'The Dining Room' Features Multiple Characters
“The Dining Room” is a play that exposes audiences to a type of theatre that deviates from the norm.
“’The Dining Room’ doesn’t follow one group of characters through a
single period, nor does it follow traditional, linear theatre
conventions,” says Ashley Sawatzke. “It’s a mosaic of different,
overlapping characters, time periods and stories.”
Alma College Theatre presents A.R. Gurney’s “The Dining Room” at 8 p.m.
Thursday, April 3 through Saturday, April 5th and 3 p.m. Sunday, April
6th in the Strosacker Theatre, Remick Heritage Center. Tickets are $10
for adults and free for Alma College staff, students, and youth 18 and
under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
“The Dining Room” is part drama, part satire, and part comedy, says Sawatzke, director of the production.
The play takes place on a single set, a dining room, representing a
host of dining rooms belonging to more than 50 characters from the
1930s to present day. The action comprises a collection of
inter-related scenes that range from the comic to the serious. Each
sketch introduces a different set of people and events, from little
boys to stern grandfathers, from giggling teenage girls to Irish
The resounding theme of “The Dining Room” is family, says Sawatzke.
“The play looks at how families are drawn together and how they fall apart,” Sawatzke says. “It asks us whether family units have evolved in a positive or negative way but doesn’t necessarily provide any answer.”
“The Dining Room” opened in New York in 1982 and earned Gurney a Pulitzer Prize nomination.
“Gurney is very much a playwright who writes open-ended plays with characters that are interesting for actors and audiences alike,” says Sawatzke.
Eight Alma College student actors—four men and four women—play the 50-plus characters in this quick-paced play, which is two more people than the six called for in Gurney’s original casting.
Posted: Thu, March 27th, 2008 at 1:51PM