School of Theatre and Dance showcases comedy

Marcus Donaldson

The School of Theatre and Dance will present its fall play “She Stoops to Conquer” beginning Friday at 8 p.m. in the Wright-Curtis Theatre.

The play is an 18th-century comedy that was first performed in London in 1773. Director Eric van Baars hopes audience members “get lost in the play.”

“I would love for people to come in here and forget that they are at Kent State for two and a half hours and just think they’ve been transported into another world,” van Baars said.

The cast and crew hope to provide comedic relief for their audience.

“I want to make people laugh,” Seth Hunter, senior theatre studies major, said. Hunter plays the role of Tony Lumpkin, a lively character full of mischief.

“I think the whole reason my character was put in was just to make people laugh and just to be absolutely ridiculous and provide tons of physical comedy for everyone.” Hunter also hopes the audience comes away with a “respect for an 18th-century play.”

Sophomore theatre studies major Emily Kline makes her mainstage debut as Miss Kate Hardcastle, the heroine of the play.

“I’m learning so much from all of my upperclassmen friends and the grad students, especially,” Kline said. “I can’t stress enough how much…I’ve learned just by watching my peers, and it’s just really exciting to see how talented they all are and see them shine.”

The costume designer for the show is graduate theatre studies student Susan Williams. She has worked to maintain the authenticity of the show.

“I did over 40 books of research in addition to online research, so I really wanted to stay as true to the time period as possible, while still giving it the comedic edge that it needs,” Williams said. Her husband, Ben Williams, is the scenic designer for the play.

Ben was charged with the task of designing a true-to-period set for the stage. He used what he called forced perspective to make it appear that the audience is looking into a corner of the room, although the scenery is actually flat.

“She Stoops to Conquer” will be showing from Oct. 4 – Oct. 13 in the Wright-Curtis Theatre in the Kent State Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are available for purchase online at, or in person at the Performing Arts Box Office in the Roe Greene Center lobby, Monday-Friday, 12-5 p.m.

Contact Marcus Donaldson at [email protected].