Las Positas College Department of Theater Arts will present “Stage Door,” a play about a group of young women moving to New York City to study acting and, eventually, find jobs in the challenging world of Hollywood.
Written by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman, “Stage Door” opened on Oct. 22, 1936, at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway, and ran for 169 performances.
In the play, one of the aspiring actresses, Terry Randall, is critical of Hollywood films and is determined to succeed on Broadway.
One of the other aspiring actresses gives up in despair, one gets married, and one goes into pictures, but Terry, with the help of idealistic David Kingsley, sticks to her guns. Color and contrast are offered by Mattie, the maid; a few young men callers; a movie magnate; and young Keith Burgess, a playwright who "goes Hollywood."
"I live and breathe theater,” Randall tells Burgess. “That's what I'm crazy about. I want to play everything I'm suited for. Old hags of 80, Topsy, and Lady Macbeth. You don't know what it is to be an actress. You're a writer. If you feel something you can write it. But I can't act unless they let me."
Stage Door is a valentine to the legitimate stage. Hollywood, and the cheapening of acting talent, comes under consistent attack in the play. Probably no play of the 1930s so perfectly sums up the business of show business on both the East and West Coasts during the period, or is prescient about the ever-present tension between theater and film.
"As a fan of all things 1930s and 40s, I have wanted to direct “Stage Door” for a long time,” said Dyan McBride. “As a director, I am generally drawn to material featuring relationships, snappy dialogue, and plays about women. This play is in the grand tradition of drawing room comedies from the early 20th century.
“It features an elaborate set, multiple characters and many doors,” McBride added. “Most theatre companies can't afford to do a play of this type any longer as the costs are just too great. So, enter Las Positas College. I knew we had the acting talent and I knew we had the right team of designers to give this gem life.”
The play will run from for two weekends, Friday to Sunday, March 6-8, and Friday to Sunday, March 13-15. Friday and Saturday performances at the Mertes Center for the Arts, Main Stage Theater, at Las Positas College, will begin at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees will begin at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for students/staff; $15 for seniors and military veterans; and $20 for the general public. To purchase tickets, go to http://siteline2.vendini.com/site/laspositascollege.edu/