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May 24 , 2011

One Good Knight with the President’s Daughter


One Good Knight with the President’s Daughter features a collision of indignant Ivy Leaguers with a crooked alumnus worth four billion dollars. The title refers to Joe Knight, the editor of a subversive campus paper, and Susannah Cameron, the university president's witty daughter who falls in love with him for his integrity and irreverence. The editor has lambasted the tycoon’s desire to donate a megabucks museum. In the midst of its rollicking comedy, the play confronts a serious question: What is the actual purpose of prestigious universities, when one of their richest alumni is regarded as a role model while in fact he is no better than a crook? The stage set should appeal to a director, actors, and audience for its compressed, creative use of space. The set consists of Joe’s dorm room—63 square feet crammed with a bed, desk, closet, and two chairs. (Joe has discovered that his room allows him only half the space required for felons in the state penitentiary.) Nine remarkably colorful characters wedge themselves inside his room. The comedy of their struggle is intensified amid the heap of tangled bodies while they deal with love, fraud, and the art of getting even. Ever more ingenious leverage is applied to the tycoon, who ends up endowing a two-million-dollar professorship for studying corruption in America.
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