Ada — "Major Barbara," a three-act play by George Bernard Shaw, will be presented by the East Central University Theatre Department on April 10-12 in the Chalmers Herman Theatre of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. each night, with an additional matinee performance set for Saturday, at 2 p.m.
"Major Barbara" was written and premiered in 1905 and was first published in 1907. This version of the play will be updated to the present, according to Dr. Richard Groetzinger, ECU director of theatre.
In the play, Maj. Barbara Undershaft of the Salvation Army is faced with a dilemma. Her father, weapons manufacturer Andrew Undershaft, needs to find a successor who, because of an unusual tradition, must be a foundling, an infant abandoned by unknown parents. He wishes Barbara to marry a foundling and help run the weapons factory.
During a visit to Barbara’s West Ham mission, Andrew reveals that money recently offered to the mission by Lord Saxmundham is actually a donation from a whiskey distiller. He offers to match the donation, which is accepted by Barbara’s superior.
Disillusioned, Barbara leaves the Army and visits Andrew’s factory town in Perivale St. Andrews. During the visit, it is discovered that Barbara’s fiancé, Adolphus Cusins, a professor of Greek, might by a stretch of the definition be considered a foundling. After much debate, Barbara agrees to marry Cusins, who has agreed to run the factory and work to convert the well-paid, well-fed workers at the factory.
The New York Post has described "Major Barbara" as “Certainly one of Shaw’s brightest, slyest, most provocatively outrageous and most timeless comedies.”
The cast includes Barbara Tiry, of Skiatook, and Mason Gibson, of Ada, playing Lady Britomart Undershaft; Tyler Soden, of Orange, Calif., as Stephen Undershaft; Bailey Tyler, of Shawnee, and Hannah Scroggins, of Ada, as Sarah Undershaft; Haley Cantrell, of Dewar, and Micah Worcester, of Ada, as Maj. Barbara Undershaft; David Spradling, of Marietta, as Sarah’s fiancé, Charles Lomax; Benjamin Paul Eckert, of Stevensville, Mont., as Adolphus Cusins; Chad Woods, of Stratford, as Butler Morrision; and Corey Scott, of Ada, as Andrew Undershaft.