Wayland to present production of ‘Stage Door’

March 28, 2019

A 1930s classic is coming to the Wayland stage.

The Wayland Academy Players are rehearsing for their production of “Stage Door,” the 1936 play about a large group of young women who move into a boarding house in New York to study acting and look for work.

One of the women, Terry Randall, moves into the house and works her way up in the theater in the face of discouragement from other people in the house as they give up on the stage. The play was written at a time when theater was facing a threat from the growing Hollywood industry.

Stephanie Njeru will play the role of Terry Randall. The play was written by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman and originally opened at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway. The director of the Wayland production is Martha Kesler, an English teacher at the school.

Andrew Estervig, the choir and voice teacher at Wayland, said that over 30 students have acting roles in the production while more students are involved with the technical aspects of the play, including set building, lighting, makeup and sound. The set’s boarding house includes a fireplace place and a staircase in a back room that characters use to enter the main stage.

“Stage Door” was turned into a 1937 movie starring Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers that totally altered the plot of the original play.

The opening performance of “Stage Door” at Wayland will be on April 10 at 9:30 a.m. in the Lindsey Gym in the main courtyard, followed by 7:30 p.m. performances on April 11 and 12. Tickets will be $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and will be available at the door.