Mount St. Joseph University

Mount Drama Club to Stage ‘Hay Fever’

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Katie Drinkuth

File Under: drama club, hay fever, play

If you, like me, are looking for something to take your mind off recent events and the everyday stresses of life, then coming to see the Mount Drama Club’s new production, Hay Fever, will do just the trick. Directed by Dr. Drew Shannon and Assistant Director, Tiffany Nascimento, this play is guaranteed to provide pure enjoyment and mindless hilarity, if only for a couple hours, but will surely leave you feeling a lot lighter inside.

Hay Fever is a comedy written by Noel Coward in 1924 and is set in 1920s England. It follows the four members of the Bliss family and the utter mayhem that ensues when they each invite a guest, or potential lover, over for the same weekend without telling anyone.

The lead role, played by London Bishop, is the mother of the crazy family, Judith Bliss, a retired actress. With her novelist husband David and her two children, Simon and Sorel, this production has over the top eccentricity and witty dialogue, but practically boils over with absurd hilarity when the four guests join in the fun. This play has some A Midsummer Night’s Dream vibes but with more even more absurdity.

This is the first play the Mount has put on that is meant specifically for comedic purposes, with no controversial topics or underlying message beyond the silly consequences of bringing an unexpected guest to a family gathering.  Shannon, a professor in the Liberal Arts department, let me know that this is the precise reason why he chose to direct Hay Fever.

He explained that “the last couple of plays have been intense” and that he wanted to produce something “light and goofy that will make you laugh.” When asked about what he wants viewers to take away from the play, he explained that the show is completely mindless and that he just wants people to have a good time and be able to let go and laugh a lot because it is not in the least bit serious or something to ponder over when it ends.

When I attended a recent rehearsal I saw for myself the hilarity that is this production and I was not disappointed. I walked into a welcoming and buoyant environment of talented individuals going through different scenes and running lines. The witty banter of not only the actual lines, but of the cast themselves, was extremely entertaining. They were constantly laughing and seemed to work together easily and with immense positivity.

To see Hay Fever, contact Betsy Jones for tickets. The play will be performed in the Recital Hall on Nov. 9-12 and Nov. 16-19. Admission is $12 per ticket, but only $7 with a Mount ID. I encourage you to come and see it!