“The Man Who Came to Dinner” Comes to WBC

Williams Baptist College will present its fall theater production on Friday, Nov. 13, and Saturday, Nov. 14. “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” directed by Melinda Williams, is set for a show time of 7 p.m. both nights, in WBC’s Old Chapel.
“The Man Who Came to Dinner” is a comedy by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart and is set in Ohio in the 1930s. The play takes place during Christmas. A famous radio personality named Sheridan Whiteside is invited to dinner at the home of a rich factory owner. Before Whiteside enters the house, he falls and hurts his hip. He ends up staying at the home to recover and consequently terrorizes the lives of the factory owner and his family.

“The play involves faculty, staff, students and alumni from WBC,” said Williams, assistant professor of communication arts at the college. “It is the first time I have included alumni in the production of a play.”
In 1942, the film adaptation of “The Man Who Came to Dinner” had a world premiere in Paragould. Actor Richard Travis, who played Bert Jefferson in the film, was from Paragould and previously worked at the Capitol Theatre, which was the venue where the film premiered. According The New York Times reviews, the movie it is one of the 1000 best movies of all time.
The cast for the production includes WBC faculty members Dr. Paul Rhoads, chair of the department of psychology, Lana Rhoads, assistant professor of mathematics, and Dr. Christopher Polachic, assistant professor of physics.
Student actors are Ethan Risley of Farmington, RJ Platz of Lunsford, Andrew McDaniel of Jessieville, Julia Clark of Batesville, Trenton Neeley of Lynn, and Laura Caples of Jonesboro.
Alumni included are Callison Hopkins of Jonesboro, Hannah Morgan of Smithville, Samantha Wilson of Batesville, Brandt McDonald of Batesville, and Katie Williams of Paragould.
Completing the cast are Tyler Lee of Horn Lake, Miss., Nick Scarborough of Batesville, Kayla Songer of Malvern, Ethan Abbott of Jonesboro, Louis Bryant of Forrest City, and Alex Western of Newport.
“The WBC students involved in the production are all upper classmen, mostly juniors and seniors,” explained Williams.
Two upperclassmen also play primary roles in the production staff. Gabriel Sitibaldi of São Paulo, Brazil, will serve as director of audience services and Holly Stormes of Knobel will be designing costumes for the production.
The play is part of the homecoming festivities at WBC. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for students and senior citizens.