School for Scandal
by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
April 6 - 15, 2001
Scenic Design by
Costume Design by
Lighting Design by
Music Director & Arrangements by
Vocal & Accent Coach
* Member of The Anthony Aston Players
Costume Shop Supervisor
Audience Services Coordinator Shanda Smith
Assistant Stage Managers
Costume Shop Assistants
Assistant Lighting Designer
Box Office & Front of House Staff Alannah DiBona, Alexandra LeCrone, Everett Long, Jonathan Loudin, Lutrell Williams
Front of House Crew
Theatre Office Assistants
* Member of The Anthony Aston
Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s career as a playwright was like a comet in the night sky – short-lived but brilliant. He was 24 in 1775 when his first masterpiece The Rivals opened at Covent Garden Theatre, London. His glittering comic satire of society’s fondness for malicious gossip, School For Scandal, literally brought down the house in 1777 but by 1779 he had turned his prodigious talent to Parliament and devoted the rest of his life to politics.
It makes no difference what century one lives in, the conflict between honesty and hypocrisy, appearances and reality and the human urge to gossip about it all is timely. Sheridan was no stranger to gossip. By the time he was 23, the Irish born son of an actor had secretly married the beautiful and famous singer Elizabeth Linley (daughter of composer Thomas Linley whose music is used throughout this production) and had fought two duels for her sake. He had become a romantic hero and his exploits were related with relish in the newspapers and argued about at dinner tables by such luminaries as Samuel Johnson, James Boswell and Joshua Reynolds.
Oons, madam, if you had been born to this,I
shouldn’t wonder at your talking thus.But you forget what your situation
was when I married you.
Despite the fact that he was not born into society, Sheridan’s great charm and wit secured him a very busy social life among the rich and the powerful. Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire was the queen of high society and Sheridan was a favorite with the Devonshire set. Sheridan’s genius is never more evident than in School For Scandal where he gleefully spears the dissipated scandal ridden world he lives in and makes its inhabitants laugh rather than skewer him.
We don’t have to look very far to discover our own insatiable appetites for gossip and scandal…we have Hollywood and the White House. We all experience pleasure when hypocrisy is revealed and a true heart triumphs, and hopefully we all love to laugh. School For Scandal is one of the greatest comedies of English drama and it is as sharp, funny and topical today as it was in the 18th century.