“The Art of Dining” comes to SMWC

The Art of Dining is absolutely hilarious…there are still parts that I laugh at every single time because the jokes never seem to get old!



(from left to right): CeCe Caron, Jennifer Garrett, Sherry Bube, and Julia Fears (Photo credit: Jade Scott, senior)

By Jade Scott



Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College’s Department of Music and Theatre presents “The Art of Dining”, a play written by Tina Howe in 1979, that showcases the bizarre relationships the characters have with food.

In this comedy, Ellen (played by Kelsie Uselman, senior) is an accomplished gourmet cook and Callie (played by Sherry Bube, junior) is an accomplished devourer of her culinary creations.

They have opened a new restaurant called The Golden Carousel, and the audience is treated to an evening of mayhem during the opening night of the restaurant.

The play explores themes which question the nature of dining; including etiquette, social pressures, and expectations surrounding the idea that one has to entertain during mealtimes to impress those watching.

But before they can raise the curtain on opening night, the cast and crew have to put hours and hours of hard work into rehearsal.

“I personally rehearsed for probably about 50 hours on stage, with several more hours of individual work,” said Cathleen Flynn, senior, who plays the character Elizabeth.  “The show is fast-paced, hilarious, and psychologically intriguing!”

Rehearsals began on Sept. 5 and the nine cast members along with the many other crew members have put in a solid four weeks of rehearsal.  These many hours have been crunched into week night rehearsals along with the occasional Sunday evening rehearsals.

Time outside of rehearsal had to be put in as well in order for all cast members to memorize their lines.

“They’ve [cast] also dedicated their time outside of rehearsal to working on memorizing lines, which for many adds at least a few hours a day,” said Tiffany Mertz, stage manager, costume coordinator, and main props master.

With this being a smaller show with less characters and smaller amounts of physical action, there was no need for a large stage crew.  But, according to Laura Kempton who plays the character of Hannah, it still took the help of several people to get the set together.

Cathleen Flynn, senior, during rehearsal the night before the opening of “The Art of Dining” (Photo credit: Jade Scott, senior)

For Mertz, along with the director, Brandon Wentz, work for this production began in June when they began production meetings and preparing for auditions.

“I know that since Saturday (Sept. 29) Wentz, Tyler Hutcheson (technical director), and I have spent every night until maybe 2 to 3 a.m. working on the set,” Mertz said.  “Personally, I have probably spent at least 100 hours on the show; it takes a great deal of time from a non-acting perspective to get a show going and to make the finished product look virtually effortless.”

Other cast members from SMWC include Julia Fears, playing the character of Nessa, Jennifer Garrett playing the character of Herrick, and CeCe Caron playing Tony.

Opening night for “The Art of Dining” will be tomorrow, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.

There will be a ‘Talk Back’ session on issues surrounding eating and food issues as well as a reception following Friday’s (Oct. 5) performance at 8 p.m.  There will be one show on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. and then the final show on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.

All performances will be held at the Cecilian Auditorium on the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College campus. Please arrive 20 to 30 minutes before curtain for general admission seating.

  • Adults: $10
  • Children (12-17) and seniors: $5
  • Children under 12: Free
  • Students from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Indiana State University, Ivy Tech State College, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology are admitted free of charge with a student ID.


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