PLYMOUTH — The Department of Music Theater and Dance at Plymouth State University will present The Pleasure Men, Thursday through Sunday, November 21-24 in the studio theater at the Silver Center for the Arts. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with 2 p.m. matinee's on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
The Pleasure Men is a deconstruction of Mae West's infamous 1928 play, The Pleasure Man. The production portrays West as a character and connects the play in relevant and revealing ways to contemporary life.
In addition to rehearsals, the cast is taking a course called "Actor as Creator" where they are learning the process and theory of devising a work. When rehearsals begin, they will have opportunities to apply the theory they learn in class.
The Pleasure Men is a physical theatre work containing original music, popular jazz music, acrobatics, aerial silks, drama, improvisation, comedy and fabulous drag queens and kings.
Director Robin Marcotte explains that West's original production was the first to "queer" Broadway by inviting drag queens from Harlem to portray themselves on the Broadway stage. Police raided the production and the entire cast, as well as Mae West, was arrested and charged with indecency. All were eventually acquitted by a jury. "This production is for mature audiences, and those who do not blush easily," Marcotte says.
In his career Marcotte has focused on creating socially engaged works for theater. "Sexuality and status are of keen interest in an undergraduate experience and well beyond. This creation process is a way for the students to explore, comment and express their views artistically," he says.
The production includes Darcy Graham, a junior theater arts major from Manchester as the stage manager and Kyle Quirion a senior music education major from Derby, Vt. as music director.
Cast members are Jason Faria from Hudson, MA, as Paradise; Evan Grande, from Kingston, MA as Terrill; and Sarah LaCount, a senior theater arts major from Manchester as Mae West.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and youth at the Silver Center Box Office. Tickets can be purchased by calling (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.