‘The Graduate’ fuses comedic characters, intriguing sets

Deanna Frances

DeKalb | Stagecoach Players’ production of “The Graduate” kept me entertained throughout the entire performance with comical storytelling and relateable characters.

The production, directed by Jim Doherty, is based on the novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. “The Graduate” tells the story of a young college graduate named Benjamin Braddock who finally finds his long overdue sexual awakening with one of his parent’s friends, Mrs. Robinson. Mrs. Robinson is an unhappily married woman who has a daughter named Elaine. Benjamin later falls in love with Elaine, which sets the play into motion.

The play was quite long, running at almost two hours. Dominic Johnson, who played the lead role of Benjamin Braddock, was able to accurately portray a very socially awkward young man on the verge of adulthood. Lori Lay, who played Mrs. Robinson, added an entirely different character to the story by portraying a very forward, alcoholic, sexually driven woman who for some reason finds herself attracted to an awkward young man.

The supporting characters were able to add even more comic and dramatic relief to the story. Elaine, played by Kelsey DeSchepper, added a naive innocence as a young woman searching for love and friendship. Her kind hearted character grew throughout the plot into a strong young woman and made her a more appealing character in the midst of the dramatic love affair.

The interchangeable set design was crucial to the production. The setting consisted of three different places: Benjamin’s bedroom, the hotel where Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson hide their affair and Elaine’s dorm room at her university. The sets were designed in very clear cut ways that made it easy for audience members to distinguish between the different locations.

Overall, this production of “The Graduate” was very intriguing, and was well done, especially with a cast of only eight actors. The actors all seemed to work well with one another to create a coming-of-age play that is suitable for most audiences. Due to sexual content and language, it is suggested that no one under the age of 16 see the performance, according to the Stage Coach Players’ website.