The Matchmaker

The Matchmaker
by Thornton Wilder

October 11-19, 2013
The Matchmaker
Principal People: 

Director Alan Paul

Special Announcement: 

Due to other on-campus events, we expect parking to be difficult on October 18 & 19. Please allow extra travel time and plan on arriving early.

Event Attributes

Estimated Length: 
2 hours and 15 minutes including intermission
Program Notes: 

Thornton Wilder’s 1955 comedy reveals the exploits of matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi, a widow who brokers marriages and other transactions in Yonkers, New York at the turn of the 20th century.

Hired by local merchant Horace Vandergelder to find a wife, Dolly sets her sights on the eligible widower herself. Slapstick ensues — mistaken identities, secret rendezvous, separated lovers and even a trip to night court — but in the end everyone finds themselves paired with a perfect match.

When The Matchmaker premiered, Thornton Wilder was considered to be one of America’s most important authors, with two Pulitzer Prizes to his credit. Critics had to adjust their expectations for the play, which seemed to adhere to melodramatic conventions that contrasted starkly with Wilder’s other work. Wilder himself suggested that the play was a way to shake off “the nonsense of the nineteenth-century staging” by making fun of it. But whether taken at face value or viewed as a commentary on theatrical conventions, The Matchmaker has proven to have staying power onstage.

Matchmaker, The (Thornton Wilder) is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Review by DCMetroTheaterArts

The skill and sheer joy and enthusiasm of the talented cast and creative and design teams makes The Matchmaker a `must see’ evening of theatre filled with humor and warmth.

– TIFFANY DRAUT, DCMetroTheaterArts, October 12, 2013

Preview by The Diamondback

Riley Bartlebaugh, a junior English and theater major who plays matchmaker Dolly Levi, said she finds the play’s financial themes especially relevant in today’s America.

She referenced a line her character says in the play — that when it comes to money, people “have a responsibility in spending it and letting it flow.”

“I think it’s very timely, especially now with the government shutdown,” she said. “Our values have gotten so far away from living and supporting one another.”

– BEENA RAGHAVENDRAN, The Diamondback, October 11, 2013

Preview by The Gazette

“Dolly is a force of nature,” [Riley] Bartlebaugh said. “She’s a woman who manages things, and that’s a direct quote from the play. She’s someone that finds great joy in helping other people to live their lives and have the courage to be silly and seize the joy that they see before them.”

– WILL C. FRANKLIN, The Gazette, October 8, 2013

Resources at the the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

Our neighbors at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library have compiled a list of available resources relevant to this performance: