Eventide Theatre presents "Educating Rita"

Opens on Thursday, May 4th
Eventide Theatre presents "Educating Rita", which opens May 4th. (Image courtesy of Eventide Theatre)

Eventide Theatre Company presents  Educating Rita by Willy Russell, on the Gertrude Lawrence Stage, Dennis Union Church, 713 Main Street, Dennis, MA 02638

DATES: Thursday, May 4 through May 28.

Show times are Thursday and Friday, Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 4:00

No show Sunday, May 7.

Educating Rita tells the story of two very different people from Liverpool, brought together through the power of education, who are both seeking fulfillment in their lives. Rita is an energetic twenty-six-year-old hairdresser who is studying literature through Britain’s Open University program in the hope that it will help her to find meaning beyond her monotonous working-class life. Frank is a failed-poet-turned-university-professor, who is also searching for meaning beyond his too-regular trips to the pub.

Echoing George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, the story is a timeless and universal one, still funny, still poignant, and still quite relevant today. The play may create particular resonance for those whose own roots are modest and who must fight the negative forces that surround them to achieve.  At its heart, it is a story of self-realization, of listening to one’s inner voice, and discovering our best and truest selves on our own terms.

Eventide Theatre Company production of Educating Rita is directed by Stephen Ross who has previously directed Rabbit Hole, Driving Miss Daisy, God of Carnage, and Night, Mother in the Black Box Theatre at the Cotuit Center for the Arts. Previously for Eventide he has performed the roles of Harry Brock in Born Yesterday Count Carl Magnus in “A Little Night Music, the Aviator in The Little Prince, and Macheath in The Threepenny Opera.

Actors Erica Morris and Jody O’Neil will be playing the parts of Rita and her tutor, Frank, a disillusioned ex-poet. Erica has previously performed on the Gertrude Lawrence stage as Anne in A Little Night Music and in the staged reading of Meryl Cohen’s Kaplan Prize winning play The Final Say. Jody is familiar to Eventide audiences for his portrayal of Jamie Tyrone in A Moon for the Misbegotten and as Gerry Evans In Dancing at Lughnasa. 

Costumes have been designed and executed by Judy Chesley. Lighting is by Greg Hamm, assisted by Vicki Marchant.

The Eventide Theatre Company’s production of Educating Rita is done in conjuction with ArtSpring Cape Cod. ArtSpring Cape Cod is a grass roots celebration of arts and culture spearheaded by a collaborative of cultural organizations across Cape Cod. The goal of this festival is to engage as many artists, organizations, and communities as possible in a festival that explores the important and topical theme of "Freedom of Expression." Go to www.artspringcapecod.org for more information.

The production runs from Thursday, May 4 to Sunday, May 28. No show Sunday, May 7. Show times are Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 4:00. Tickets for Educating Rita may be reserved by calling 508-398-8588 or on-line at www.eventidearts.org.  Tickets are: $25 for adults. Group rates are available.  Membership is available on-line. Member tickets at a reduced rate.  The first Friday, May 5, at 7:30, is a “pay-what-you-will performance.” No show on Sunday, May 7

10% of the proceeds from the first weekend of performances will benefit Cape Abilities.                                                                 


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