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Comedy to showcase student work at Linfield Theatre

Lend Me a Tenor, Linfield College TheatreKen Ludwig’s comedy Lend Me a Tenor gives new meaning to double lives and provides a way for Linfield College students to showcase their talent.

The Linfield Theatre, now in its 91st season, will present this award-winning play Nov. 4-6 and 11-13 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. in the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall at Linfield.

“The play is well-written and very clever,” said Janet Gupton, associate professor of theatre, who will direct the play.

Lend Me a Tenor, a 2010 Tony Award nominee for best revival of a play, previously won three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards.

The play is set in 1934 when Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world famous Tito Morelli, Il Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as Otello. The star arrives late and, through a series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Max, Saunders’ assistant, fools the audience into thinking he’s Il Stupendo, but Morelli comes to and is ready to perform. Now two Otellos are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with Il Stupendo.

“Audiences want to come to the theatre to laugh and enjoy a respite from their own hectic schedules,” Gupton said. “It is a very fast-moving humorous farce that is fun to direct. While light-hearted in content, it challenges the comedic timing of the actors.”

An immense collaboration has occurred among the cast, crew, designers and director throughout the production in order to create a successful show.

“Farces like ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ are very popular and widely produced,” said Gupton. “Our student actors, crew members and designers could easily be asked to work on this type of play once they go into professional or community theatre.”

Large responsibilities for the production of the play have been given to students. Alessa Karlin, a senior majoring in theatre, is the set designer, and Steven Stewart, a senior majoring in theatre and history, is the costume designer. Katie Grainey, a sophomore, is assistant lighting designer.

“I have never designed a set before so it’s continually a learning experience,” said Karlin. “Opening night is the biggest reward. It’s like my ‘baby.’ It’s exciting to think that my design has helped the production become a reality.”

Tickets are $9 for full price; $7 for seniors (62+) and Linfield faculty and staff; and $5 for students; with a $2 discount on all tickets on opening night. Seating is reserved. Tickets are available on the web at www.linfield.edu/arts-and-culture.html, by phone, or in person at the Marshall Theatre Box Office. Located just inside the lobby of Ford Hall, the box office is open Tuesday through Friday from 3-5 p.m., and until 7:30 p.m. on performance days. The box office will also be open Nov. 6 and 13 from 3-7:30 p.m., and from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7. The box office is closed Mondays.

To reach Ford Hall from Highway 99W, turn east on Keck Drive at the McMinnville Market Center in south McMinnville. Turn right on Lever Street and right again on Ford Drive. Ford Hall is located at the west end of the parking lot. Visit http://www.linfield.edu/admission/visit/preparing-for-your-visit/campusmap.html for a map (Ford Hall is number 58B on the map).

The Marshall Theatre is fully accessible. Contact the box office directly if you require accessible seating. Assisted listening devices are available at each performance.

For more information, call 503-883-2292.