Most professors and novelists take sabbaticals to get inspiration for their research, but not this time.
Blithe Spirit, directed by Michael Beyer, will run from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. in the Markel Auditorium.
The storyline centers around novelist Charles Condomine, played by senior John Tassef, who is trying to get ideas for his next book. One of the characters in his book is a medium, the conductor of a séance, so he invites real-life medium Madame Arcati and a couple friends over to perform a real séance.
Expecting it to be a joke, Condomine accidentally summons the ghost of his late wife, Elivira, played by junior Olivia Kroh, creating conflict with his current wife Ruth, played by junior Maureen Martin.
“I think that this is gonna be a really awesome show to be in the audience for because of all the crazy special effects and stage-magic; there’s just a lot of very cool things like that on the technical side,” said junior Brooklyn Little, who plays Madame Arcati. “You definitely don’t want to miss it. It’s really wacky, but also the costumes are so elegant and beautiful. It’s going to be a really fun time.”
27 students showed up for auditions, but the cast was limited to seven students, spanning all grades. The technical crew includes students working in the scene shop, costume shop, and lighting department, and two student stage managers, junior Polyxeni Drath and sophomore Mary Kearney.
“I was so intimidated, going in, because it’s such a small cast,” said freshman Fiona Mully. “I’m the only freshman, and so I was worried about intruding on this dynamic that already existed; but I didn’t need to worry about that at all. Everyone is so kind, talented, and professional.”
Three out of the seven members got COVID-19 early on in the semester, and had to resort to Zoom practices. After quarantining, their first full cast rehearsal was Sept 13.
“I haven’t slept in a month and a half,” Beyer said. “I only joke, a little. It’s busy, and it’s stressful. It’s a lot to try and get done in a short amount of time. You just got to keep your head above water and keep the energy level high. That’s where the cast really has delivered. They’ve risen to the challenge of putting this on its feet under all of the circumstances.”