Biola Theatre’s “Suite Surrender” welcomes audiences

Theatre 21 reopens to laughs and gasps with the slapstick 1940s comedy.


Haven Luper-Jasso//CHIMES

Students perform slapstick comedy “Suite Surrender” in Biola’s Theatre 21.

Brendan Peters, Staff Writer

The doors of Biola’s Theatre 21 reopened this weekend, decorated with the scenes and artifacts of the 1940s. The sets were full of bright pinks and greens, and in the middle sat a couch patterned with palm leaves. This ambience led way to a show just as energetic — “Suite Surrender,” written by playwright Michael McKeever and directed by Rachel Tracie, Visiting Professor of Theatre at Biola. 

The play tells the story of the Palm Beach Royale, a famous hotel in Florida that welcomes several esteemed guests for a charity for the war effort. Two of these guests would rather not be welcoming to each other. The hotel staff is tasked with separating them, but chaos ensues when they both end up in the same room.


“Suite Surrender” relies heavily on the slapstick comedy characteristic of the 1940s, and the cast does a fantastic job with the seemingly endless bits of material. Each cast member wholeheartedly committed to selling every single joke, gag or gaffe in the performance. Even with unexpected mishaps like falling props, the actors did a wonderful job of bringing out the humanity in each of the ridiculous characters. Every scene had a remarkable sense of authenticity as well as a sense of humor, with each character entering for the first time as a fully realized person. Their groans, laughs and screams were part of who they were from scene one.

Sometimes these slapstick comedies can feel too silly, but “Suite Surrender” perfectly balanced laughs and gasps. It can surely be considered a wonderful addition to the Biola theatre scene.


Each twist and turn in “Suite Surrender” left audiences hooked on the story and even the small Theatre 21 transported the hijinks of the situation. The show was full of surprises along the way. Dr. Tracie proved in her first show that she can take something as flat-out ridiculous as “Suite Surrender” and make it feel at home on campus.

“Suite Surrender” has easily become a personal favorite among Biola’s shows not just because of its on-stage success, but because of its infectious personality and timeliness. Oftentimes, during this stage of the semester, students can feel overwhelmed. “Suite Surrender” is just the light-hearted fun that many need as the semester comes to an end.

0 0 votes
Article Rating