Vanderbilt Theatre presents ‘The Winslow Boy’

Vanderbilt University Theatre will open The Winslow Boy, based on the true story of a family’s court fight against the British government to clear its son’s name, Feb. 14.

Evening performances, which begin at 8 p.m., will also take place Feb. 15, 20, 21 and 22 in Neely Auditorium. A matinee is scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 16.

Terrence Rattinger’s play, set in the pre-World War I Edwardian era, focuses on a teenager who is expelled from the Royal Naval College for a theft he swears he did not commit.

The play, which explores the culture of British society almost exactly a century ago, is directed by Jon Hallquist, associate professor of theatre at Vanderbilt. He said that the questions raised in this real-life story are just as relevant today as 100 years ago.

The family enlists the help of Sir Robert Morton, a legal genius renowned throughout the country for his courtroom acuity, and together they press onward with the case, weathering financial woes, declining health, and their own doubts and fears, all in the name of securing justice for their family.

“[lquote]This play raises several important questions, including what rights an individual possesses against government authority,” Hallquist said.[/lquote] “Is anybody ‘too small’ to be seen by the courts? What price must an individual pay to attain the fair treatment that he or she deserves? Vanderbilt University Theatre will recreate this snippet of the Edwardian era with authenticity and specificity as we explore these issues.”

Phillip Franck, associate professor of theatre, designed the set with lighting by Jessica Ayers, a senior in the College of Arts and Science. Costumes have been created by Alexandra Sargent, senior lecturer in theatre.

Tickets are $10 for the general public, $7 for Vanderbilt graduate students and free for Vanderbilt undergraduates. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Neely Auditorium Box Office at 615-322-2404.