Written by Emily Stinnett // Photo by Madison Meyer
The Searcy Summer Dinner Theater (SSDT) performance of “The Play That Goes Wrong” was nominated for seven awards from BroadwayWorld. “The Play That Goes Wrong” ran for three weekends this past summer.
The production was nominated for Best Play, and the SSDT was nominated for Favorite Local Theater. Senior Keller Montgomery, senior Asher Patten and Theatre Department production manager Cassie Bennett were nominated for Best Performer in a Play. Theatre Department Chair Steven Frye was nominated for Best Director of a Play, assistant technical director Seth Fish was nominated for Best Scenic Design of Play or Musical, and assistant costumer Katy White was nominated for Best Costume Design for Play or Musical.
A comedy, “The Play That Goes Wrong” is a play within a play. The real-life actors portray actors putting on a serious play when everything that could go wrong goes wrong, creating a comedic tone. The actors do their best to continue telling their story to the audience. Montgomery said the show makes you think about what actually goes into a play that you wouldn’t normally notice because it’s performed correctly. He said the play is a funny show and gives the audience something unique when things fall apart and when the actors interact with the audience.
SSDT is a branch of the Theater Department, Bennett said. She said Harding supplies the facility and workers for the shows, and anyone in the community is open to audition. Past SSDT productions have been nominated for BroadwayWorld awards like the musical “Curtains” in 2018, yet this year was different.
“It feels special maybe this year because there’s been an overwhelming response to the nominations,” Bennett said.
Montgomery has participated in multiple Harding Theatre productions, yet this was his first SSDT production. He said he enjoyed having more time to focus on the play and the role since the production was in the summer.
“It was flattering and an honor [to be nominated],” Montgomery said. “It was a role I was able to have a lot of fun with. I was able to make it really fun for the audience too.”
Senior theater major Josie Holman played a lead role in the play. She had seen the play on Broadway before and was eager to be casted in the show. Holman worked for the SSDT costume shop that summer and was proud the costumes were recognized, as well as their performances. She said the cast enjoyed performing together and enjoyed watching each other’s performance.
“Our director knew exactly what he wanted and he had a vision, and it was a good vision and he was really good at communicating that with us,” Holman said. “Everyone took their role very seriously.”
BroadwayWorld nominations were announced early November, and voting is open to the public until Dec. 31.