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The Dinner Party opens Thursday at St. Andrews

Laurinburg, N.C. – The St. Andrews Presbyterian College Theatre Department cordially invites the public to enjoy an evening at The Dinner Party directed by Chris Wood.

The play written by Neil Simon opens Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Morris Morgan Theatre of the James L. Morgan Liberal Arts Building on the St. Andrews Presbyterian College campus. Additional performances will take place Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. with a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for non-students.

“It’s a dinner party involving three divorced couples,” said Joanna Hipp, who portrays Mariette Leviuex. “It’s not serious. It’s funny with sad and serious written in.”

Hipp, a senior, did theatre before college but has only appeared in one previous St. Andrews production. She describes her character as “a woman in her late 30s who is a successful writer. She is divorced from the man who taught her everything.”

Portraying Mariette’s ex-husband Claude Pichon is St. Andrews theatre veteran Phil Ratchford.

“Claude is a writer and very caught up in the classics,” Ratchford said. “He’s very intelligent, kind of sarcastic and rude.”

While the six cast members have various levels of theatre experience, this was their first time working exclusively with director Chris Wood.

“It’s been a fun challenge,” said Ratchford. “I’ve worked with (Theatre Professor) Mark Mannette on three productions and it was good to see different aspects brought to light by Chris.”

Hipp agreed, “It was unique as none of us knew what to expect. He put a different spin on things and it helped us to grow in relation to our theatre experience.”

With such a small cast, there were different challenges than have existed with the recent St. Andrews productions such as Macbeth, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Three Penny Opera.

“It makes you more dependent on the other cast members,” Ratchford said. “You get close and have to play off each other, especially with this play that depends on comedic timing.”

Hipp adds, “We all had to work together. We got together three nights a week and it was hard if not everyone was there. All six of us are active on campus but we managed to find a time to make it work.”

To enjoy the “sarcastic dialog” and “awkward social interactions of people who cannot return to a common ground,” come to see The Dinner Party.

About St. Andrews Presbyterian College

An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.

On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.


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St. Andrews University
A branch of Webber International University
1700 Dogwood Mile
Laurinburg, NC 28352
(910) 277-5555 • (800) 763-0198 • (fax) 910-277-5020
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