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The Beaux’ Stratagem Hits the Stage

Step out of the real and into something much more dramatic this week with the Penn State School of Theatre’s production of The Beaux’ Stratagem.

Centered around two aristocrat con artists, Jack Archer and Tom Aimwell, the play is a comedy with a very distinct style.

“The humor resides in the language,” said Erik Johnson, a Penn State graduate actor. Johnson plays the role of Archer, and will be joined on stage by the rest of the graduate actors. He also noted that a few undergraduate actors will be featured in the play.

Archer and Aimwell are, as the title suggests, two beaux with a strategy. They aim to find the wealthiest women in town, marry them, and then steal away with their dowries. However, the tides, and attitudes, turn for the men as they find themselves falling in love with their next victims.

According to Johnson, the performance is a play within a play, and the audience should be prepared for a fun show with entertaining accents.

The play does not reflect Penn State’s own teachings in regards to realistic acting, but instead aims to eccentrically entertain. Johnson said that the style of the play is not done often, and “to live in that style is a challenge.”

One thing he finds more rewarding than challenging is playing the character of Archer. He said that although he knows Archer’s actions aren’t commendable, he has a responsibility as an actor and he “can’t look at him as a bad guy.”

Here’s a commercial filmed for Penn State Television:

After two months of rehearsal, Johnson and the rest of the cast and crew are ready to put on a show. Held in the Playhouse Theatre in Penn State’s Theatre building, the play’s opening night is this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The show will run through the weekend and close out on March 2nd. Tickets are still available and can be found at Eisenhower Auditorium, the HUB ticket desk, Penn State Tickets Downtown, or the Bryce Jordan Center.

For more information on the show and other upcoming events, visit the School of Theatre’s website.

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