“Beautiful Thing,” written by John Harvey, will open Nov. 13 at Temple University’s Randall Theater.
Set in London, the play depicts the story of two young men dealing with their homosexuality and its effects on their friends and family.
“It is a show about love and hope,” explains Director Peter Reynolds, a second year graduate student at Temple. He says the show illustrates the importance of hope when surroundings are dismal and difficult. Reynolds thinks it is a well-told story by which everyone can relate.
Undergraduate Kara M. Tyler, who plays Sandra, easily relates the play to her own personal struggles. “It’s very human. I don’t feel that this is a gay play. That’s what I like about it,” Tyler said. “It’s a really human play. The characters happen to be struggling with coming out and their sexuality.”
Reynolds describes the rehearsal process as a positive experience boasting, “We have five very talented undergraduate cast members.”
The five-person cast rehearsed four hours a day, five days a week, for seven weeks. Saturdays were used for extended rehearsals when needed.
Tyler admits that she is tired but believes the intense rehearsal process greatly benefited the production. “We were really able to build a foundation, and then get much more specific,” Tyler said.
Tyler appreciates that Reynolds “promoted a tight knit cast.” In addition, she compliments the openness, maturity and intelligence of her fellow cast members.
“I was surprised by how incredibly open everyone is. I love my cast. Everyone is just putting themselves out there. I’m excited to be a part of it,” she said.
Tyler identifies the strong British dialect as her biggest challenge. Reynolds agrees that the dialect has been the greatest difficulty of the production. Stanton Davis, faculty advisor for the School of Communication and Theater, worked as a speech and dialect instructor.
The cast and crew expect Temple students will thoroughly enjoy the show. Tyler thinks students will appreciate the atmosphere and close proximity, which makes the audience feel connected to the world of the characters.
“I hope (the students) are surprised and delighted by how well this playwright combines humor and drama. I think he combines it beautifully,” Reynolds said.
In reference to the title, he smiles and adds, “I’m using the word beautiful a lot.”
“Beautiful Thing” first opened at the Bush Theatre in London July 28, 1993. In 1996, it premiered as a feature film. The first American production opened in 1998 at the Front Door Theater Company in Chicago. It then transferred to the Cherry Lane Theater in New York City in 1999.
General admission is $12. Students get in free with their GAF card.
The show will run Monday through Saturday from Nov. 13-22. Curtains open at 7 p.m. opening night. The show starts at 8 p.m. every other night, with an extra 2 p.m. matinee on Saturdays.
For tickets and additional information, contact the Temple Theaters Box Office at (215) 204-1122.
Kiana Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Temple News Staff Writer Eric Cortes contributed to this article.