VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University Theatre and Dance will offer audiences laugh after laugh when it presents the romantic farce “House of Desires” Nov. 8-13 in Sawyer Theatre. Tickets are on sale now.
Written in 1683 by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a Mexican nun and playwright, and adapted by Catherine Boyle, “House of Desires” is a critically acclaimed comedy full of romantic entanglements, mistaken identity, and duels in the dark.
“One of the few plays of the era to be written by a woman, ‘House of Desires’ tells the hilarious story of a scheming brother and sister who are entangled in a complicated web of love with four others, all hiding away under one roof,” according to a description from VSU Theatre and Dance. “Strict rules of honor and propriety mean that they are not allowed to be alone with one another, so, with the help of a few wily servants, mayhem ensues as all six lovers struggle to steal moments with each other, and we try to work out who really loves whom.”
Dr. Melissa Rynn Porterfield, director of “House of Desires” and lecturer of directing and theatre history at VSU, said the play is still relevant even centuries after its creation.
“This play was written as a kind of social parody in its day, dealing with, among many issues, the agency — or lack thereof — that women have in society,” she said. “So, bringing the often under-produced work of a classical woman playwright to the stage has been a special event in and of itself. And like their renaissance counterparts, women in contemporary society continue to find themselves underestimated and removed from making decisions about their own lives.
“But beyond that, this play remains a really funny romantic comedy, full of slapstick bits, over-the-top characters, and some exciting sword fights and stage combat. Our hope is that our audiences see the humor that Sor Juana included in her play as something that remains funny to this day.”
Jackson Whipple, who appears in the play, said “House of Desires” is a classic guessing game.
“It is like an overly dramatic soap opera, full of love, deceit, and a hilarious cross-dressing scene,” said Whipple, a theatre performance major from Melbourne, Florida, who expects to graduate in Spring 2019. “I am looking forward to bringing this hilarious show to life. If you just want to laugh and have a good time, this show is the perfect show for you.”
“House of Desires” is presented in two acts with an intermission. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, through Saturday, Nov. 10; at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11; and at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, and Tuesday, Nov. 13.
As part of VSU’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, on select evenings — Nov. 8, 10, and 13 — there will be free pre-show activities from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in the Lab Theatre, located on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building. The events, hosted by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, will feature Hispanic-themed food, games, and entertainment and are open to everyone.
Individual tickets for “House of Desires” are $17 for adults, $14 for senior citizens, $11 for children and non-VSU students, and free for all VSU students with a valid 1Card. Tickets for groups of 10 or more people at a single performance are $10 per person.
Tickets may be reserved by calling the VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office at (229) 333-5973 between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday or by visiting http://www.ticketreturn.com 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Oak Street and Brookwood Drive, and may be reached by calling (229) 333-5973. Sawyer Theatre is located on the first floor.
VSU Theatre and Dance is committed to fostering excellence within its theatre performance, theatre production, theatre management, musical theatre, and dance programs while also contributing to the lifelong learning and cultural development of the citizens of South Georgia, North Florida, and beyond. Its 2018-2019 performance season continues throughout the spring semester with “Tortoise vs. Hare 2: This Time It’s Personal,” “Intimate Apparel,” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”