Tune your a.m. dialer to Christmastime in 1930s Ohio.
This is the scene set for Regent University’s presentation of The Man Who Came to Dinner, a comedy following an unexpected radio star, Sheridan Whiteside (Brad Cain), who hurts his hip while slipping on the doorstep of a local family.
The performance opens on Regent’s Main Theatre stage on Friday, Dec. 4, and continues Dec. 5-6 and 11-13. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday-Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Purchase tickets at the University Box Office.
Though a well-known play, The Man Who Came to Dinner has also been made into a popular film adaptation starring Bette Davis. But Mark Paladini, director for the production and professional-in-residence for the School of Communication & the Arts watched the film, he noted that something was missing from the adaptation.
“People of color were conspicuously missing,” said Paladini.
He noted that in today’s theatre realm, shows like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, where a Hispanic Alexander Hamilton sings rap and hip-hop music, are extremely popular. This, and Regent’s diverse student population, opens a more imaginative storyline.
“Historical periods can be re-envisioned through contemporary theatre casting practices in a way that film and television practitioners hesitate to go,” said Paladini. “At Regent University, we embrace nontraditional casting, because we believe that students should audition on a level playing field.”
Learn more about Regent University’s School of Communication & the Arts.