Cultural impact of Elvis takes the stage

Bill Amos, Assistant Life, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Wilkes University invites you to celebrate Elvis Presley’s legacy with its upcoming production of “All The King’s Women”, being perfomed at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center from September 25 – 28.

“All The King’s Women” offers a unique glimpse into the love life of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll through the eyes of the women who have been affected by his presence. “This story is about the people who have been influenced by Elvis as much as it’s about Elvis Presley himself,” said Teresa Fallon, Director of Theater at Wilkes University and director of “All the King’s Women.”

“It’s about what Elvis meant to one woman with a lonely home life, the woman who sold Elvis his first guitar, women who worked in the White House during the Nixon administration, and many more.”

Fallon explained that one of the most unique characteristics of the play is that the king himself does not make an appearance; rather he is alluded to as being ever-present somewhere nearby.

The stage is decorated with giant white letters spelling Elvis’s name, which Fallon describes as a place from which the actors enter, which therefore serve as a physical manifestation of the idea that all the situations in the play are a result of Elvis’s influence upon his fans.

The play is also a commentary on how attaining superstar status can change and mold one into an icon that is larger than life.

“It’s a story about celebrity fame and what it’s like attain that status. It’s about what that status does to someone like Elvis Presley who was just a simple country boy from Tupelo, Mississippi,” Fallon said.

Teresa Fallon gave praise to the elements of “All the King’s Women” that make the play a successful and entertaining experience, most notably the members of her cast and crew, with whom she was delighted to work.

“It’s wonderful to see the actors grow throughout the rehearsal process,” Fallon said. “They’ve been taking a lot of challenging risks, which I think is great to see.”

Fallon explained that as the cast experimented with their roles, the play evolved and the actors discovered new things about their characters.

Amanda Thomas, a senior musical theater major, describes how the play lends itself well to an actor’s imagination.

“Smaller scenes that are simple to learn allow you to really work on your character and better develop your role,” she said.

According to the cast members, the play offers many challenges, such as portraying multiple characters and maintaining a high energy level throughout the production. In light of these difficulties, actors also have the opportunity to learn new things about this timeless icon of the greaser generation.

“You don’t have to know Elvis Presley to like this play,” Fallon said. “Even if you don’t you’ll like this play. It holds together as a piece of drama and a piece of comedy as well. It’s an incredible story about how fame affects you no matter who you are, whether you’re the star or the fan.”

Nightly performances of “All the King’s Women” will be at 8 p.m. in the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts on River Street in Wilkes-Barre, with a Sunday matinee performance at 2 p.m. Admission is $10 for the general public, $5 for students and seniors, and cost-free with a valid Wilkes I.D.