The Cameron University Department of Art, Music and Theatre Arts will open its 2021-2022 Spirited Season with “Blithe Spirit,” Noel Coward’s classic 1941 comedy. The “high spirited” production will be presented in the University Theatre from Thursday, September 30, through Sunday, October 3. The curtain goes up on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. 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. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 580-581-2346.
Best-selling (but cantankerous) novelist Charles Condomine is working on his latest novel, “The Unseen.” As part of his research, he and his wife Ruth host a séance with an eccentric medium known as Madame Arcati, hoping to gather material for his book. The scheme backfires and the evening takes a supernatural turn when Arcati conjures Charles’ deceased first wife, the annoying and temperamental Elvira, who doesn’t have plans to leave. Elvira is intent on disrupting Charles’ marriage to Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost. Lighthearted and endearing, this otherworldly classic is sure to tickle your goosebumps!
Cole Nowlin from Anadarko plays the beleaguered husband. Haunting him is Shalyn Bowles from Geronimo as Elvira. Jaiden Standridge, Duncan, plays the current Mrs. Condomine, Ruth. Additional cast members include Araia Heathcott as Madame Arcati, Kyleigh Sanders as Edith, and MacEwan Sanders and Stephanie Sabol as Dr. and Mrs. Bradman. All are from Lawton.
Theatre Arts seniors Nina Pebeahsy, Lawton, and Sidni Blalock, Duncan, are completing their capstone projects during the production. Pebeahsy serves as lighting designer, and Blalock is the costume and hair designer.
Rounding out the backstage team are Carmen Head, Alvarado, Texas, who serves as stage manager; Francis Waweru, Nairobi, Kenya, sound designer and operator; and Aubrey Waxler, Del City, properties designer. Lawton residents involved in the production are Curtis Myers, light board operator; Micah Harris, assistant stage manager; Victor Quinones overseeing wardrobe; and Kai Gosha, who is part of the running crew. They are joined by Shayson Hodges who serves as house manager.
Faculty working on the show include associate professor Eric Abbott as costume and makeup supervisor; assistant professor Ben Williams as scenic designer, and professor Scott Richard Klein as director.
Playwright Noel Coward wrote “Blithe Spirit” in 1940, shortly after his London apartment with bombed by German forces during the Blitz. After heading to Port Meirion in Wales, Coward was determined to write a play that would serve as a diversion from the dangers faced by Britons on their home soil. An idea about ghosts that he had been toying with ultimately became “Blithe Spirit.” Written in just five days, it was first performed in London in June 1941, running for 1,997 performances. The show debuted on Broadway in November 1941.