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Fall theater season continues with Shaw's play 'Misalliance'

Oct. 13, 2000

By NAT NEALEIGH

Reporter

The Baylor theater department will present George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

Featuring a nine-member cast of Baylor theatre students, Misalliance is the department's second show this season following last month's Galileo.

Misalliance centers around an English family, Mr. and Mrs. Tarleton (Rhett Henckel, Erika Saunders) and their grown children, Hypatia and Johnny (Mindy Madison and Justin Martindale), who come to visit. After Lord Summerhays (John Forkner) and his son Bentley (Beau Bogner) also arrive, the group settles into the conservatory for the weekend.

'When everybody arrives in the second act, an unexpected plane crashes into the house, and there are two new visitors who arrive,' Evans said. 'That's kind of where we want to leave the drop-off point so that the rest is for people to see.'

Evans said the title of Shaw's play is based on the awkward pairings of characters and themes that become apparent.

'It's showing the misalliance of society, the misalliance of family, and how we're trying to form an alliance and get back on track with everything that we're doing,' Evans said.

Madison, an Irving senior, described her role as the Tarleton's daughter.

'My character, Hypatia, is engaged to a member of the aristocracy, and she's doing it more because she's supposed to than because she's in love with him,' Madison said.

'From this, several things happen throughout the show that begin to change the perspectives of each of the characters about where they are in their lives and why they feel the way they do about where they ar,' she said.

Even though many actors feel that it is hard to perform in Shaw's plays, Madison said she sees a benefit to them.

'The difficulty with Shaw is the text, but it's also relieving in a way,' Madison said. 'There is a lot of text, it's a lot to memorize and a lot to sift through to figure out what each character is saying and why they're saying it and where they're coming from. But on the opposite end of that, it makes it so much easier because all of the emotion, everything that an actor would look for, is already in the text,' she said.

'It's a little bit relieving in that way to know that if you just stay true to what you're saying, the audience is going to be able to follow and understand and feel all of those things.'

After more than five weeks of rehearsals, Misalliance opened Thursday night and will appear on stage eight more times in the next 10 days.

'It's a big deal for a theater department like us to attempt Shaw because Shaw is so historical and is such a great playwright,' Evans said. 'We've really taken on quite a bit, and I think that they've done a wonderful job with it.'

Misalliance will run Oct. 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 22 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets for reserved seats are $8 and can be purchased through the box office by calling 710-1865.