Fall approaches and the spirits grow restless as players prepare to tread the boards during the opening performance of Cameron University’s 2021-2022 “Spirited Season” of theatre.
That season begins with a performance of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” on Sept. 30.
“I found it fascinating to research this play and its author,” Director Scott Richard Klein said.
Coward was an entertainment heavyweight through the first half of the 20th century. He worked in the theatre but was involved in film and had some interesting roles working for the British government during World War II, according to Klein.
“He wrote ‘Blithe Spirit’ in just six days with its main purpose being to entertain England during the war,” Klein said. “The play was not only produced in London but also toured the provinces. There was also a Broadway production which, I believe, starred Clifton Webb.”
Cameron University’s Department of Art, Music, and Theatre Arts will produce the play. The classic comedy concerns the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, who appears and attempts to disrupt Charles’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost.
The cast includes Cole Nowlin, Shalyn Bowles, Jaiden Standridge, Araia Heathcott, Kyleigh Sanders, MacEwan Sanders and Stephanie Sabol.
Completing their Senior Capstone projects on the play are Nina Pebeahsy, who is the lighting designer and Sidni Blalock, the costume and hair designer.
Rounding out the backstage team are Carmen Head as the stage manager, Francis Waweru, the sound designer and operator and Aubrey Waxler as the properties designer. Curtis Myers is the light board operator, Micah Harris is the assistant stage manager, Victor Quinones is working wardrobe, and Kai Gosha is part of the running crew. They are joined by Shayson Hodges who is the house manager.
Faculty working on the show include Associate Professor Eric Abbott as the costume and makeup supervisor, Assistant Professor Ben Williams as the scenic designer and Klein as the director.
“I had never directed a play by Noel Coward so when I was trying to decide on what to do this title was one of those (where I thought) ‘Oh yeah, that will be fun to work on,’ and it will be good for our students to learn about this author,” Klein said.
The “Spirited Season will continue with Neil Simon’s “Jake’s Women,” in November, Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” in February 2022 and the hit Broadway musical “Chicago” in April 2022.
Tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for senior citizens, military, Cameron faculty and staff, and non-Cameron students. CU students receive one free admission with their CU I.D. Season passes are also available, for more information call 581-2346.