Carpenter Square Theatre is out to make upstanding ladies and gents of you all. Jeffrey Hatcher’s comedy, Mrs. Mannerly, harkens back to a time when lessons in etiquette were in their final throes.
Set in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1967, Mannerly tells the story of a 10-yearold boy under the tutelage of one Mrs. Mannerly, a tough, uncompromising teacher of etiquette. The young pupil is determined to outdo his fellow students and obtain a perfect score in her class — a feat no one has accomplished yet.
While the play is a comedy, it touches on some poignant themes. Mrs. Mannerly’s mysterious past threatens to come back and haunt her when her overly curious pupil begins digging to expose his teacher’s dirty secrets.
Mannerly is a two-person play, performed entirely by Linda McDonald as the teacher and Kaleb Bruza as her student. The latter also plays the other students in Mannerly’s class, as well as the older version of the young man, looking back on it all.