West Chester U.'s Department of Theatre & Dance Presents THE VISIT

The VisitWest Chester’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents THE VISIT by Swiss dramatist Friederich Dϋrrenmatt from February 27 – March 1, 2020. Performances are staged in the MainStage Theatre at the E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, 2 E. Rosedale Ave., West Chester. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at www.wcupatix.com. Performances dates and times are February 27, 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m., and February 29 and March 1 at 2 p.m.

THE VISIT is a play about a wealthy woman who returns to her debt-ridden hometown and offers to help. But there is a condition: she wants the life of a villager who years ago had caused her to be expelled from town in disgrace. Ringing denial of this ludicrous demand is followed by the gradual corruption of everyone in town. Find out what the town decides!

Notable previous productions of THE VISIT include an American Broadway production that opened in 1958, a film-version starring Ingrid Bergman in 1964, and a Kander & Ebb musical starring Chita Rivera that opened at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 2001. 

Leonard Kelly, Associate Professor of Theatre/Performance, is the director of THE VISIT. He says, “At West Chester U., we try to program a variety of plays and musicals over a four-year period so that our theatre students can see and participate in all types of work. This is a more modern play with influences from German expressionism, Brechtian theatre and the absurdist movement. Friedrich Dϋrrenmatt was a philosopher in addition to a playwright and artist. This play is a very dark comedy that explores issues of morality, justice, politics and money. It presents moral conundrums without providing judgement. It was a learning experience for all of us as we grappled with these issues.”

Lead members of the cast include Samantha Stewart (New Castle, DE) in the role of the wealthy woman, and Aaron Kirk (Downingtown) in the role of the accused man.

Stewart is a Senior Theatre major and says, “This is the most exciting thing I’ve done in college. First, it is my first leading role and the character is so much fun and larger-than-life. Second, the play itself definitely reinforces that good and bad are not necessarily black and white, which was challenging to explore.”

She adds, “The education I received at West Chester has given me the solid foundation necessary to prepare for this wonderfully meaty role. The faculty are always encouraging, and Len Kelly, our director, is available and welcomes my questions. The other theatre students are also supportive of each other. We know we are creating wonderful art and we all want to see it be successful.”

Additional cast members include are Rebecca Allen (Langhorne) Erica Barnes (Downingtown), Rachel Borczuch (Silver Spring, MD), Tim Conaway (Norristown), Kelly Donnelly (West Chester), Noah Erlemann (Allentown), Katie Flynn (Philadelphia), Sarah Ford (Glen Burnie, MD), Zachary Galloza (Philadelphia), Caitlin Iannella (Stirling, NJ), Nicholas LeVasseur (West Chester), Lionel McCulloch (Morgantown), Clare McKernan (Philadelphia), Matt Melchior (Allentown), Elizabeth Powell (Brookhaven), Lauren Ralston (Horsham), Brandon Smith (Milford), Ryan Snopek (Orwigsburg).

About West Chester University’s Department of Theatre & Dance - The Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester University, an accredited institution of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, prepares students for the professional and the academic worlds of Theatre and Dance, while raising student awareness of civility, diversity, creativity, problem solving and social responsibility. The department offers a BA Theatre degree program with elective concentrations in Musical Theatre, Performance, and Design and Production, in addition to a dance minor and theatre minor. 





Back to top of page.