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10/12/2007 Theatre presents fall comedy

McMINNVILLE – Linfield College theatre students will showcase the conflict between romance and intellect in the upcoming production of “ The Learned Ladies” by Molière, as translated and adapted by Freyda Thomas.

The play will run Nov. 8-10 and 15-17 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. in the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall at Linfield.

In the comedy, directed by Janet Gupton, associate professor of theatre, Clitandre seeks the hand of Henriette. Henriette’s father strongly approves, but his wife, Philaminte, has plans for her to marry Trissotin, a foppish charlatan who panders to Philaminte’s pseudo-intellectual pursuits. To complicate matters, Henriette’s older sister resents Clitandre’s attention to Henriette although she previously spurned his advances in order to pursue her own intellectual endeavors.

This production of “The Learned Ladies” will be set in the 1930s Hollywood era, but will retain its 17th century French roots by including some of the original French dialogue. Gupton hopes to mix the grand style and heightened reality of the “screwball comedies” popular in Hollywood films from the 1930s with Molière’s own use of comedy in order to poke fun at the pretentiousness and eccentricities of the upper middle class.

“I hope our production can be reminiscent of the Katherine Hepburn-Cary Grant classic film ‘Bringing Up Baby,’” said Gupton.

To complement the Hollywood setting, scenic designer Tyrone Marshall, Linfield professor of theatre arts and program director, has created the library of a Hollywood mansion in which all seating arrangements, staircases, columns and more are literally made of books. Costume designer Jennifer Peterson’s costumes will also recreate the glamour of 1930s Hollywood movie stars. Ben Alexander, sound designer and technical director for the show, will complete the design concept by using music from the era, which was often upbeat and meant to take the audience’s mind off of the depression that the United States was experiencing.

Tickets are $9 for full price and $7 for students and seniors (62+), with a $2 discount on opening night. Tickets are available on the web at www.linfield.edu/culture. A small service charge will apply for web orders. Tickets may also be purchased at the Marshall Theatre box office or ordered over the phone. Located just inside the lobby of Ford Hall, the box office is open Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., with extended hours on performance days. The box office will also be open Nov. 10 and 17 from 3 to 8 p.m., and from noon until 2 on Nov. 11. The box office is closed on Mondays. Tickets will go on sale Oct. 30. For more information, call 503-883-2292.

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.