Little Theatre To Present Blithe Spirit

When Percy Shelley wrote “Hail to thee, blithe Spirit,” he was referring to a joyous Skylark. Leave it to playwright Noel Coward to turn the concept on its ear. The spirits in his play Blithe Spirit are neither birds nor joyous.

In this typically rollicking comedy, Coward creates multiple spirits of the ghostly variety; and they are cranky, to say the least.

The Little Theatre on Fayette’s campus of Central Methodist University will present Coward’s Blithe Spirit on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 4:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m.

The cost of admission is $8 for adults, $5 for CMU faculty and staff, and free for CMU students with identification.

The play is about a novelist, Charles, who invites a psychic to run a séance as background for the plot of his current novel. Instead, much to everyone’s surprise, the psychic materializes the Charles’ deceased first wife, Elvira. Only Charles can see and hear her, although his current wife, Ruth, finally believes in the ghost after Elvira hands her a floating vase.

The two wives fight over Charles until Elvira rigs the car, hoping Charles will die in an accident and be forever hers. Sadly for her, it is Ruth who is killed in the car, leaving both wives in an angry spiritual state and Charles alone in the flesh. A second séance makes matters worse and the play all that much funnier.

The cast of Blithe Spirit includes Bailey Stevens, a freshman criminal justice major from Glasgow, as Edith; Myriah Araiza, a junior theatre arts major from Columbia a, as Ruth; Ben Kixmiller, a sophomore elementary education major from Prairie Home, as Charles; Addison McGuire, a senior biology major from Higbee, as Dr. Bradman;

Whitney Bias, a sophomore communication studies major from Versailles, as Mrs. Bradman; Cori Bryan, a sophomore music education major from Springfield, as Madame Arcati; and Karlie Noll, a senior theatre arts major from New Cambria, as Elvira.

The play is under the direction of Dr. Mark Kelty, Professor of Theatre Arts. His assistant director and stage manager is Abigail Wimberley, a junior theatre arts major from Independence. Scenic/lighting designer is Gregory Owen, assistant professor of theatre and communications; costume designer, Terri Rohlfing from Fayette; and scene shop foreman, Chuck Thompson from Fayette.

Crew members for set construction and painting include Cori Bryan, Emma Wyble, a senior early childhood education major from Columbia, and Jenny Barnett, a junior theatre arts major from Saint Louis; publicity and front of house Karlie Noll, Myriah Araiza, and Jaiden Preston, a freshman undeclared major from Kennett;

Lights, Ben Kixmiller and Ashley Brewer, a sophomore theatre arts major from Salisbury; properties, Addison McGuire, Bailey Stevens, and Jordan Cassmeyer, a junior mathematics major from Jefferson City, Alex Fjeseth, a senior religion and church leadership and special education double major from Hulbert, Okla., and Natalie Van Horn, a sophomore marine biology major from Raymore; and costumes, Terri Banderet, a senior biology major from Saint Louis, and Whitney Bias; and board operators Alex Fjeseth and Jaiden Preston.

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