Hampden-Sydney to present ‘American Buffalo’

Published 10:58 am Friday, February 12, 2016

The Hampden-Sydney College Department of Fine Arts will present this spring’s production of David Mamet’s Obie Award-winning play ‘American Buffalo’ at 8 p.m. Feb. 18-19, and Feb. 25-26 in Johns Auditorium.

This play features characters wrestling with questions of morality and ethics in a world that is often gritty, vulgar and violent.  The Hampden-Sydney College production explores the internal and external mechanisms that drive human behavior to its best and worst.

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The plot of the play focuses on the three main characters, Donny, the junk shop owner, Bobby, his assistant, and Teach, a poker playing buddy, as they scheme and plot the theft of a coin. The plan comes together, and there are numerous twists and turns as they debate values, business ethics and other aspects of human behavior.  Deceit and intrigue factor in as the group ultimately careens towards violence. All of this is done with Mamet’s signature writing style that incorporates extreme language scraped together from the rough edges of American society.

This play brings Hampden-Sydney Theatre veterans and newcomers to the stage. Patrick Ford, ‘16, plays Donny, with newcomers Gurion Ramirez, ’20, as Bobby and Tre Briggs, ’17, as Teach.  The set was designed by Joseph Link, ’16.  Light design is by Jonathan Campbell, ’16.  Costumes and Sound Design are by Professor Shirley Kagan.  Director Matthew Dubroff is in his 17th year of teaching theatre at Hampden-Sydney College.

‘American Buffalo’ is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc. The performance is free. For further information contact (434) 223-6362. Because of the mature language and subject matter of the play, it is not recommended for children.

As a special treat, there will be a pre-show concert 7:30-8 p.m. all show nights featuring the blues music of Ken Townsend of the Hampden-Sydney College Department of Economics and Business.