Truckee High Drama Club taking on Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’ | SierraSun.com

Truckee High Drama Club taking on Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’

Christine Stanley

Cassie Denton, Colton Long, and Chelsea Hess rehearse for the upcoming play "Blithe Spirit" Christine Stanley/Sierra Sun

The Truckee High Drama Club is mixing it up this fall with a dark comedy that’s beyond this world.After a line-up of musicals and slap-stick comedies, play director Mira Retallack decided to switch gears and showcase a more sophisticated production, Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.””I was struck by the fact that Coward wrote a comedy during at time of such angst. There is a lot happening in our world, and I think the irony of the play is fitting to today’s events,” Retallack said.

The play takes place, and was written, during the blitz on Great Britain by Hitler’s forces during World War II, which has given the Drama Club’s actors some new challenges and opportunities as they learn to work with the highfalutin language of the time.A remarried widower named Charles, the lead character played by junior Colton Long, hosts a seance in his home as research for a novel he plans to write about an murderous fake psychic. The night takes a dramatic turn for Charles and his wife Ruth, played by senior Cassie Denton, when the writer’s ex-wife Elvira, played by senior Chelsea Hess, appears in ghost form. “Truckee doesn’t get plays like this,” said junior Laurel Patterson, who will be playing the roll of Mrs. Bradman. “There is more talk, and less action, but the jokes are in the dialogue.”

The banter that takes place between the hen-pecked husband, his firey red-head spouse, and the seductive dead wife is witty and wry, and sure to keep the audience laughing out loud.And there is no shortage of talent with this cast. All seven players expressed interest in pursuing theater, at least as a minor, in college, and since they have worked together before (all were in the spring musical Bye Bye Birdie), they are bonded and accustomed to the group’s strengths and weaknesses.”The whole process has been exciting,” said Hess. “Learning your lines, getting your costumes, seeing the set. And it’s been great because our personalities really fit the characters.”

Retallack is optimistic that this production will be thoroughly enjoyed by the community, and is excited to expose this verbal comedy.And Jen Ward, the junior who will be playing the roll of Edeth, said “you’ll feel smarter when you walk out of the theater.”