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She Stoops to Conquer
By Oliver Goldsmith

Adapted and Directed by
Steven Young

Redbud Theatre
February 24-27

Director’s Notes
We’ve adapted She Stoops to Conquer not only to streamline Mr. Goldsmith’s work, but to replicate a dramatic event worthy of the Georgian era. We have added a prologue, an interval-entertainment, an epilogue, and, as was custom for a comedy of the day, a dance at curtain call.

Plays of this period have a self awareness inherent to the acting style and many of the characters are recognizable types. We are conscious of being in a dramatic setting and no attempt is made to hide it, lending itself to a Moulin Rouge sort of theatricality that the company has embraced.

She Stoops, while charming and somewhat innocent, carries an interesting almost cynical edge. All the characters practice a certain level of deception for gain. With the exception of Mrs. Hardcastle, they forgo any form of retribution. Like many plays of the Georgian period, love and money are predominant and the lack or burden of it dominates the character’s lives.

I found an astounding similarity to the 1980’s ‘ME’ generation and the late 1700’s. Reaganomics created an era of people concerned with jean brand placement, dancing to the strains of Material Girl and the unabashed pursuit of wealth over love. Even rock stars of the 80’s borrowed the eighteenth century costume silhouette. Madonna made Vogue a verb and Prince wrongly predicted the outcome of 1999.

Goldsmith’s work still manages to delight and satirize notions of class and amore. We hope you enjoy this funny, sexy, romantic romp into the not so distant past.

Steven Young
Director and Adapter


 

DENTON — The Texas Woman’s University drama program puts a new twist on a classic tale with its production of She Stoops to Conquer.

First produced in London in 1773, the Oliver Goldsmith comedy remains one of the few 18th century plays to regularly be performed today. Rather than take a classic approach to the tale of misunderstandings, mistaken identities and secret love affairs, TWU’s production, directed by drama assistant professor Steven Young, marries elements from the 1770s and the 1980s.

To emphasize the play’s theme of love and money and how the two ideas were inextricably linked in 18th century London, the TWU production will pull inspiration from the era of Reaganomics — a decade that, to some, celebrated the rise of social and economic status and re-examined what it meant to “marry well.” The costumes will blend classic 18th century silhouettes with modern-day fabrics and details reminiscent of the 1980s. The music also will blend the two eras.


 

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