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4/13/2005 Italian comedy to conclude Linfield theatre season

McMINNVILLE - Take two pairs of lovers forbidden to marry by their fathers and throw in a sneaky servant and you get "Scapino!" a comedy by Frank Dunlop and Jim Dale, which will run in the Linfield College Marshall Theatre in May.

"Scapino!" is written in the tradition of the Italian Commedia dell?Arte and inspired by Molière?s "Les Fourberies de Scapin." It is the story of two young men who fall in love with women who do not meet their fathers? standards. With the help of their servants, Scapino and Sylvestro, the two men defy their fathers to be with the women they love. Scapino, the typical sneaky character often depicted in Italian theatre from Roman times, is able to help his wards while creating humorous situations.

Janet Gupton, director and assistant professor of theatre and communication arts at Linfield, will direct the production.

"I liked the play because it is a comedy that requires a lot physically from the actors," said Gupton. "I think it?s a valuable skill for the students to attempt to master."

While the physical nature of the play can be a challenge for the cast and director, Gupton said it will provide an entertaining show for the audience.

"It?s almost like directing a three-ring circus," said Gupton. "The cast is running, jumping, sliding, juggling and throwing things all over."

The set and costume designs also present challenges with the play, which takes place in a seaside café in Naples, Italy.

"With all the comedic and acrobatic activity on stage, we must make a set that mirrors

the physical nature of the cast and script," said Tyrone Marshall, scenic designer and professor of theatre arts at Linfield. "We try hard to make the platform work for the actors, but in a production like ?Scapino!? the set takes a lot of abuse."

The set will be one of the largest ever constructed for a Linfield theatre production, going

from the very back wall of the theatre and taking up the entire space. Eighteen-foot buildings will give the area a larger-than-life feel. The theatre will be in a thrust arrangement with the audience on three sides, putting them almost on top of the play, Marshall said.

Faculty in the Linfield theatre department try to create diverse opportunities for actors by offering a well-rounded theatre season. Already this year, students have participated in adaptations of "Antigone," a Greek classic, and "Water Children," a contemporary play. A 15-member cast will now present a classic Italian comedy, rounding out the second theatre season in Marshall Theatre. The department also offers opportunities for students to gain experience in other areas of theatre. This year senior Oliver Ogden will be assistant director of the production. Student-teacher mentorships are also available in lighting and set design.

Gupton is excited to direct the talented young cast in the spring production.

"It is good family fun appropriate for all ages," she said.

Performances will be May 5-7 and 13-14 at 8 p.m., May 8 at 2 p.m. and May 12 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students, Linfield faculty and staff, and seniors (62+)

. On Mother?s Day, May 8, tickets are $3 for mothers.

Tickets for "Scapino!" will go on sale April 25 and can be reserved by calling 503-883-2292 or by e-mail at theatre@linfield.edu. Tickets may be purchased in Ford Hall from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with expanded hours on performance days.

To reach Ford Hall from 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.