Drawing Room Comedy The Constant Wife from Olney Theatre Center
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The last date listed for The Constant Wife was Sunday March 11, 2007 / 7:30pm.
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Helen Hayes and Barrymore Award-winning writer-director Aaron Posner (The Chosen) mounts an encore performance of his latest play at the always-innovative Woolly Mammoth Theatre after its runaway success last summer. Helmed by the company's artistic director Howard Shalwitz, this admittedly loose and frequently irreverent adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull follows a famous actress whose son, an aspiring theater director, wants make a name for himself on his own. But when his muse, the lovely Nina, falls for his mother's lover, all kinds of romantic and artistic disappointment ensue. Posner turns the original play's famous subtext into scenes and songs, calling Stupid F***ing Bird "a rough-and-tumble meta-theatrical mash-up." Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
“Somerset Maugham’s _The Constant Wife _is a comedic bonbon,” says Artistic Director Jim Petosa, “A period comedy of manners that manages to combine a gentle version of George Bernard Shaw’s social provocations with Oscar Wilde’s penchant for language that cannot help but delight.”__
Stage Director John Going (Lend Me A Tenor, The Heiress, and Morning’s at Seven) explains, “Maugham is a wonderful storyteller. His dialogue is fabulous, genuinely clever and witty. Audiences will enjoy looking into a world of people who are privileged, rich, well dressed, and more sophisticated than us.”
Constance Middleton is a calm, intelligent, and self-possessed wife of a successful London doctor, and she has decided to turn the other cheek when it comes to her husband’s infidelity. When confronted by friends who are horrified by the trespass, she shocks them with her unsentimental perspective: the value in the marriage is not necessarily related to the romantic or sexual content of the relationship. But, she does decide to take action and establishes her own economic independence (which she considers the only real independence). After a year of successful employment, she pays her husband for room and board, and goes off on a romantic Italian vacation with a longtime admirer.
“Constance’s actions,” remarks Going, “have nothing to do with revenge; she’s not silly or petty. I think Maugham’s intention is to show this woman with a sensible viewpoint, the viewpoint of equality for men and women, financially and sexually.” The inequalities of men and women pointed out by Maugham, are still very relevant. “Today, we are used to women being financially secure, even though we are not completely there yet…but sexually, we still have a ways to go. As Maugham would support, what is good for the gander should be good for the goose.”
About the Ticket Supplier: Olney Theatre CenterLocated just north of Washington, D.C. in arts-rich Montgomery County, Maryland, Olney Theatre Center for the Arts offers a diverse array of professional productions year-round that enrich, nurture and challenge a broad range of artists, audiences and students. One of two state theaters of Maryland, OTC is situated on 14 acres in the heart of the beautiful Washington-Baltimore-Frederick "triangle," within easy access of all three cities.
An award-winning regional theater, Olney Theatre Center operates under an Actors' Equity Association Council of Stock Theaters (COST) contract, one of only three theaters in the country to operate under such a contract.
In addition to its mainstage season, which emphasizes 20th-century American classics, new works, area premieres, reinterpretations of classics and musical theater, OTC offers a wide range of programs and affiliations including: National Players, America's longest running classical touring company (since 1949), which performs for high school and college audiences in over 25 states; Potomac Theatre Project, which offers experimental and alternative plays that explore provocative and challenging human situations, ideas and visions; special school performances of mainstage shows; a free Summer Shakespeare Festival; and post-show discussions.