The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre concludes its 83rd season with “The Foreigner,” a contemporary romantic comedy by Larry Shue. The production, directed by Mark Cosdon, will be performed in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts April 25-28: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
“The Foreigner” tells the story of a painfully shy Englishman named Charlie who takes refuge at a fishing lodge in rural Georgia. Pretending that he is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English, he soon finds himself privy to everyone’s secrets, including the sinister plans of two “upright” local citizens.
The play explores the power of disguise, both for good and evil, and tackles serious matters such as stereotypes and xenophobia. It also celebrates the affirmative power of the imagination, as Charlie interacts with innkeeper Betty, the insecure and bullied Ellard and faded debutante Catherine, inspiring creative responses to an impending crisis. Charlie’s attempts to “learn English” result in hilarious exchanges with all of the characters, particularly Ellard, who comes to discover he has a gift for teaching.
Playwright Larry Shue wrote several successful plays before his unexpected death in a plane crash in 1985. “The Foreigner” enjoyed a long run Off-Broadway in its initial run (more than 700 performances) and was recently revived in New York with Matthew Broderick.
The cast includes Christopher Schuchert, Lee Scandinaro, Daniel Wightkin, Maggie Boone, Philippa Panayiotou, A.J. Long and John Watt. Gretchen Beany is the stage manager, Miriam Patterson is the costume designer, Scott Choffel is the lighting designer, and Patrick Rizzotti designed the scenery.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $7.50 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens and Allegheny employees. Although admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, they are asked to make reservations. For more information or to order tickets, contact the Playshop Theatre box office at 814-332-3414.