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Lafayette College Theater will present The Rivals 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28-Saturday, March 3 on the main stage of the Williams Center for the Arts.

Tickets cost $2 for Lafayette students, $3 for faculty and staff, and $6 for the public, and can be purchased by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009.

Written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan and first performed in 1775, The Rivals is a classic romantic comedy set in Bath, England. The handsome and dashing Captain Jack Absolute must disguise himself as a romantic ne’er-do-well to get the attention of Lydia Languish, who suffers from reading too many sentimental novels. A trigger-happy Irishman, a filthy rich father, and the hilarious Mrs. Malaprop are on hand to keep things lively.

The Rivals is a comedy about the masks we wear to get on in the world, and the difficulty we have maintaining them,” says Robert Mundhenk, guest director. “Though the play was written 232 years ago, we’re all still wearing masks, so its comic dissection of society is as relevant today as it was then.”

Mundhenk has been directing college plays for years, beginning with a series of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Recently, he has directed The Laramie Project, Dario Fo’s Archangels Don’t Play Pinball, and Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Our Lady of 121st Street at Northampton Area Community College. An English professor for many years, he was also director of assessment and senior scholar for the American Association for Higher Education. He has just been named director of the International Center for Student Success and Institutional Accountability. The Rivals is his Lafayette debut.

“I’ve enjoyed the experience immensely,” he says. “The actors are very talented and extremely hard working, and the technical staff makes the life of a director sheer bliss.”


  • Sir Anthony Absolute – Darren Keppley ’09 (Brick, N.J.); chemical engineering
  • Captain Absolute – Charles Felix ’08 (Brooklyn, N.Y.); A.B. engineering and English
  • Faulkland – Brett Lambie ’09 (Upper Montclair, N.J.); art
  • Acres – Christopher Duru ’10 (New York, N.Y.)
  • Sir Lucius O’Trigger – Hank Bink ’10 (North East, Pa.)
  • Thomas – Bradley Maurer ’07 (Loveland, Ohio); neuroscience
  • David – Sarah Belliotti ’09 (Buffalo, N.Y.); philosophy
  • Mrs. Malaprop – Kelly Hess ’08 (Prospect Park, N.J.); psychology
  • Lydia Languish – Keara McCarthy ’10 (Montclair, N.J.)
  • Julia – Meredith Castor ’10 (Chalfont, Pa.)
  • Mrs. Halliburton, housekeeper for Jack – Carey Wilson ’07 (Hamilton, N.Y.); neuroscience
  • Lucy – Kiira Elisabeth Benzing ’07 (Ridgewood, N.J.); performance studies and French
  • Lydia’s servant and Mrs. Halliburton’s servant – Hanna Pingry ’10 (Huntingdon, Pa.)
  • Acres’ servant – Sara Peterson ’10 (Hampton, N.J.)
Categorized in: Students