WFU Professor to Direct Production of “The Caretaker”

“The Caretaker,” a modern classic by British playwright Harold Pinter, will run Jan. 22-24 in Wake Forest University’s Ring Theatre.

The three-character play, directed by theater professor Harold Tedford, will include James Dodding, Wake Forest professor of theater, and two Wake Forest graduates.

In Pinter’s dark comedy, a tramp (played by Dodding) is given shelter in an attic by a young man named Aston (played by Wake Forest graduate Michael Huie). Aston’s brother Mick (played by Wake Forest graduate Dave Johnson) owns the house and returns to find the old man there.

“The surprise for most theatergoers is that much of what is said and done in the play is funny while the suspense, menace and tension mount,” says Tedford, who directs the Wake Forest University Theater.

“The Caretaker” earned Pinter a place in the front rank of contemporary playwrights when it was first produced in London in 1960. After “The Caretaker,” Pinter wrote “The Homecoming,” “Old Times,” “No Man’s Land,” and “Betrayal,” all international hits. His numerous shorter plays have become staples in theaters around the world. “The Caretaker” remains one of his best known.

Darwin Payne, adjunct professor of theatre, designed the set and Jon Christman, lecturer and production manager for the university theater, designed the lighting.

Since 1979, Dodding has spent spring semesters directing plays and teaching at Wake Forest. Dodding returns to his native London for the balance of the year. He has taught at the London Institute of Education and done broadcasting work with the BBC. Both Tedford and Dodding will retire in May.

Huie, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Wake Forest, teaches theater at the Downtown Middle School. A Winston-Salem native, he has worked with the N.C. Shakespeare Festival and in regional theater in Virginia. Huie has appeared in television movies for TNT, American Playhouse and CBS.

Johnson earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Columbia University and received critical praise for his role in Romulus Linney’s “True Crimes,” presented in New York in the winter of 1996. He is also a playwright and the first act of his play “A Sister, A Cousin, An Aunt” was produced at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in New York.

Wake Forest will present 8 p.m. performances Jan. 22, 23 and 24 with a special 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Jan. 24.

Tickets are $10; $5 for students. They will be available from the University Box Office at 336-758-5295 beginning Monday, Jan. 19. Box office hours are 12-5:30 p.m.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events, Faculty