Members of the Snow College Theatre Department rehearse in advance of this week’s production of “The Rivals,” which has been adapted to a Wild West setting. Pictured are (L-R): Jessie Castleton, Hannah Romney, Thomas Dye and Christopher James. The production runs Nov. 8-11 at the Eccles Center.

‘Rivals’ face off in Snow Theater

comedy that places 18th-century

play in Wild West setting

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Nov. 9, 2017

 

EPHRAIM—This week, the Snow College Theatre Program began a production of a comedic reimagining of “The Rivals,” written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan in the late 1700s.

But in the theatrical remix Snow is presenting, playwrights Andrew Nogasky and Andrea Yassemedis’s transplant the setting to the Wild West, replacing powdered wigs for cowboy boots and moving from England to 1878 California.

“We wanted to make something relatable and exciting for the community,” Nogasky said, “to put up a traditional show that instantly communicates with the area. I think we succeeded. I think we found something hilarious. If you like comedies, westerns or musicals, you will love this one.”

Nogasky will direct the performances, which will take place in the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts on Snow College’s campus from Nov. 8-11, at 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

This not only marks the first performance of The Rivals, reportedly George Washington’s favorite play, at Snow College, but is the world premiere of this adaptation, written with the area in mind.

“It has been both an absolute joy and undertaking bringing new life to this old classic,” said Nogasky who originally worked on the show during his time spent in London. “The reimagined characters are so vivid, the balance between wit and silliness so fun, and the visuals are stunning. We may have moved it to ‘the Wild West’ but didn’t lose a bit of the opulence. It is a truly beautiful play. Candy for both the eyes and the ears.”

The new version and the original both focus on the plight of love. In the story, Lydia Languish, heiress to a fortune, may have read too many romance novels and now wants to marry a penniless corporal. She, however, doesn’t realize that he is the wealthy Jack Absolute scheming to get into her good graces.

With Lydia’s oppressive aunt, Mrs. Malaprop, disapproving of Lydia’s impoverished suitor and an outrageous cast of characters, love letters land in the wrong hands, lines are crossed and many uproarious mistakes are made.

For tickets, call the box office at 283-7478 anytime from noon-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Special discounts are available to all students.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.snow.edu/academics/fineart/theatre.