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KSC Students Perform Wilder's The Matchmaker

(from left) Jaime Pearsons, Kade Hill, Allison Relihan, and Ethan Selby (under the table)
(from left) Jaime Pearsons, Kade Hill, Allison Relihan, and Ethan Selby (under the table)

KEENE, N.H., 10/31/08 - Keene State College students from the Theatre and Dance Department will present The Matchmaker, the engaging and comical play by Thornton Wilder about the aspirations of the young and the young at heart.

Directed by PeggyRae Johnson, the play will be staged Wednesday through Saturday, November 19 - 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. Admission is $10 for the general public and $5 for KSC students, senior citizens, and youth ages 17 and younger. Tickets are available through the box office at 603-358-2168 or online at

Best known for his play Our Town, Wilder turns to Moliere for his inspiration for this fast-paced farce. Set in 1880 during stressful economic times, the storyline is a constant banter between the materialistic versus humanistic views of successful Yonkers merchant Horace Vandergelder and the meddlesome matchmaker Dolly Levi upon Mr. Vandergelder’s decision to take a wife. The plot gets wildly complicated when Vandergelder’s clerks, Cornelius and Barnaby, and two young women in a hat shop inadvertently involve themselves in this rollicking quest for adventure.

The collaborative art of theatre will be portrayed in the old-time playhouse setting showcasing several community members: Archie Richards, Jr., will provide the live piano music; two local barbershop quartets, Heart’s Accord and Junction 135, will entertain between scenes; and the dance duo, Big Blue Eyes, will perform soft-shoe. Additionally, Keene resident Catherine Behrens is playing the part of Miss Van Huysen.

In addition to the fourteen KSC students in the cast, Liz Panneton (‘09) of Merrimack, N.H., is lighting designer, and Gillian Clarke-Moon (‘09) of Keene, N.H., is stage manager. Several Theatre and Dance Department faculty members are involved in the production: Craig Lindsay is technical director, Mary Robarge is costume designer, and Jenny Fulton is set designer. Daniel Patterson, chair of the Theatre and Dance Department, is production manager and is making a cameo appearance as Joe, the Barber.

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