AN INSPECTOR CALLS
Written by J. B. Priestley
Directed by Jeffrey S. Miller
November 7-8, 11-15, 2014
Margaret Jensen Theatre at Gordon College
255 Grapevine Road
Wenham, MA 01984
Tickets on sale now at www.gordon.edu/tickets!
Everyone is guilty. Who’s to blame?
The Birling family has just finished a sumptuous formal dinner, celebrating the daughter’s newly announced engagement, when an inspector arrives to inform them of a local girl’s horrendous suicide from swallowing cleaning liquid. After a series of questions, it turns out one of them—or perhaps all of them—may be responsible.
MEET THE FAMILY
Bradley Boutcher '18 as GERALD CROFT
"I love the play's emphasis on the verbal performance. It's all about the words and inflection to convey the message. And I think a lot of people can relate to Gerald. His heart is torn and heavy with his love for Sheila and his past connections to Ava. He genuinely cares for Sheila and desires to move forward, not just out of selfishness, but out of his concern for her. Our only difference is how badly he wants that Ring by Spring!"
Daniel Lefferts '18 as ERIC BIRLING
"I really enjoy the heavy amount of dialogue, and I think the themes apply to everyone, including those of us backstage."
Molly Sidell '17 as SYBIL BIRLING
"It is important for the audience to view the show with the posture of the 'other,' realizing that they are in the seat of judgment with the servants, looking on at what happens to the family. They shouldn't be afraid to engage in the scrutiny that the inspector puts the family through. Both the cast and the audience will learn something about themselves in the end."
"In whatever limited way I am capable of feeling it, I think I've gotten a glimpse of how much a mother can love and nearly idolize her son and how crushing it is when you realize he's not your little boy anymore. I also love learning the accent and having the chance to explore my vocal rage and inflection more than I have before. I'm glad I'm not really part of the Birling family, though, because I don't think I could live with myself and such excessive living habits, not to mention the inequality of class and gender and lack of television and female pantsuits."
Abigail Erdelatz '18 as SHEILA
"Even though it's set in a time and social class system that don't seem very relatable, the family's issues and their struggles with pride are easy to understand. The audience will relate with the characters without even realizing it."
"I think the way that Sheila and I react subconsciously to family is similar in a way. But I also like to think that I bring a 'realness' to her excitability. There are reasons for her antics, and the fact that I tend to be more down to earth puts me in a place to filter those."
Alec Sennott '18 as ARTHUR BIRLING
Carl Kraines '18 as INSPECTOR GOOLE
"My character, known only as Inspector Goole, is very mysterious. He has a somewhat reserved intensity about him, which helps in his investigation of the Birling family. He is written as a very deadpan, straightforward sort of fellow, but I hope to add some color to his persona."
The servants on staff in the Birling household are largely unseen and unrecognized, and it is this very trait that makes them so critical to the story. Here are some reflections from the actors who play them:
"The message of this show is so important. The things that we do and say, though they seem small to us, can have a huge impact on others and even change their lives forever. People should never be made invisible. A few years ago, I went to visit the Breakers in Rhode Island, in order to learn what it's like to be a servant. That information has been really helpful in inspiring and performing Edna." —Brogan Adams '17 as EDNA
"Not actually existing in the script adds to the mystery and intensity of the concept of the 'invisible people' in our lives. It adds another dimension to the play as a whole." —Emily White '17 as MARGARET ANNE O'FLAHERTY
"I enjoy playing a servant because, even though we aren't written into the script, our stories are the foundation of the building in which the Birlings live. There's an important lesson in the play, which is that there are people all around us who never complain, but that doesn't mean that we should simply expect them to do things for us." —Maddie Hopkins '18 as ANNIE O'CONNELL
"So often, we diminish people based on their skills, social status, or interests. This play really shows that everyone deserves the same basic respect, no matter who they are or how insignificant they may seem." —Noah Thompson '18 as EARNEST ROBERT BRANSON