“Misalliance” sheds light on society’s class system

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“Misalliance” debuts on Feb. 12. 

Staff Writer

This spring the Mary Moody Northen Theater will put on “Misalliance,” a comedy full of surprises and unusual characters.

The two-and-a-half-hour play will debut on Feb. 12. 

There will also be a small brown bag lunch preview on Feb. 6 where viewers can see two scenes from the play and meet with the actors, director and other crew members that have been working on the comedy.

The play was written by George Bernard Shaw in 1909 and is also based in that year, during the Edwardian era. 

The whole show takes place on a single Sunday afternoon in a conservatory in Surrey, England.

The story revolves around an underwear manufacturer, his family and the ironic relationships they run into throughout the day.

Aly Jones, a senior at St. Edward’s University, plays Hypatia, the daughter of the underwear manufacturer. Hypatia is a rude and abrasive character, which drew Jones to the role.

“Some of her behavior is something I would never do. But that kind of attracted me to her character because it’s so much fun as an actor to play things that are opposite of who you are,” Jones said.

Eleven actors make up the cast of the play, which includes three Equity guest actors. 

The director, Bob Tolaro, has even added his own twist to the play, bringing in extra actors to act as servants who narrate throughout.

Tolaro also teaches stage management at St. Edward’s.He said the play is a commentary on the different social classes at the time.

“Shaw calls it a debate. And the debate is his many ideas that he wants to divulge in this play, of classism, feminism, and capitalism … It’s about family, it’s about presumptions. It’s very funny,” Tolaro said.

When playgoers enter the theater, they will feel like they have crossed the pond.

Actors have been perfecting their English accents (and one Polish accent) with a dialect coach during rehearsals and with dialect CDs at home.

“Dialects are not my strong point, so this has definitely been a big learning process,” Jones said.

And much like the typical English conservatory you’d imagine, the stage has been transformed to look like it has a glass ceiling with fake plants winding their way around the set.

Even knowing the setting and design of the play, Tolaro promised that the production is still full of surprises.

“Come and enjoy the antics of this family and have fun trying to see what elements of society then still are valid today,” Tolaro said.

Student discount days are Feb. 13 and Feb. 19 and tickets will be $8 for students. 

For more information on reservations or tickets, visit or call the box office at Mary Moody Northen Theater.