Candida premiered in 1898 and has played in countless theaters throughout the century since. It was the first play ever staged at Horse Cave Theatre when it opened its first season in 1977. Horse Cave restaged it for its 25th-anniversary celebration in 2001, which is when KETs field trip was produced.
Despite its classic status, Candida has proven itself to be a truly modern play with each return. Its timeless humor revolves around confusing interactions between the sexes as Candida Morell, wife of a respectable reverend, finds herself caught between two men: her husband and the free-spirited poet theyve invited into their home.
On one hand is Morell, who knows all about the spiritual side of love, but perhaps not so much about his own wifes needs. On the other is the young poet who believes he truly knows the heart. Which man does Candida really want? She alone must ultimately choose.
Playwright George Bernard Shaw asks, What is the meaning of love? But he never answers his questioninstead, he lets the audience decide.
Shaws character of Candida is open and frank; she has been called one of Shaws wisest and strongest female characters. Shes more on top of the situation than either of her suitors, and therein lies the humorand the lessonof Shaws drama.
Finally, for the record: Shaws Candida is not pronounced Can-deedthats the novel by Voltaire. And its not can-DEE-da. Thats Bernsteins musical. The title characters name is pronounced a little like the countryCAN-de-da.