‘Wonder of the World’ Coming to SLU's Mainstage
By Kathryn Corbitt ’18
Set to perform beginning Nov. 8 is the Mainstage production, “Wonder of the World.” The play will take place in Gulick Theatre from Wednesday, Nov. 8, through Saturday, Nov. 11, at 8 p.m. each night.
Each year, the Department of Performance and Communication Arts puts on a production on the main stage in Gulick. For the first time in 10 years, this production will be a comedy. According to Jennifer Thomas, assistant professor of performance and communication arts and director of the production, comedy is one of the more "dangerous" genres to perform.
“Wonder of the World” was written by David Lindsay-Abaire in 2000 and was his second play after “Fuddy Meers.” Premiering at the Manhattan Theatre Club, “Wonder of the World” was directed by Christopher Ashley and starred actor Sarah Jessica Parker.
Thomas said the ultimate question of the play is “what brings you joy?” The tale of a woman, Cass, this play takes us to the most unsuspecting of places – from Niagara Falls, to a Greyhound bus, to a jar of peanut butter. “It’s a comedy,” Thomas said, “so everything is pretty wacky in terms of content.”
In the end, though, Thomas said this play does have some serious elements: “There's a beautiful message that comes through the comedy, as well, in terms of finding your own journey, being open to experiences and people you meet along the way,” she said. “We are taken along for the ride of one woman’s journey to the edge, and are exposed to every adventure and hardship she faces along the way.”
In terms of past performances, Thomas said comedy is one of the most challenging genres to perform. The cast has to perform the same play each night but has to respond to each different audience giving feedback. By the end of the production, Thomas said the entire audience will be surprised at one point or another.
“What are we laughing at: is it politically incorrect, uncomfortable or outside of social norms?” Thomas asked, explaining that comedy causes us to question our own laughter. “What gives us permission to laugh at one thing, and gasp at another?”
“It’s been an exploratory process,” says Nicole Hamilton ’19 of Castle Rock, Colorado, a member of the cast, who’s role is labeled as a manipulator.
The performances, which do contain adult language and themes, are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for admission. Tickets can be obtained either at the Gulick Box Office or reserved online at www.stlawu.edu/performance-and-communication-arts/get-tickets-here. The Gulick Box Office’s hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 to 10.
For more information, contact the Department of Performance and Communication Arts at 315-229-5166.
– Kelsey Mattison '18 contributed to this report