By Robert Singleton. From Oliver Goldsmith's 18th-century British comedy.
Cast: 7m., 4w. (extras, a total of 10 actors with doubling.) Mr. Hastings has gone to the country with his best friend to meet Kate, his future wife whom he has never met. Because of a practical joke, the young men eventually arrive in the ancient Hardcastle house thinking it is a country inn. They treat the future father-in-law as if he were the innkeeper and demand much from the willing but bewildered hosts. Kate, the well-bred daughter of Mr. Hardcastle, discovering the delusion the two young men are under, stoops to conquer her dashing fiance by pretending to be a kitchen maid and allowing him to court her without the pretensions of polite and artificial society. The play is filled with the exuberant hijinks of Tony Lumpkin, a boisterous but lovable prankster who causes much of the joyous mayhem in the play. Mrs. Hardcastle's ridiculous aspirations to high society deliciously contrast with her husband's plain, dowdy ways. Against this wacky background of improbable characters a pair of young lovers somehow meet and get married. This 40-minute adaptation of the much longer original captures the essence of Goldsmith's wit and the flavor of Georgian England while making the complexities of the period easier to grasp and to play for the young actor. Unit set. Approximate Running Time: 40 minutes.