Temple Times Online Edition
    OCTOBER 27, 2005
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‘Playboy of the West Indies’ to make Philadelphia debut

(From left) Samira Wiley, James William Ijames and Muronji Inman star in the Philadelphia premiere of Playboy of the West Indies, which playwright Mustapha Matura adapted from the J.M. Synge comedy The Playboy of the Western World. The Temple Theaters production runs Oct. 27 through Nov. 5 in the Randall Theater.

A rum shop in a sleepy fishing village in Trinidad provides the setting for Playboy of the West Indies, playwright Mustapha Matura’s relocated adaptation of the classic Irish comedy by J.M. Synge.

The Temple Theaters production — which will mark the play’s Philadelphia premiere — opens Oct. 27 and runs through Nov. 5 in the Randall Theater.

Transported from rural Ireland to Matura’s own island birthplace, Playboy of the West Indies remains faithful to the storyline of the Synge drama. But what is bleak in the Irish countryside becomes boisterous and ebullient in Trinidad circa 1950.

“On this romantic and lush tropical island, you enter a world that is magical and enchanting, and you’re bombarded with characters that are completely lovable, even with their faults,” director David O’Connor said.

Into the rum shop run by Peggy, the owner’s daughter, comes the mysterious “Playboy” Ken, on the lam for the alleged murder of his tyrannical father. He instantly becomes a local hero — captivating the women of the village and winning the heart of Peggy, while incurring the jealousy of the men.

What happens when Ken’s “dead” father walks into town? A community is thrown into chaos, heroism is thrown into question and theatergoers will be thrown into Matura’s rollicking, ironic rendering of what it means to be human and vulnerable.

“It gives you a taste of everything you’re supposed to hope for in humanity, and how fragile that can be,” O’Connor said. “At the same time, it explodes with its sense of comedy.”

Set designer for the Temple Theaters production is Kathleen Chadwick, a second-year M.F.A. design candidate. Costume design is by Sarah Moore, another second-year M.F.A. design candidate. Lighting design is by senior theater major Steve Heitz, and sound design is by junior theater major Tom Puketza.

- By Harriet Goodheart

‘Playboy of the West Indies’

Opening night curtain for Playboy of the West Indies on Thursday, Oct. 27, is at 7 p.m. in the Randall Theater. Performances continue Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29, and Monday through Saturday, Oct. 31–Nov. 5, at 8 p.m., with Saturday matinees Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $18. Seniors, students and Temple employees and alumni pay $13. Temple students are free with TUid, as well as confirmation card with GAF codes.

Tickets are available at the Liacouras Center Box Office, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or via Charge-By-Phone at 215-336-2000. For more information, call the Temple Theaters Information Line at 215-204-1122.