Denison University presents "Smash: An Adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Novel An Unsocial Socialist" by Jeffrey Hatcher.
Based on the novel and the man who took a dive for the scandal's more famous victor, Charles Van Doren. Orchestrated by 's producer Dan Enrighta television incarnate, an abstract force of evil who persuades both Stempel and Van Doren to cheat - we watch both of the exceptionally gifted contestants fall from grace and analyze each of their weaknesses. Stempel sells his soul for an attempt to be an actor; Van Doren tries to break away from his life governed by strict rules and expectations from a family with ideals he struggles to meet. Enright, also serving as the play's glib, seductive narrator, has the uncanny ability to reveal each of the contestants' vulnerabilities and manipulates them to a profitable end, the audience siding with him at every scheming turn. At the end of Congress' probe into the scandal, Charles Van Doren confesses his guilt as Stempel throws his head back and sobs the bitter laughter of revenge as well as defeat. Van Doren retreats to his father's country house, and in a touching moment, like a stroke victim recovering his use of words, identifies all of the species of trees that surround the house, as he reconnects to his family.