The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi.
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Theatre’s spring season opens with Thornton Wilder’s “The Matchmaker” with scheduled show times Feb. 26, 27 and Mar. 8, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee Feb. 28 at 2 p.m.
All performances will be held in Tatum Theatre on Southern Miss’ Hattiesburg campus. Reserved seats are $14 each for general public, $10 each for faculty, staff, seniors and military, and $8 for students. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 1.800.844.TICK.
Prior to the performance on Mar. 9, a pre-performance talk will be held in Woods Theatre and presented by Dr. Maureen Ryan, interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters and professor of English. The talk is free and open to the public.
Professor Louis Rackoff is the director of “The Matchmaker” and believes the play asks a very important question--“can a person have a happy life without at least a little bit of adventure?”
Thornton Wilder’s much-celebrated farce brims with slapstick, mistaken identities and foiled secret rendezvous. Horace Vandergelder, a widower and owner of the Feed Store hires the marriage broker Dolly Levi to find him a wife, but she instead sets her sights directly on him. This swift farce runs headlong into hilarious complications.
“Thornton Wilder is one of the great American playwrights, and ‘The Matchmaker’ is both very funny and quite poignant,” Rackoff said. “The setting is New York, 1900; the feeling of a time of relative innocence, and the overall style of Americana, is important in the production.”
So is Wilder’s use of direct address of the audience, which allows them to feel directly engaged by the characters in a freewheeling style. “I’m anticipating that audiences will be thrilled with the overall event of “The Matchmaker;” a theatre event full of fun with very charming and touching characters.” Rackoff added.