Fifty years after its big screen premiere, the play adaptation of the 1960s iconic film “The Graduate” will begin seducing local audiences in June during its Theatrikos Theatre opening at the Doris Harper-White Playhouse, 11 West Cherry Avenue in historic downtown Flagstaff.
The play centers on Benjamin Braddock, a confused young man who spent four years in college achieving a brilliant scholastic record. Upon graduation, he finds himself adrift—uncertain about his future, disconnected from his purpose, and increasingly alienated from the upperclass, suburban world of his parents. Fighting panic and boredom, Benjamin is deeply conflicted but ultimately willing when Mrs. Robinson, the unhappily married, alcoholic, and dangerously charismatic wife of his father’s business partner, tempts him into an affair.
Directed by Patricia McKee, this bitterly hilarious dark comedy is full of rapid-fire dialogue. The play explores family dysfunction, parental expectations, crumbling marriages, and the naïve-yet-disillusioned dichotomy of youth—all against the shiny backdrop of affluent southern California in the 1960s.
“The challenge inherent in directing a stage adaptation of iconic film is resisting the urge to recreate the movie,” McKee said. “My job is to help actors start afresh with well-worn stories and to help them connect with the characters from a new and personal perspective.”
The cast of nine includes Niki DeShazo, Nichole Garrison, Keenan Larson, Rob Peters, Sam Piper, Jan Rominger, Michael Rulon, Jim Taylor, and Audrey Young.
Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. Sundays from June 2-18. Individual tickets for the June 2 opening performance are $20 to $24 and include a post-show reception with the cast. Seating for other performances range from $18 to $21. A special “First Friday” pre-show reception on June 2 will feature free refreshments and artwork in the lobby.
Tickets can be purchased online at Theatrikos.com; by calling (928) 774-1662; or by visiting the theater’s box office, which is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and two hours prior to each performance.
Read this preview in the Arizona Daily Sun.