The Department of Theatre presents a staged reading of "Beggar on Horseback," the first play produced on the Ace Morgan Stage in 1956. Participants in the production include Denison theatre alumni, current students, faculty, staff and retired department members. This production is part of the Denison Fringe Festival, celebrating the theatre-making of Denisonians as they say good-bye to their home of more than sixty years.
Produced by George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly in 1924, "Beggar on Horseback" is a parody of expressionistic parables that were popular at the time. The play rails against the perils of trading ones artistic talents for commercial gain. At its core is Neil McRae, a poor, young classical composer. Concerned about how hard he is working at odd jobs to meet his financial obligations, his friends - a doctor visiting from back home and his neighbor, Cynthia Mason, in whom he has more than a passing interest - urge him to marry Gladys Cady, whose father is a wealthy industrialist. Unfortunately, the man also favors the Tin Pan Alley school of musical composition, to which McRae is staunchly opposed. Conflict arises when he is offered a job making widgets at a substantial salary if he agrees to give up his "foolish" interest in the classics.
The Denison Fringe Festival celebrates the theatre-making of Denisonians as they say good-bye to Ace Morgan Theatre, which makes way for the new Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts.
"The Fringe will reflect the focus on theatre-making in our curricular program and the exciting creative performance work the Denison community has come to expect from its students," said Mark Evans Bryan, festival producer and chair of the theatre department at Denison.