Starting tonight, the Ohio University School of Theater will present Diana of Dobson’s, a play about a working-class woman’s love triangle.
Jocelyn Wiebe, the show’s director, describes the piece as part social drama, part romantic comedy. The plot revolves around an English working-class woman named Diana who comes into an inheritance, which she spends immediately, all while causing two men to fall in love with her.
“I chose the play because it is a beautifully written play that is not often produced,” Wiebe said. “I also found Diana to be compelling and interesting.”
Because of her feelings towards the character, Wiebe said she wanted to cast a strong and capable woman to play Diana Massingberd. She found that woman in Marissa Wolfe, a graduate student studying professional actor training.
Wolfe described her character as “outspoken, impulsive, opinionated, passionate and … ahead of her time,” all characteristics Wolfe said she can relate to.
“I think I am like my character in some ways. I am a little impulsive and sometimes have a bad temper,” she said.
While the show may seem to focus on the character for which it is named, Wiebe also stressed her desire to find actors to play Diana’s suitors who had “depth” and were “fun.” For these roles, Wiebe chose Matt Marceau and Christopher Young, both graduate students studying professional actor training.
Marceau described his character Javez as one of the most challenging he has played at Ohio University.
“The amount of listening I've had to do while being spontaneous with my acting has been something that has been very frustrating,” Marceau said.
Although the show takes place in the 1800s, Wiebe and her team have produced a set with some contemporary aspects.
“We have created a modern set for a period show so we could give the show a modern twist, but still be true to the text,” Wiebe said.
While the text may be from a different time-period, Wiebe said the message of the play is still relevant today.
“I think the message of the show is twofold,” she said. “One is that true love can triumph over difficult situations and cross class, but also about what it means to be someone who works for a living.”