Need To Laugh?
April 2, 2003
Springfield College To Present 'The Foreigner'
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 2, 2003 -- “People are in need of a good laugh,” according to Springfield College Theatre Director Martin Shell, who chose Larry Shue’s uproariously funny play, “The Foreigner,” for the college’s spring production April 10 through 12 at 8 p.m., and April 13 at 2 p.m., in the Black Box Theatre on the college campus.
“What happens when a pathologically shy foreigner visits a rural Georgia bed and breakfast and overhears more than he should from two sinister characters, a debutante and her half-wit brother, and Betty, the lodge owner,” Shell asked rhetorically in describing the play. “The result is a wildly funny climax in which things go hysterically awry for the ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good guys’ emerge triumphant,” he said.
In the play, the character Charlie Baker is a socially phobic Englishman marooned by his friend Froggy in a Georgia fishing lodge. To avoid interactions with the other guests, Charlie pretends to be a foreigner who does not speak English. Local people assume that Charlie does not comprehend them and speak freely in front of him. The unintended consequences are hilarious and lead Charlie to uncover a scheme that puts him and fellow guests in danger.
The “Foreigner” won two Obie awards, as well as Outer Critics Circle awards for Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production in 1985. Shell said that the “fun American comic play, set in the 1980s” is ideal for a student production. “It’s an ensemble piece, which gives actors a chance to learn by carrying the play together to make it come alive,” he said.
The production at Springfield College is part of the William Simpson Fine Arts Series of visual and performing arts events, which are open to the public free of charge. More information is available from Shell at (413) 748-3443.