The Philadelphia Story
By Phillip Barry
Southern Oregon University Production
Director: Scott Kaiser
Scenic Designer: Sean O’Skea
Costume Designer: Simone Kujak
Lighting Designer: Chris Sackett
Since its Broadway premiere in March of 1939, The Philadelphia Story has received rave reviews as an elegant, sophisticated American comedy, featuring charming, well-to-do characters engaging in witty repartee as they prepare for the second marriage of young socialite Tracy Lord to the up-and-coming industrialist George Kittredge at the Lord estate in the country outside Philadelphia.
Yet, in spite of the play’s sterling reputation as a first-class ‘comedy of manners,’ The Philadelphia Story offers so much more than the pleasure of watching the privileged class enjoying their privileges.
For, beneath the highly-polished surface of the play, playwright Philip Barry is busy examining the trials of marriage, the bitterness of divorce, the roots of infidelity, the poison of prejudice, the struggles of women in male-governed society, the effects of alcoholism on intimate relationships, the battle for privacy in a mass media world, the sway of money over character, the difference between class and integrity, the virtue of forgiveness, and, most of all, the nature of true love.
All this, served in a sparkling glass of champagne, rather than a shot of whiskey.