Photo by Matt Stensland
Steamboat Springs high school students, from left, Chelsea Marie, Olivia Lange-Moore, Justin Doerr, Mary Willingham and Aaron Ginesta rehearse “Blithe Spirit” on Tuesday at the high school. Performances of the comedy are Thursday through Saturday.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
If you go
What: “Blithe Spirit,” a comedy in three acts presented by the Steamboat Springs High School theater department
When: 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Steamboat Springs High School auditorium
Cost: $10 general admission; $5 for children ages 6 to 12, seniors and high school students with valid identification
Subtle humor, intricate relationship drama and ghosts are occupying the Steamboat Springs High School drama department, as student actors, crew members and directors prepare for a production of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.”
The play opens with Charles Condomine, an author who’s searching for material for a new book. He invites a medium, Madame Arcati, to perform a séance at his home for research. She accidentally summons his deceased ex-wife, and the situational comedy rolls from there.
“Blithe Spirit” gives its student actors a chance to get into character emotions and relationships while delivering a sophisticated brand of comedy, said Aaron Ginesta, a junior playing Charles.
The High School’s production “Blithe Spirit” opens at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Steamboat Springs High School auditorium. Performances continue at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and high school students with valid identification.
Assistant director and stage manager Blake Kelly, a sophomore who is trying his skills behind the scenes for the first time, said he’s enjoyed watching the actors find ways to make the characters their own as they start to feel comfortable with the material. The show appeals to a wide range of audiences in its humor, using both subtle touches and more obvious jokes to draw out laughs, he said.
“It’s in its own little niche. So the audience may think this is the first play of this kind that the high school has done in a little while, and they’ll be surprised in a good way, I think,” Kelly said.
Olivia Lange-Moore, a junior who plays Charles’ second wife, Ruth, said she learned how to use body language to carry out the more subtle comedy in the play. The show’s comedy likely will play well to anyone who’s been involved in a long-term relationship, Lange-Moore said.
The cast has taken the chance to update parts of the play with modern references and jokes that play to their age group, said Mary Willingham, a freshman playing Madame Arcati.
By taking on a three-act play featuring a brand of comedy that’s new to many of the actors, the students involved in “Blithe Spirit” are broadening their résumés, said Amy Pottinger, director and high school theater teacher.
“I look at in terms of like their college résumé, and in their four years what would be a really great college résumé for them to have. … And they hadn’t done something with this sophistication, but yet still a comedy,” Pottinger said.
The show is expected to run about 2.5 hours, with two intermissions between the three acts. The material is appropriate for all ages, Pottinger said.