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Luke Guldan as Benjamin and Judith Lightfoot Clarke as Mrs. Robinson

Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson – The Graduate now open. 

Adapted from the movie by Terry Johnson

Ask anyone who grew up in this country in the last 75 years or more to name the most seductive older woman in their movie memory and I’ll bet you’ll find Mrs. Robinson’s name at the top of that list. She has become an American icon, immortalized not only in Mike Nichols brilliant movie but in the words of Paul Simon’s eponymous song. Now Mrs. Robinson is donning those famous heels and heading over to Ivoryton for the Ivoryton Playhouse’s production of The Graduate, opening on April 18 – May 6th.

It’s California in the 60s. Benjamin’s got excellent grades, very proud parents and, since he helped Mrs. Robinson with her zipper, a fine future behind him … A cult novel, a classic film, a quintessential hit of the 60s, now Benjamin’s disastrous sexual odyssey is brought vividly to life in this production.  This is the first play adaptation of the classic novel and film.  It premiered in April 2000 at the Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, starring Kathleen Turner as Mrs. Robinson and later and came to Broadway in 2002.

Director Lawrence Thelen says, “The Graduate, the story of a promising young man fresh out of college trying to make sense and find meaning in a world for which he feels unprepared, is just as timely and relevant today as it was when it first appeared in the 1960s.  Certainly society has changed somewhat since then: technology has expanded, American morality has relaxed – in short, times are different – but it seems to me that the fear and anxiety every individual goes through when facing the world for the very first time, not as a protected child, but as adult, resonates with all of us.”

Stepping into those heels in the role of Mrs. Robinson is Judith Lighfoot Clark*.  Judith has performed in theatres all over the country.  It is a big change from a lot of her theatre work which has included Shakespeare.  Television work includes Kate & Allie, the MTV series What Goes On, and the Jimmy Smits pilot for NBC, Outlaw.
Luke Guldan’s take on the role of Benjamin Braddock is a little different to the one we are used to seeing with Dustin Hoffman.  Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Luke is an accomplished athlete, nationally recognized for his achievements in health and fitness. The INBF “Mr. Fitness” in 2008 and 2009, Luke has been on the covers of and featured in magazines such as GQ, Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness and Cosmopolitan.  Luke has parlayed this success into television roles – thus children around the U.S. recognize him as Iron Man’s personal trainer from a Nicktoons TV commercial.  Luke has also appeared on TV in Gossip Girl, Royal Pains and The Colbert Report.

Directed by Lawrence Thelen , the set design is by Tina Louise Jones, lighting design by Marcus Abbott, sound by Tate R. Burmeister and costumes by LisaMarie Harry.

The Graduate opens on April 18th and runs through May 6th for 3 weeks.  Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.  Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.  Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)   The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.   There is smoking and brief nudity in this play.

Members of the press are welcome at any performance.  Please call ahead for tickets.

*member of Actors Equity

Photos courtesy of Anne Hudson.

To purchase tickets for The Graduate please call our box office at 860.767.7318 or buy tickets on line through this website.

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