The Philadelphia Story ad

The Philadelphia Story

May 24-June 2, 2024

by Philip Barry


Director:  Jillian B. Von Gunten
Producer: Sarah Gantzer

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"The Philadelphia Story” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

"This Broadway hit comedy was adapted into a smash 1940 film starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart. The play was later adapted into the musical film High Society, starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

Tracy Lord, of the Philadelphia Lords, is a headstrong and spoiled daughter of the privileged class. Divorced from C.K. Dexter Haven, she plans to wed a successful young snob. At the family estate, Tracy's wedding weekend grows more eventful as a gossip reporter and a camerawoman arrive cover the wedding arrangements. Tracy’s brother hopes to divert their attention from Father Lord’s romance with a Broadway dancer, and Tracy finds herself growing interested in Connor, the fascinating reporter. At the end of a pre-wedding party, Tracy and Connor take a moonlight dip in the pool and meet her ex-husband and financé on their way back to the house. The following morning her intended agrees to forgive her, but his smug attitude enrages Tracy and she breaks off the engagement. Connor offers to marry her, but she turns him down and remarries Dexter, to the satisfaction of everyone." From Concord Theatricals.

“The Philadelphia Story” Character Descriptions:

Synopsis: The wealthy and well-established Lord family of Philadelphia is about to welcome the cream of society into their home for the second wedding of Tracy Lord, vibrant daughter of the house, to George Kittredge, a proudly priggish up-and-coming self made coal mine manager -- much to the annoyance of little sister Dinah, big brother Sandy, and ex-husband C.K. Dexter Haven, none of whom believe that George is good enough for her. Unfortunately, father Seth’s philandering with a Broadway dancer causes a scandal which an unscrupulous media tycoon threatens to break -- unless he can send a reporter to cover this high society wedding from the inside. Enter Macaulay “Mike” Connor, a writer of quality unwillingly slumming it on the society beat, who holds strong views against the old money-wielding upper class, and his faithful photographer Liz, whose romantic connection is not enough to stop the fascinated dance which ensues when Tracy and Mike meet and spar over class boundaries and champagne-addled declarations. Torn between three men, Tracy must determine whether or not she belongs on a pedestal. Philip Barry’s sparkling comedy The Philadelphia Story is witty, sophisticated romp, a breezy and romantic story which explores family dynamics, class prejudice, and human frailty.

Tracy Lord - The eldest daughter of the old money Lord family of Philadelphia. A sophisticated and blue-blooded WASP through and through, Tracy does not suffer fools, is strong-willed and outspoken, and can be at times unforgiving of some basic human flaws. At the start of the play, she is snobbish, entitled, and brusque. After finding herself in a complicated and vulnerable position and after the return of her philandering father, Tracy changes her tune. She sees that human vulnerability is part of life, and that even she is not as impenetrable and invulnerable as she once imagined.

Macaulay “Mike” Connor - Born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, Mike Connor is a hard-working, cynical, and skeptical short story writer, who writes for the tabloids to pay his bills. He rolls his eyes at his commission to cover Tracy Lord's wedding, dismissing the topic as superficial and the family as rich snobs. After spending some time with the Lord family, however, Mike becomes charmed by their graciousness and specifically by the intelligent Tracy. As he falls in love with Tracy, his reverse-snobbery dissipates and he comes to appreciate the finer things. He is at once charming and snarky, and fancies himself a real artist in a world full of charlatans and dilettantes.

C.K. Dexter Haven - Handsome and oh-so-casually witty, C.K. Dexter Haven is also a member of the upper class, but his taste for drink drove a wedge between him and Tracy. Now he is back with one goal in mind: to stop Tracy from ruining her life by marrying a dullard. A yacht builder and society man, Dexter once sailed around with Tracy on his sailboat, the True Love, and he gives her a model of the ship on the occasion of her wedding to George Kittredge as a gesture of his enduring affection for her. Dexter is beloved by the Lord family and fits in well with their well-bred and formal lifestyle, having been raised in the upper class himself. Ultimately, he proves to be the match for Tracy.

Elizabeth (Liz) Imbrie - Liz is a sardonic and wise photographer who works alongside Mike for Spy Magazine. A long-suffering admirer of Mike's, she is waiting for the day he takes notice of her and pops the question. Liz is imperturbable, intelligent, and genuine, displaying an earthy wit and an intelligent warmth.

George Kitteridge - George Kittredge is, as Tracy describes him, the opposite of Dexter in every way, which is precisely why she wants to marry him. He does not come from old money, but has earned his wealth through business. He is depicted as fondly doting and admiring of Tracy, but somewhat ill-at-ease in her social world, as typified by his struggle to mount a horse and his rather dull personality. Additionally, when Tracy questions him about his love for her, he expresses his affection in a rather alienating way, professing that he wants to put her in a tower and worship her as though she were not a human.

Dinah Lord - Dinah is the younger of the two Lord sisters. She is a precocious young woman, prone to occasional malapropisms, and rather assured of her own maturity—when she is in fact, at times, quite strikingly innocent. Dinah is fond of her brother and sister as well as Dexter. She clearly wishes that Tracy and Dexter had remained together, and she impulsively invites Dexter to come over, hoping that his presence will remind Tracy of past happiness.

Margaret Lord - Margaret is the mother of Tracy, Dinah, and Sandy. An attractive and elegant woman, she has put up with her husband’s philandering for many years. They are separated at the time of the play.

Seth Lord - Seth Lord is Tracy’s father. A wealthy and successful man, he has long been involved with a colorful dancer named Tara Maine. This seems to have been the cause of his separation from his long-suffering wife, Margaret. However, Seth has other explanations for his adultery and for the collapse of his marriage: he blames Tracy’s critical attitude for his pursuit of the youthful dancer, and argues that the “ideal daughter” would be one who “blindly” loves her father and believes that “he can do no wrong.” Tracy and her father reconcile by the end of the play.

Alexander (Sandy) Lord - Sandy is Tracy’s younger brother. A newspaper editor working for the Saturday Evening Post, he is light-hearted and witty. Unlike Tracy, he has made a happy marriage; in fact, his wife has just given birth to their first child. Sandy, like Tracy, is concerned about the family’s reputation, and arranges a deal with Destiny editor Sidney Kidd: the magazine will suppress its planned expose of Seth Lord’s affairs and instead print a story about Tracy’s marriage. However, Sandy decides to write an expose on Kidd with Mike and Liz. In part, the expose is intended as revenge for the intrusive prying into the family business; in addition, it is meant as punishment to the man who has sold out Liz’s and Mike’s creative talents for a few dollars.

William (Uncle Willie) Tracey - Tracy’s good-natured uncle. He is a philanderer and pinches women’s bottoms when he has the chance.

Mac - the Lord’s longtime Night Watchman.

Thomas - Servant in the Lord home.

Elsie - Servant in the Lord home.

May - Servant in the Lord home.

Edward - Servant in the Lord home.