Theatre Productions

Spring 2016

The Best of Everything

March 3–5
Nightly at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m.
Davis Black Box
Tickets: $10 adults; $7 students
Purchase tickets online or at the door.

Based on Rona Jaffe’s 1958 novel of the same title, The Best of Everything (adapted for stage by Julie Kramer) explores the tensions between women’s expanding interests and ambitions and their less expansive options. The play’s young secretaries want thrilling careers and exciting adventures—and husbands and children and lingerie and casserole recipes. “Today we call that ‘having it all,’” Principia Professor Chrissy Steele, the play’s director, points out.

Indeed, as Jaffe noted in 2005, “The Best of Everything is as relevant today as it was then. [It’s] a sociological document, but it’s also about change: how your dreams change, how your life changes, how each thing that happens to you changes something else.”

Students in the cast kicked off rehearsal with a unique professional opportunity, returning to campus a week before the semester began for an intensive workshop with Dawn Arnold, Artistic Director of Moving Dock Theatre Company in Chicago and a Certified Michael Chekhov Teaching Artist. “They explored ideas, images, and relationships from the novel in order to bring to life the stories of these women and the men who seem to hold the power in their world,” Steele says. “This is very much an ensemble production with the actors creating not just the characters, but the world of the story through movement.” 

Supporting the ensemble’s work are the costume and scenic design, by Leah McFall, and the music and soundscape, by Weston Williams—all of which, Steele explains, “surround the audience in the fast-paced, sexualized ambition of 1950s corporate New York City.”


Fall 2016

Guys and Dolls

November 19–21
Nightly at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m.
Cox Auditorium
Tickets: $10 adults, $7 students
Purchase tickets online or at the door.

Set against the colorful backdrop of author Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City of the 1940s, Guys and Dolls is considered one of the finest musicals ever written.

In the best tradition of the liberal arts, Principia College’s production will include over 40 students from more than a dozen majors. “We’re very excited to present this amazing production,” says theatre professor and production director John O’Hagan. “When first listening to the music, I kept seeing the classic Bugs Bunny-type images and the various hijinks of all the Looney Tunes characters in my mind. We’ve let that inform the design and direction of the show, and the cast’s energy is bright and palpable!”

The show takes the audience from the fabled lights of Broadway to the cafés of Cuba—and even into the city sewers. In the end, the lively cast of characters reveals that when love is involved, all bets are off!