By HEATHER ELSON
Manchester University Media Relations Assistant
Manchester University Theatre Department presents Larry Shue’s The Foreigner, an American farce written during the early ’80s.
“Shue does an amazing job highlighting the often laughable pettiness of intolerance,” said MU’s theatre director, Kira Hawkins.
It features the talents of Kathy Hawkins, Joshua Dold, Clayton Marcum, Kenzie Hare, Jacob Ray, Chris McAleavey and Adam Dundas.
It takes place in a fishing lodge-bed and breakfast in rural Georgia owned by Betty Meeks (Kathy Hawkins). At the start of the show, we meet Staff Sgt. Froggy LeSueur (Dold) and Charlie Baker (Marcum), who have just arrived from England. Froggy is dropping Charlie off to stay at the lodge while he runs an explosives training session for the U.S. Army.
Charlie’s wife is ill in the hospital and he feels he should be with her. He is a nervous creature and terrified of making conversation.
Froggy fixes the situation by telling Betty that Charlie can’t speak or understand a word of English – he’s a foreigner. Charlie protests at first, but throughout the play he hears things from Betty, Catherine Simms (Hare), Ellard Simms (Ray) and Rev. David Marshall Lee (McAleavey) that trap him into silence.
When the intolerant Owen Musser (Dundas) comes on the scene, we start to get an idea of what it’s sometimes like to be an outsider in a predominantly prejudiced society.
“I hope our audiences will leave with a renewed sense of openness and tolerance for people who might seem different from them,” Kira Hawkins said. “I hope they (audience) leave with sore sides from laughing so much!”
The show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday through Monday, April 11 through 13, at Cordier Auditorium on the North Manchester campus. Tickets are free for students and $7 for the general public.