Furman University Theatre will present The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter Sept. 28-Oct. 1 and Oct. 6-8 at 8 p.m., with matinee showings Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. All performances take place in The Playhouse on campus.
Directed by Furman Theatre Professor Rhett Bryson, the production is open to the public. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, $12 for Furman faculty/staff, and $10 for students. The play is intended for mature audiences.
In Pinter’s frightening play first performed in 1958, Stanley Webber is guest of honor at his own non-birthday party. He is cajoled into playing a bewildering game of blind man’s bluff and is humiliated throughout the “party,” which turns his carefully chosen place of respite into a trap.
Stanley knows his landlords, Meg and Petey, and local female friend Lulu. But who are the intimidating strangers who arrive at the seaside cottage, and what do they want with Stanley? Throughout the play, Pinter asks the audience to grapple with questions of identity, conformity, isolation and unspeakable terrors.
Says Charles Spencer of The Telegraph, “What’s remarkable is how Pinter’s voice and stylistic tics – the non-sequiturs, the banter that turns into bullying, the edgy jokes and disconcerting pauses – arrived fully formed in his first full-length work.”
Petey is played by Furman freshman Alan Smith. Senior Claire Ruble plays Meg. Derek Leonard, a sophomore, plays the role of Stanley, and seniors Kenzie Wynne and Sal Donzella play Lulu and Goldberg, respectively. Furman graduate Sam Nelson (’16) assumes the role of McCann.
In addition to directing the play, Rhett Bryson designs sound. Senior Lauren Girouard is lighting and scenic designer. Dakota Adams designs costumes. Jayce Tromsness serves as dialect coach.
For ticket information and reservations, call the Theatre Box Office at (864) 294-2125. The Box Office opens Monday, Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. Season tickets are available through Oct. 9 and may be purchased online.