‘The Heiress’ opens Feb. 20

Theater Wesleyan has announced the coming of their next production “The Heiress” by Ruth and Augustus Goetz.

This play directed by associate professor of theatre Jeanne Everton and will feature an all-star cast of Wesleyan students. Opening night will be Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

This play is a longtime classic in the theatre world. The work debuted in 1947 on Broadway. Originally based on the 1880 novel “Washington Square” by Henry James in 1949 inspired a motion picture. The story is a drama focused on the daughter of a wealthy man and her quest to find love and a man worthy of her father’s approval.

In the summation of the show’s plot, the theatre department gave several details about the upcoming production.

“Set in the lavish household of a wealthy and widely respected New York City physician, the story centers around the courtship of the doctor’s eligible daughter, Catherine Sloper,” the summation said. “When her father suspects the man she loves in an opportunistic fortune hunter, he says, ‘Catherine, it is time for you to realize the truth. A hundred girls are prettier than you, and a thousand more clever, but you have one virtue that outshines them all: your money.’

“With the help of her aunt, Catherine attempts to win the man she believes will save her from the life she shares with her demanding father,” the summation said. “She never suspects, however, the series of consequences her actions will yield.”

Kaila Saffle a sophomore theatre major who plays the character Marian Almond; and Logan Rodgers, also a sophomore theatre major who plays the character Morris Townsend, both enjoy working on the production and commented about how insightful the story is.

“It has been a fun experience exploring the Pre-Civil War era,” Saffle said, “as well as telling the story of a young woman’s struggle for independence and self-discovery.”

Rodgers pointed out how a story over 60 years old can still be familiar in the 21st century.

“It’s interesting to note, no matter how dissimilar the past can seem when compared to the present patterns in human behavior never seem to waiver from one generation to the next,” he said.

Critics have noted that this is a stage work with plenty of surprises and more than enough drama and romance. The cast includes: junior Laura Hemingway (Maria); sophomore Chris Willmer (Dr. Austin Sloper); junior Michelle Tennyson (Lavinia Penniman); senior Patricia Howard (Catherine Sloper); sophomore Krystalyn Lasater (Elizabeth Almond); freshman Colton Mallory (Arthur Townsend); senior Mariana Tiliano (Mrs. Montgomery); Saffle and Rogers.

The production team tasked with making the full experience from Theatre Wesleyan includes: junior Jacob Sanchez (assistant director and assistant publicity design), junior Jeremy Beck (stage manager),freshman Tyler Guse (assistant stage manager), theatre faculty Brynn Bristol (scenic design), sophomore Chris Willmer (assistant scenic design), associate professor Bryan Stevenson (properties design), sophomore Kystalyn Lasater (assistant properties design), junior Jimbob Brown (lighting design), Mallory (assistant  lighting design), sophomore Heather O’Donnell (sound design), senior Brittany Evans (costume design), Saffle (assistant costumes design), and theatre staff  Madalyn Russell (publicity design).

After the campus debut Feb. 20, the run will continue Feb.21-22 at 7:30 p.m. and then Feb. 27-28. The last week of shows will be March 1 at 7:30 p.m. and March 2 at 2 p.m. Feb. 11 is the first ticket sales’ date for opening night with Theatre Wesleyan box office hours are from 1-5 p.m. weekdays.

The phone number is (817) 531-4211, and the Show will be at the Thad Smotherman Theatre. Tickets for students with ID for $4, faculty/staff prices are $6, and general admission will cost $8.00.