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'The Pride' Contrasts Same-Sex Relationships Across the 20th Century Time Line

Student actors
Student actors (l-r) Alan Rigby ‘14, Megan Pratt '13 and Tom James '15 are forced to negotiate complicated relationships in Davidson College's upcoming production of "The Pride."

The Davidson College Theatre Department invites the public from November 14 through 18 to its production of The Pride, a play that contrasts the gay experience in 1958 and 2008. This tale by acclaimed British playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell portrays romantic and platonic relationships through moments of loyalty and betrayal. As they discover their personal identities, characters explore the power of love, lust and friendship.

Senior theatre major Elizabeth Schneider '13 will direct four Davidson student actors in this duel-era story of self-discovery. On the 1958 side of the story, Philip is married to Sylvia, who is illustrating Oliver's most recent children's book. The attraction between Philip and Oliver at their first meeting leaves all three characters wondering what to do about their tense, unspoken emotions. In contrast, the 2008 story finds Philip and Oliver already in a relationship, with Sylvia as Oliver's source of solace and consolation. Campbell's play explores the "then and now" of gender roles, and what it means to be gay in middle-class western society.

Productions will be November 14 - 17 at 7:30 p.m. and November 18 at 2 p.m., all in the Barber Theatre in Cunningham Theatre Center. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $8 for seniors, $7 for faculty and staff and $5 for students. The performance contains graphic sexual violence and brief nudity, and it is recommended only for ages 17 and up. Call 704-894-2135 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays for reservations, or purchase online at

A student-directed trailer can be viewed at this site.

Schneider said she chose to direct The Pride "first and foremost because it is a beautiful play. The characters are relatable and can teach us all something about ourselves."

She appreciates The Pride's minimalist setting and small number of actors as a challenge in maintaining simplicity without compromising accuracy. Schneider also knew she would be directing on a college campus in a state that recently voted down gay marriage. "This is an important, pertinent issue that's created a lot of change in the past few years," she said. "I wanted to focus on it and do something politically challenging."

The cast is Tom James '15 as Philip, Megan Pratt '13 as Sylvia, Allen Rigby '14 as Oliver and Greg Thorn '15 as various characters. Theatre major Christian Hatch '15 designed the set, and Northwest School of the Arts's Barbara Wesselman designed costumes. Department Technical Director Josh Peklo is lighting designer, with sound design by Sarah Welty '13.

For more information about the production, call 704-894-2930.