Fall 1997: Princess Ida


I was recently asked, why do Princess Ida today? As a satire on the issue of women's education, is it not politically incorrect, and horribly dated as well?

Princess Ida is not truly a satire of women's education. The operetta was based on an epic poem by Tennyson, and is first and foremost a spoof of that poem. Within the show, the satire is free-floating and good-natured. Everyone gets mocked in Princess Ida: women, men, royalty, Darwin, the military. Arac's songs are parodies of Handel, and the character of King Gama is based on Gilbert himself.

The few moments in the show which are not meant to be funny belong to Ida herself. With all the zaniness around her, Ida is treated quite seriously. Her songs are beautiful, operatic, inspiring, and moving. She is an admirable person — but she is an extremist. She believes that women cannot achieve their true potential unless they separate completely from men. This issue is at the heart of Princess Ida and of Tennyson's poem: not the question of women's education, but the problem of balance in relationships between the sexes. How do married couples manage two careers? How much does each partner have to give up to stay connected to the other? These are the questions raised for our generation by Ida's story. Unfortunately, Princess Ida won't answer these questions — but will provide a pleasant, tuneful space of time for meditating on them.

-- Jean Gordon Ryon

Director: Jean Gordon Ryon
Assistant Director: Bob Weeks
Music Director: Janice M. Rich
Producers: Jad Jordan, Amanda Lobaugh


King Hildebrand
Ted Benedict
Hilarion, Hildebrand's son
Brian Clickner
Cyril, Hilarion's friend
Gordon V. Penniston
Florian, Hilarion's friend
Jonathan Mobley
King Gama
Jim Caffrey
Arac, Gama's son
Tracy Burdick
Guron, Gama's son
Stephen Gullo
Scynthius, Gama's son
Jad Jordan
Princess Ida, Gama's daughter
Kathy Perconti
Lady Blanche, Professor of Abstract Science
Pamela Good
Lady Psyche, Professor of Humanities
Lynette Blake
Melissa, Lady Blanche's daughter
Sarajane Fondiller
Sacharissa, a student at Castle Adamant
Tracy Paradis
Chloe, a student at Castle Adamant
Amanda Lobaugh
Ada, a student at Castle Adamant
Beth Holliday


Terry Badger, Terry Benedict, Cynthia Brone, Rhonda Callard, Karen P. Conway, Lilah Crews-Pless, Barb DiGiulio, Peter Dunbar, Mike Fedyk, Shannon Fedyk, Julia Ferreira, Nancy Galletto, Isabele Henry, Beverly Hess, David Holliday, Jordu Kelly-Sutliff, Dan Mark, Patti Anne Montrois, Kathy Moore, Deborah A. Moriarty, David Odgers, Paula Ranney, Barbara Savage, Laurel Schneiderman, Debra Schulman, Sean Taylor, Bob Weeks


Rehearsal Pianist: Robert Blake


House Manager
Byron Wilmot
Bodie McCaffrey
Set Construction
Tracy Burdick, Jim Caffrey
Costume Managers
Sarah Freeman, Brian Smith
Lighting Designer
Michele Denber
Program Design
Alex Carlo

View Princess Ida Photos on Flickr

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