A rich family, a young couple, and a New York backdrop set the stage for this fall’s play, The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue. Written by David Grimm and based on a satire by Moliere, this production pokes fun at pretense and elitism.
Described as a ‘screwball comedy,’ this play had Director Chrystal Helmcke laughing from the first page.
“When I picked up the play I was in Ashland for a trip and literally bought it off the shelf because it looked like the idea behind it kind of fit our niche at Northwest,” she said. “I was laughing out loud”
Cole Johnson, marketing intern and member of the improv team, doesn’t believe this play is quite like the other classics that have been performed at Northwest University.
“There has been this attitude that plays are boring and full of Elizabethan English. This is not one of those plays. I guarantee that you’ll be laughing,” says Johnson. “If you need a break from the stress of this time in the semester, taking a few hours to see this play will certainly help.”
Because the nature of productions at Northwest University is to appeal to students, it is necessary for the campus community to become involved and invested in the success of the play. Helmcke believes students have done just that.
“Overall, I feel like the reception has been very positive to the productions and that is why we keep going,” she said.
Attendance is only one facet of campus support. Because the cast is made up of current students with full schedules, complications could easily arise. But Helmcke had no complaints about her cast.
“The group is great. I have a real mix of veterans and several freshmen. There is a lot of great chemistry going on onstage. It has been fun to watch them grow as actors, coming from where we started to where we are now.”
Johnson, whose varied experience both in marketing for the play and in acting alongside some members during improv, shared more about this year’s cast.
“This cast is really good at working with each other. You know when you hang out with a friend who knows you so well that they sort of know what joke you’re about to tell, so they set you up for it? That’s what this cast is like.”
Helmcke encourages students to come out and see the final product of all of their hard work.
“Come for an evening of outrageous characters and witty banter. Come and have a laugh.”
by Micaela Berry