Jo-Hi cast to present 'Blithe Spirit'

Members of the Joseph High School cast of "Blithe Spirit," to be performed on the school stage at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, are, left to right: front, tech crew members Alayna Brink, Andrew McFarland and Brooke Moncrief; middle, actors and actresses Rajani Hansen, Megan Garnett, Erin Baynes, Julian Moro; back, Antonia Pfeiffer, Zeke Hale, Kevin Graham, Emma Strickland, Brannon Farner and Ritchie Meyer. Photo by Elane Dickenson

Noel Coward's improbable farce, "Blithe Spirit," will be featured in three performances on the Joseph High School stage at 7 p.m. Thursday -Saturday, Nov. 21-23. There will be no admission charge for Wallowa County students Thursday (today).

The three-act comedy, produced by special arrangement, will be directed by Jo-Hi Thespian Troupe advisor Pam Latta, with assistance by Richelle Chitwood.

It is set in the countryside around Kent, England, where author Charles Condomine (played by Kevin Graham) arranges a seance in his home in order to obtain color for his new book. He invites Madame Arcati (Rajani Moller Hansen), a well-known medium to conduct the proceedings.

In addition to his wife Ruth (Erin Baynes), he invites his friends and skeptics, Dr. and Mrs. Bradman (Zeke Hale and Megan Garnett), to attend. Also participating are Stephen Hyde-Lewellyn (Brannon Farner) and Rondolph Westlake (Julian Moro).

There are the ususal dim lights, table tapping and mumbo jumbo, but surprisingly, with the assistance of her youthful control Daphne (Antonia Pfeiffer), Madame Arcati materializes Charles' first wife Elvira (Emma Strickland) who had passed over seven years prior. Charles relies on his butler (Ritchie Meyer) for support during the household's madcap attempts to sort out the chaos caused by Elvira's reappearance.

Assisting backstage will be Alayna Brink, Brooke Moncrief, Andrew McFarland and Kyle Clough.

"Blithe Spirit" was written in 1941 during WWII, according to the author, "in five days during one of the darkest days of the war." His own apartment building in England had been reduced to rubble during a bombing raid, and yet his genius spills forth into this, one of his best works. He wanted to write a "very gay, superficial comedy."

Joseph's Thespian Troupe is celebrating its 12th year, with future plans including its annual murder mystery dinner theater at Wallowa Lake Lodge Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

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