The lovely leading lady must choose between two men – one viewed as a war hero, though he is foolhardy, and one viewed as a coward, hiding with chocolates on his person instead of gun cartridges – in “Arms and the Man,” a George Bernard Shaw comedy staged by Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) this spring.
Andrea Andresakis, a stage director and choreographer from New York City, directs this MainStage production for EMU.
Performances of Arms and The Man are scheduled for: 7:30 p.m., April 5 and 6.
The play tells of a young woman who awaits the return of her heroic fiancé from war. A disheveled soldier from the other side sneaks into her bedroom, fleeing the fighting. Finding his simplicity more alluring than her fiancé’s arrogant posturing, she wrestles with which man to choose while her servant makes her own play for one of the men.
Since the first performance of this play in 1894, theater critics have praised the way Shaw expressed the absurdity of highly romanticized patriotism and highly idealized love.
Andresakis says the play also reflects EMU’s social justice ideals of solving conflicts with words, not weapons: “While on this communal journey we ask ourselves, am I not like the chocolate soldier? Wouldn’t I rather carry chocolate in my pockets instead of weapons?”
Reserved tickets are $10 for adults ($12 at the door), and $8 for seniors and non-EMU students ($10 at the door). Tickets are available through the EMU box office at 540-432-4582 or emu.edu/boxoffice. Group rates are available.
Makayla Baker, a first-year student from Augusta, W.Va.
Hattie Berg, a sophomore from Yorktown, Va.
Gabriel Brunk, a 2012 graduate of EMU from Harrisonburg, Va.
Eric King, a junior from Harrisonburg, Va.
Andrew Mead, a first-year student from Sarasota, Fla.
Sean Solomon, a first-year student from Harleysville, Pa.
Isaac Tice, a junior from Salisbury, Pa.
Rebekah York, a first-year student from Bucharest, Romania