Shaw himself greatly respected Granville-Barker's plays, which juggled moral and social questions even as the works were eclipsed by Shaw's productions. Paxton Whitehead stars in the period drama about family, finance and misplaced ethics.
Performances continue on the Mainstage to April 27.
First produced on London's West End in 1905, The Voysey Inheritance "focuses on Voysey and Son, respected British investment solicitors, and its authoritative head, the elder Mr. Voysey, Sr., whose financial wizardry has rescued the firm from bankruptcy in the past...unbeknownst to its clients," according to production notes. "As he prepares his son, Edward, to assume the firm's leadership, Voysey takes the idealistic young man into his confidence introducing him to the nature of the business...setting the stage for an evening of high drama and difficult choices."
Actor, producer, director, playwright and scholar Harley Granville-Barker (1877-1946), a driving force in English theatre at the beginning of the 20th century, was an active member of the experimental Stage Society, which introduced plays by Henrik Ibsen, Maurice Maeterlink and George Bernard Shaw to British audiences. His other plays include Prunella (1906), Waste (1907) and The Madras House (1910). His work has enjoyed something of a renaissance in the last 20 years in North America, playing the Shaw Festival in Canada, in regional theatres and Off-Broadway.
Canadian actor Blair Williams plays the role of Edward Voysey, with Whitehead as his father. A favorite at the Shaw Festival, Williams recently appeared in Candida and The Return of the Prodigal. The cast also includes Michael Lombard, Grace Gonglewski, Ian Merrill Peakes, Ted Pejovich, Dan Schiff, Lorraine Foreman, Sally Mercer, Sara Pauley, Alicia Roper and Hayden Saunier, with Sharon Alexander, Jennifer Alimonti, Ian D. Clark, Neale Anthony DiMento, J. Andrew Keitch and Louis Lippa. Malcolm Black helms the staging. Designers are Paul Wonsek (set and lighting) and Hillary Corbett (costume). Composer-arranger Laura Burton provides the drama's musical score.
Tickets range $10-$50. For information, call (215) 574 3550 or visit Walnut Street's website at www.wstonline.org.