The Dining Room: a look behind the curtain

Curious about the upcoming play? Here’s a sneak preview. 

The General Idea

Instead of being a single story spread across multiple sets, The Dining Room is made up of multiple stories that all take place in the same room. A fiery aunt, a hurting teenager, and an aging father are only a few of the characters portrayed by an incredibly talented cast. Though the set itself is timeless in appearance – being a simple dining room – the people depicted within come from many different times, backgrounds, and belief systems. By taking you out of yourself, The Dining Room allows glimpses into others lives.

The Set-In-Progress, Virginia Beach, V.A., March 2018. (Rebecca Presnall)

The set-in-progress, Virginia Beach, V.A., Mar. 2018. (Rebecca Presnall)


While themes vary from scene to scene in this production, two stand out from the rest and show themselves throughout the entire play. Jan Gompper, the play’s director and a Theatre professor at Regent, phrased the first theme this way: “It’s what happens over time. Does progress always mean it’s good, or does something get lost along the way?” As future Christian leaders, this is a question that deserves a lot of consideration. How will we change the world? And what are we willing to lose in the changing? The second theme came to light during a talk with the cast. “It’s about the distance between people,” said Davis Haymes, a student at Regent who has performed in multiple productions. The meaning would become clearer during rehearsal, as I observed the changing space between characters, how they grew closer or farther apart as their stories unfolded.


Having only eight cast members, The Dining Room presents a unique set of challenges. Every actor has multiple roles, each with a personality and motivation unlike all the others. This makes being able to switch personas, moods, and costumes quickly a necessity. However, with every obstacle comes an opportunity. The cast are thrilled at this chance to push themselves and grow their skill sets. After all, it isn’t often a college student gets to play an elementary school child.

An Ongoing Scene, Virginia Beach V.A., March 2018. (Rebecca Presnall)

An ongoing scene, Virginia Beach, V.A., Mar. 2018. (Rebecca Presnall)

Performance Times

As a play that has been performed in colleges across the country, it’s wonderful to see The Dining Room finally making its first showing at Regent University’s Studio Theatre. This production will only be available for one weekend, so don’t miss out!

Performance times will be as follows:

  • Friday, Mar. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Mar. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Mar, 24 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets will be sold at a flat rate of $10 each, available for purchase at the box office in the Communications Building (open Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m.) or online. However, if you’d like to see the play for free, you can ask the box office about volunteering to usher.

Rebecca Presnall is a Staff Writer for The Daily Runner.