SRU Theatre Department brings ‘Blithe Spirit’ to life

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Students performing during a dress rehersal

Isha Rao, a junior theatre major from Mumbai, India and Noah Reed, a sophomore theatre major from Slippery Rock, take part in a dress rehearsal of "Blithe Spirit." The play happens March 1-3 and 5-7 in Slippery Rock University's University Union Multipurpose Room.

Feb. 27, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University Theatre will bring Noël Coward's ghostly comedy, "Blithe Spirit," back to life through a variety of performances in the University Union's Multipurpose Room. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m., March 1-3 and 5-7; and 2 p.m., March 3.

Coward (1899-1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer known for his wit, humor and flamboyance. His play centers on socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who is on his second marriage following the death of his first wife years earlier. Hoping to gather materials for his next book, Condomine invites eccentric clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance. When the medium is successful in summoning the spirit of his deceased wife, Condomine must then deal with both his wives as the situation quickly grows out of hand.

"We tend a bit more towards the dark side in this department, so we thought our student actors weren't getting enough chances to do something funny," said David Skeele, SRU professor of theatre and director of "Blithe Spirit."

"We do a lot of material that is kind of challenging and disturbing, and while comedy does have its darker side as well, we really wanted to do something that was lighter and funnier and give some students in the department a chance to experience what it's like to play this kind of comedy.

"It's a genre that's called 'comedy of manners' and it usually parodies and satirizes the upper classes. It's about people with a real sense of style in their lives and people who have a beautiful way with language. The material celebrates and makes fun of them at the same time."

Student cast, artistic staff, crew and staff include:

● Michael Boone, technical director from the College of Liberal Arts.
● Deb Cohen, assistant lighting designer and a graduate theatre student from Slippery Rock.
● Phoebe Costanza, playing "Ruth Condomine," is a senior theatre major from Cranberry Township.
● Haley Johnson, playing "Mrs. Bradman," is a sophomore theatre major from Erie.
● Sophia Geitner, playing "Edith," is a freshman communication major from Saint Marys.
● Matthew Gill, props master and a graduate theatre student from Mercer.
● Roger Jones, house manager and a junior dual major in theatre and interdisciplinary programs from New Castle.
● Rachael Katz, assistant scenic designer and sophomore theatre major from Austin, Texas.
● Paulianna Ling, public relations and a senior double major in English writing and communications from Upper Darby.
● Steven MacDonald, sound designer and a senior theatre major from Pittsburgh.
● Emily Manzo, assistant stage manager and a senior theatre major from Davenport, Florida.
● Anne Mayle, production stage manager and a senior theatre major from Pittsburgh.
● Rebecca Morrice, costume designer and an associate professor of theatre.
● Gordon Phetteplace, scenery/lighting designer and an associate professor of theatre.
● Isha Rao, playing "Madame Arcati," is a junior theatre major from Mumbai, India.
● Noah Reed, playing "Charles Condomine," is a sophomore theatre major from Slippery Rock.
● Jack Reeves, playing "Dr. Bradman," is a junior communication major from Washington.
● William Shoemaker, assistant costume designer and a junior theatre major from New Middletown, Ohio.
● David Skeele, director and a professor of theatre.
● Dalton Smith, box office manager and a senior theatre major from Mars.
● Madison Wick, playing "Elvira Condomine," is a sophomore art major from Grove City.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for SRU students and children under 18. A "Community Night" admission of $10 for all attendees is scheduled for the March 3 performance.

Tickets can be purchased at the Smith Student Information Desk, by calling 724.738.4926, online by clicking here or by visiting the University Union Box Office.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lesa Bressanelli | 724.738.2091 | lnb1009@sru.edu