defections to Hollywood. The play is acceptable for the entire family and will appeal to all audiences. This play has the wonderful variety of characters that we expect from a George S. Kaufman play."
Kaufman was considered to be one of Broadway's great "comic dramatists." He twice won a Pulitzer Prize for drama ("You Can't Take It With You" in 1937 and "Of Thee I Sing" in 1932).
He also won a Tony Award as a director for his work on "Guys and Dolls." During his Broadway career, Kaufman worked with the Gershwins and the Marx Brothers.
Ferber was also a Pulitzer Prize winner for her novel "So Big." Another novel, "Giant," was made into a popular 1956 film that starred James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor.
"Kaufman's trademark fast-paced wit and his eccentric characters are present here. Ferber's heart and sentiment counter-effect some of the calloused urbanity of Kaufman," Ivey said.
Ivey said the Mainstage production has a cast of 32, with 21 women and 11 men.
The cast is led by Madison Osgood as the popular Terry Randall. Nicholas Gerwitz plays David Kingsley, a theatrical producer and talent scout for Hollywood who competes for the hand of Terry with Keith Burgess, a budding playwright portrayed by Jacob Bradley. The three main players, all junior BFA acting majors, are joined by graduating senior BFA musical theatre major Kathleen Grace Fiori as Jean Maitland.
The show is in three acts with two intermissions. "Stage Door" is sponsored by M&T Bank as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season.
Tickets are available through the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the modular complex in the Dods Hall parking lot, by phone at 673-3501 or online at fredonia.edu/tickets.