Claire Neiberg | Staff Writer
The Duquesne University Red Masquers continued its fall season with the opening of The Foreigner last week on Oct. 4.
The Foreigner is a two-act farce written by Larry Shue. While the cast is small, showcasing only seven actors and actresses, the play delivers a powerful message of the importance of learning from others and not being so quick to judge.
The Foreigner takes place in modern-day America at a fishing lodge in Georgia. Two men from England, Charlie Baker (Zach Reed) and Sergeant “Froggy” LeSueur (Talha Lone), pay a visit to the lodge. As they are arriving at the lodge, Charlie conveys to the audience that he is in a state of heartbreak and depression, as his wife is dying.
Naturally, Charlie is flooded with guilt, as he feels like he should be comforting his wife at this time and because of this, does not want to speak to anyone. In order to keep Charlie from speaking, Froggy tells Betty Meeks (Dana Demsko), the owner of the lodge, that Charlie cannot speak English. Charlie is not pleased with Froggy’s tale but goes along with it anyway.
Betty, who is fooled by Charlie’s act, is overjoyed to host him. She extends kindness to him and makes sure he is being included by the other guests in the lodge.
Charlie’s relationships flourish as the play goes on, as he grows close to Ellard Simms (Nate Conaway), the youngest resident of the cabin and the other members. As the events of the play unfold, Charlie is quick to fit in with the lodge and ends up being welcomed as part of the family, as he has gone through several pain-staking experiences with them.
While most of the plot comes off as comedic and uplifting, there is a major tone shift as danger arrives at the lodge. However, working as a team, Charlie and his friends conceive a plan in order to protect themselves.
Duquesne’s production of The Foreigner was a well-thought out and put together show that had a balance between comedy and seriousness. All of the actors were completely invested in their characters which made for a captivated audience.
The set design was incredible — it had striking detail, love and care put into it. Everything from the trap doors to the china in the glass cupboard served a purpose within the show. Besides the visual aesthetics of the show, the lighting and sound were also carefully thought out as well, enhancing the script.
In the span of two hours, the Red Masquers put on a brilliant show. It served its comedic purpose but did not glaze over the serious elements of the show, such as white supremacy. Through comedy, the audience is presented with the vital life lessons of not judging by one’s appearance and that everyone has value, no matter what stereotypes may be at the forefront.
Most importantly, it illustrated the idea that family is what matters most, and not all families have to be traditional. The Foreigner was an excellent show that I believe anyone, no matter what age, could find value and entertainment in.
The Foreigner runs Oct. 4-14. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening shows are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. This is a show you do not want to miss.
Tickets can be ordered at duqredmasquers.com