“What would my life be if I had married someone else?” This is the question posed by Alan Ayckbourn’s play “Family Circles” which opened on Nov. 22.
The play directed by Whitney Rydbeck followed the relationships of Emma and Edward, an older married couple and their three daughters Jenny, Deirdre and Polly. Throughout the play each of the daughter’s trades between the three partners Oliver, James and David.
When the scenes changed so did the relationships and the dynamics between husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend
“I chose this play because it is very funny and the actors must adjust to what happens when they find themselves married to a different partner in three of the four scenes,” Rydbeck said. “It was like they were playing three different characters.”
The cast of eight performed the entire play speaking in English accents including some terminology Americans might not recognize. Dialect teacher Anita Adcock taught the cast how to perform with the accents.
“I had her work with the cast who were all very eager to learn,” Rydbeck said. “Without the accent I think some of the comedy would be lost.”
“I was comfortable speaking in an accent,” Caroline Williamson, Deidre, said. “I’ve taken dialect classes before and throughout my life I’ve really taken to accents easily,”
Rydbeck considered having the actors perform in American accents but wanted to provide a valuable learning experience to the student cast.
”We’re a school and we’re supposed to be teaching student how to do these things even though it may not always succeed,” Rydbeck said. “It’s a good challenge and learning experience for my cast and also a fun experience for the audience.”
Despite the minor language differences the audience still understood and enjoyed Ayckbourn’s quirky comedy.
“English humor is different from American humor; you always wonder what’s going to translate to an American audience but I think everything went well,” Rydbeck said.
“Family Circles” runs from Dec. 5 to Saturday Dec. 7 in the Little Theater.