Quinnipiac Theatre Program “Wows” Crowd

By on November 3, 2004

This past week, the Quinnipiac University Theatre Program, under the direction of Dr. Crystal Brian, successfully performed a production of “Playboy of the Western World,” written by John Millington Synge. The play was performed at Long Warf Theatre in New Haven Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, with a matinee performance Saturday. Opening night the auditorium was almost full, and Thursday night they performed to a sold out house. Among the packed house Thursday was President John Lahey.

Students enjoyed the production, but some had a hard time understanding the play, which was set in early 1900’s peasantry Ireland. It is a complex play, but when understood, is excellent. It was difficult for some students because they did not know the story-line well, and were not used to the accent.

According to Synge, “Anyone who has lived in real intimacy with the Irish peasantry will know that the wildest sayings and ideas in this play are tame indeed, compared with the fancies one may hear in any little hillside cabin in Geesala, or Carraroe, or Dingle Bay.”

Some of these crazy sayings and ideas are different from what we are used to were difficult to follow for the students.

“I think the play was well-produced. The actors tried to hard with their accents, but I wasn’t able to understand half the dialogue,” Mark Bradley, sophomore Legal studies major said.

Jack O’Brien, a sophomore media production major, who has been involved in the theatre program liked the production but agreed the accents were difficult to understand at times.

“It was very good acting, but the story and the dialogue were hard to follow,” he said. “I don’t think they chose the right play to produce.”

The students did an excellent job with their Irish accents, and the set and props were very realistic. Many commented on the great set design.

“I really liked the set; the costumes, props and stage setting looked great,” Melissa Mitchell, junior Legal Studies and Psychology major said.

Others thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the performance. They had very positive things to say. They liked the acting, set and also had no problem understanding the dialogue.

“I really enjoyed the production of ‘Playboy of the Western World’ as performed by the Quinnipiac University Theatre Company,” Kelly Baccash, junior media production major said. “The accents that most of the actors have mastered really added to the authenticity of the play. The two leads (Allison Clark as Pegeen and Casey Manning as Christy) were outstanding; I was completely blown away by their performances. My favorite scene was the one where we were first introduced to the three boy-crazy neighbor girls. I got a kick out of how they fawned over Christy! (Of course my favorite of the three was Lauren Bedell – my roommate!!) I also couldn’t help but laugh at the very end when Christy’s father, who refuses to die throughout the production, proclaims, ‘Glory be…I’m crazy again!’ I find myself more and more impressed with each production the Quinnipiac Theatre Company puts on!”

“Playboy of the Western World” was a success, and the actors are eager to travel to Ireland next spring to workshop last semester’s production of “The Trouble of Romeo and Juliet.”

“As an actress who has been in both productions, I cannot wait to rejoin this amazing cast overseas, continuing the fun and professionalism that I love so much and I’m proud to be a part of,” Lauren Bedell, junior Occupational Therapy major, and also a member of the theatre program and both casts said.


About Bethany Dionne