If the Bliss family invites you away for a summer weekend in the country, the getaway might actually be anything but blissful. So goes the storyline of Hay Fever by Noel Coward, directed at Beloit College by visiting professor David Marcia. The production premieres tonight (Thursday).
“Hay Fever is a comedy about sex, art, theatre, and other assorted examples of misbehavior,” Marcia says.
When each of the four members of the (“ironically named,” according to cast member Reid Libby’16) Bliss family invites a guest to spend a weekend in the family’s country house in the hopes of getting some romantic action, they’re in for an unfortunate surprise. None of the family members communicate their plans, and inevitably the Bliss family has neither the patience nor the room to accommodate the guests as chaos, hilarity, and debauchery ensue.
Hay Fever actor Cheyenne Kern’16 encourages Beloiters to come out and see the cast’s mastery of the British accent. Beyond that, “The set is awesome, the costumes are fantastic, and the play is hilarious. We’ve worked really hard,” she says. “Also, David [Marcia] is a great director and knows how to bring out the best performances in people.”
Libby says the production might be more modern than some theatre-goers are anticipating. “Whether Noel Coward or our own David Marcia is to blame, I’m not sure, but I feel you ought to know that there's a lot more 'sexy' in this English comedy from the 1920s than you might suspect,” Libby says.
Marcia is currently covering for Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Amy Sarno while she is on sabbatical. For each of the semesters he is here at Beloit (spring-fall 2013), he will teach two classes and direct one production. He brings a wealth of experience to the table—he has directed plays off-Broadway, regionally, and at the university level, and the last three plays he has written were finalists or semi-finalists at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Playwrights Conference.
Hay Fever premieres tonight (Thursday, April 18) at 8 p.m. in the Neese Theatre. Admission is $8.50 ($5 for seniors; $4 for students). Performances will also take place April 19-20 and next week, April 25-27, all at 8 p.m.
For tickets, call the box office at: 608-363-2755.