Plastics, Ben. Plastics. Will you think about that?
--from The Graduate, adapted & originally directed by Terry Johnson, based on the novel by Charles Webb and the screenplay by Calder Willingham & Buck Henry.
These lines, so etched in the American psyche, are emblematic of the "advice" still offered to all recent graduates. The Graduate, its characters, phrases, and themes, continue to ring true a half decade after the publication of the novel. Whether seen on film or stage, or read, The Graduate has been a touchstone for generations- representing the universal feelings of rebellion, confusion, frustration, love, and redemption- so honestly, and hilariously, embodied by the characters of Mrs. Robinson, Benjamin Braddock, Elaine, and the rest.
In the early 1960s, when Charles Webb wrote a novel called The Graduate, America was in an "age of youth." Young people were leading the way to social, political, and cultural transformation. Webb's novel, published in 1963, was groundbreaking in those changing times; reviewers unanimously praised his brilliant and innovative use of dialogue and comedic genius in dealing with controversial themes and the main character's lack of direction. In 1967, The Graduate film was released, featuring the memorable, boyish face of Dustin Hoffman as the lost but heroically determined Benjamin Braddock. The Graduate quickly became a cult favorite and an artistic triumph, garnering multiple Academy Award nominations and it remains one of the top grossing films in history.
In 2000, stage play opened on London's West End, to great critical and commercial success. The Graduate ultimately transferred to Broadway starring Kathleen Turner as the martini saturated Mrs. Robinson.
Still today, fifty years after The Graduate, we all continue to ask the same question… what does the future hold?
-Flynn Center for the Performing Arts: "We are gripping each other's arms to hold in the laughter." Read full review here
Steve McCarver, Arlington, TN I attended last night performance of "The Graduate" at the Germantown Performance Art Center (GPAC). Thank you for a wonderful and different live theatre experience.
It was my first experience with "radio theatre" and I thought the actors and actresses were very good. I was somewhat familiar with the story line prior to attending the play, but the actors and actresses did a very good job of bringing the characters to life. Their use of tone inflection, movement and costume changes helped to tell the story and add to the performance.
I am sorry I could not stay around for the Q&A afterwards, but I wanted you to know what a great experience it was. Thanks for helping me expand my horizons.
Kathryn, Germantown TN
Last night I ushered for your performance of The Graduate. I totally enjoyed the performance and felt so lucky that our little town could have the opportunity to experience, see, and hear such a great production. It made me sad that many missed the opportunity to be there. Thank you.
Eugene Erichsen, Queens NY
I am a regular attendee of shows and concerts at the Queens Theatre in the Park. Yesterday I attended the matinee performance of "The Graduate" and it was great. We didn't quit know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised. I could also tell by the people around us and as we walked out of the theatre that everyone was feeling the same way.
Anonymous, Queens NY
My wife and I saw three productions this week:
The Graduate, at Queens Theater in the Park, Betrayal, by Pinter, on Broadway, and A Time to Kill, on Broadway.
Please convey to the cast (who may have been dispirited by the relatively sparse attendance at the matinee), that their performances were far and away the best and most enjoyable of the three productions. Thank them for us.
Germantown Performing Arts Center | Germantown, TN
Oct . 23
Flynn Center for the Performing Ars | Burlington, VT
Oct. 25 - 27
Queens Theatre | Flushing, NY
University of North Carolina | Kenan Auditorium | Wilmington, NC
George Mason University | GMU Center for the Arts | Fairfax, VA
Hampton Arts Commission | American Theatre | Hampton, VA
University of New Hampshire | Johnson Theater | Durham, NH
Interlochen Academy | Corson Auditorium | Interlochen, MI
Macomb Center | Clinton Township, MI
Husby PAC - Washington Pavilion of Arts & Sciences | Sommervold Hall | Sioux Falls, SD
Bloomsburg University | Mitrani Hall | Bloomsburg, PA
University of New Mexico | Popejoy Hall Center for the Arts | Albuquerque, NM
Cal Poly Arts | Christopher Cohan Center | San Luis Obispo, CA
Tallahassee Community College | Fred Turner Auditorium | Tallahassee, FL
The Paramount Theatre | Austin, TX
Johnson County CC | Polsky Theater - Carlsen Center | Overland Park, KS
College of Central Florida | Charles R. Dassance Fine Arts Auditorium | Ocala, FL
Feb. 13 - 15
University of Notre Dame | Decio Theater - DeBartolo Center | Notre Dame, IN
Marian University | Marian University Theatre | Indianapolis, IN
Ohio University | Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium | Athens, OH
CSU, Chico | Laxson Auditorium | Chico, CA
Poway Center for the Performing Arts | Poway, CA
McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts | Palm Desert, CA
Green Valley Recreation | West Social Center | Green Valley, AZ
Scottsdale Center for the Arts | Virginia G. Piper Theater | Scottsdale, AZ
CSU, Northridge | Valley Performing Arts Center - Great Hall | Northridge, CA