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Bag&Baggage Productions presents Blithe Spirit @ The Vault Theater | Brilliant Comedy of Manners

May 17
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Cost: $25 - $35
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The Vault Theater
350 E Main Street
Hillsboro, Oregon
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Blithe Spirit
All Ages
More info: bagnbaggage.org

Bag&Baggage Productions, Hillsboro’s only professional theatre company, brings Noel Coward’s brilliant, witty comedy of manners, Blithe Spirit, to life at The Vault Theater in May of 2018. Starring B&B’s entire Resident Acting Company, and directed by B&B Founder Scott Palmer, Blithe Spirit is considered Noel Coward’s masterpiece of wit and wickedness.

“Noel Coward is infamous for his witty banter, biting social commentary, and fabulous dialogue,” says Palmer, “and Blithe Spirit is Noel Coward at his very, very best. I love this play, and am truly excited to work with this incredible cast on one of the most popular plays ever written.”

Written during the height of World War II, Blithe Spirit was devised by Coward as a way to give the British people something to laugh at, and be delighted by, while faced with the hardships of the war. The play opened in London in 1941 and immediately broke all ticket sales records, becoming one of the most successful stage plays in all of English history.

Blithe Spirit tells the story of novelist Charles Condomine who decides to host a dinner party and séance with his wife Ruth to provide important details for the plot of Charles’ upcoming book. The séance is conducted by the bizarre and hilarious psychic Madame Arcati who accidentally summons the spirit of Charles’ previous wife, Elvira, back from “the other side.” Elvira, though, is only visible to Charles, thus setting off a series of farcical events as both women battle for Charles’ attention.

“One of the most exciting things about our production,” says Palmer, “is that we get to use the full force of all of our theatre equipment and technology to help create the ghostly, supernatural world of the play.” Projections, stage tricks, and more will be employed by Scenic Design Tyler Buswell (who recently designed the set for B&B’s Death and the Maiden). Buswell says, “My favorite thing in the entire world is engineering stage tricks and rigging for supernatural effects in theatre. I cannot wait to get started creating this amazing, ghostly world.”

The action of the play has been set in the slick, plastic world of England’s 1980s, and the production explores Coward’s obsession with mockery; particularly mockery of gender roles, his distaste of social norms and platitudes, and his complete aversion to the rigid rules of marriage. “One of my favorite Coward quotes is at the heart of our production. Coward said, ‘To take a gloomy view of life is not part of my philosophy; to laugh at the idiocies of my fellow creatures is,” and that approach to the comedy of cruelty is very much in the mix of our show.”

Blithe Spirit stars B&B Resident Artists Jessi Walters as Elvira, Andrew Beck as Charles, Peter Schuyler as Dr. Bradman, Kymberli Colbourne as the hilarious Madame Arcati, Arianne Jacques as Edith, with Associate Artist Jessica Geffen as Mrs. Bradman, and Associate Artistic Director Cassie Greer as Ruth. Costumes designed by Melissa Heller, with Lighting Design by Jim Ricks-White.

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