Students Bring "Rumors" to George School's Stage
Friday, October 31, 2008
George School’s Theater Performance and Stagecraft classes will present Neil Simon’s Rumors—a farcical play about an ill-fated dinner party—on Friday, November 7, and Saturday, November 8, 2008, at 8:00 p.m. in Walton Center Auditorium. The show is free and open to the public.
The play takes place at the home of the deputy mayor of New York City and his wife, who have invited four couples to a celebration of their tenth wedding anniversary. Chris Gorman and her husband, Ken—the first guests to arrive—find the hostess absent and the host suffering upstairs with a flesh wound from a bullet. Fearing a scandal, Ken and Chris attempt to conceal their discovery when the other couples arrive, and soon all of the guests are entangled in a web of rumors and misunderstandings.
George School junior Emma Bardes of New York, New York, plays the role of Chris Gorman. Emma described Chris as a character who is "very, very nervous," as well as "clumsy and forgetful," and observed that all of the characters in Rumors "are on the verge of a nervous breakdown and show it in different ways." For Emma, that meant learning to fall onstage to illustrate Chris’s struggle as she attempts both to hide the truth about the host and hostess, and to maneuver herself in stylish high heels.
George School senior Miranda Tarlini of New Hope, Pennsylvania, plays the role of Claire Ganz, half of the second couple to arrive for the party. Miranda said of her character, "She is somewhat self centered or vain, and she is certainly very sarcastic." Miranda learned that it can be challenging to portray a character who seems superficial, especially in a comedy. She commented, "As an actor, I have to make decisions about Claire based on what I think the audience will find funny, while at the same time convincing myself that, as Claire, I would not find myself funny." Advice from the play’s director, George School theater teacher Maureen West, helped Miranda to stay focused. "Maureen reminds us time and time again not to judge our characters," Miranda said. "If you judge a person, you can’t be that person."
As with all mainstage productions at George School, direction is by theater teacher Maureen West, costumes are by Liz Lukac, and sets are designed by Scott Hoskins and built by his Stagecraft classes.