Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer is considered one of the comic jewels of the English theatre, lampooning the quirks and customs of 18th-century England from matchmaking and marriage to character and class. Aptly subtitled The Mistakes of a Night, this lighthearted farce turns several imminent romances upside down through an absurd series of deceptions, disguises and mistaken identities. It is a wildly funny romp through the English countryside. The Washington Post describes Stoops to Conquer as "shamelessly entertaining." "Simple, fresh, fine theater. Its combination of intelligence, spirit and sheer kinetic energy is profoundly exciting. The play is indeed the thing, and thanks to SSE what a glorious, vibrant, living thing it is," raves The Boston Globe.
She Stoops to Conquer is directed by Jim Warren, Shenandoah Shakespeare's co-founder and artistic director. The SSE is the touring arm of Shenandoah Shakespeare and the Blackfriars Playhouse, and is based out of Staunton. She Stoops to Conquer is one of three plays SSE will be performing on its 2004-2005 Ripe with Mischief Tour. The other two plays are Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.The internationally acclaimed SSE is an energetic cast assembled from all over the United States. The ensemble performs under conditions closely approximating those for which Shakespeare wrote: SSE actors and directors commit to "two hours' traffic of our stage;" to a small cast of actors who double roles; to thrust staging; and to universal lighting, which ensures that audience and actors can see and, more importantly, engage each other. In short, SSE aims to give audiences some of the pleasures that an Elizabethan playgoer would have enjoyed. Shenandoah Shakespeare Express has toured 47 states and five foreign countries since its 1988 inception. In 2001, Shenandoah Shakespeare put down roots when it opened Blackfriars Playhouse, the world's only re-creation of William Shakespeare's indoor theatre. The Staunton theatre has hosted more than 125,000 visitors from 49 states. Shenandoah Shakespeare seeks to make Shakespeare accessible to all, through its performances and extensive education programs.