November 6, 2014

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Theatre and Dance Presents "She Stoops to Conquer" Nov. 6-12

VALDOSTA — The Theatre and Dance Area at Valdosta State University will present “She Stoops to Conquer,” the final production of the semester, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, through Saturday, Nov. 8; 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, through Wednesday, Nov. 12. Tickets are on sale now.

A comedy by Irish author Oliver Goldsmith, “She Stoops to Conquer,” initially titled “Mistakes of a Night,” as the action takes place over the course of a single night, is said to be one of a few plays from the 18th century to have an enduring appeal; it is reportedly a favorite for study by English literature and theatre classes in Great Britain and the United States. It was first performed in London in 1773 and has enjoyed a number of film and television adaptations over the years.

“Mr. Hastings has gone to the country with his best friend to meet Kate, his future wife, whom he has never met,” according to a synopsis provided by VSU Theatre and Dance. “Because of a practical joke, the young men eventually arrive in the ancient Hardcastle house thinking it is a country inn. They treat the future father-in-law as if he were the innkeeper and demand much from the willing but bewildered hosts. Kate, the well-bred daughter of Mr. Hardcastle, discovering the delusion the two young men are under, stoops to conquer her dashing fiancé by pretending to be a kitchen maid and allowing him to court her without the pretensions of polite and artificial society. The play is filled with the exuberant hijinks of Tony Lumpkin, a boisterous but lovable prankster who causes much of the joyous mayhem in the play.  Mrs. Hardcastle's ridiculous aspirations to high society deliciously contrast with her husband's plain, dowdy ways.

“Against this wacky background of improbable characters, a pair of young lovers somehow meet and journey to happiness.”

Jacque Wheeler, director, professor, and chairwoman of the university’s Theatre and Dance Area, noted that “She Stoops to Conquer” features elements of romantic comedy, in the tradition of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” where young people fall in love and do foolish things, as well as farce, in the tradition of the Commedia dell’Arte, where characters perform broad physical action and do foolish things. She said that it is also a comedy of manners, as a precursor to Oscar Wilde’s “Importance of Being Ernest,” where people try to imitate the manners of the upper class and do foolish things.

“Much of the action of the play hinges on the classical comic device of mistaken identity,” she added. “The true identity of several characters is not revealed initially and prompts many of the ‘mistakes of the night.’”

Individual tickets for “She Stoops to Conquer” are available and cost $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for children and non-VSU students; they are free for all VSU students with a valid university identification card. Tickets for groups of 10 or more people at a single performance are $9 per person.

Season memberships, which include eight admissions to be used as desired by the member throughout the 2014-2015 VSU Theatre and Dance season, are $72 for the general public and $64 for university faculty and staff; they will be available through Thursday, Nov. 13. Patronages are welcome at a variety of levels, from a low of $150 to a high of $1,000 or more, and benefit student scholarships.

Tickets may be reserved by calling the VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office at (229) 333-5973 between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Cash and check payments only will be accepted this season; there will be no online sales or credit card transactions until further notice.

Sawyer Theatre is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building at the corner of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

Contact Jacque Wheeler at (229) 333-5820 or to learn more.

On the Web:

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The Theatre and Dance Area’s exciting season of productions meets the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit to learn more.