A haunting supernatural encounter

In Arts & Entertainment, Theater & Arts
Courtesy of CSUF Theatre and Dance Department
Courtesy of CSUF Theatre and Dance Department

The phrase “all is fair in love and war” is about to take a hilarious and ghostly spin in Cal State Fullerton’s College of the Arts premiere of Blithe Spirit on Friday at the Young Theatre.

The witty and farcical comedy tells a story about a man torn between the love of two women, with elements of the supernatural making up its story.

Blithe Spirit was written by British playwright Noel Coward and is directed by Mark Ramont.

The play follows cantankerous novelist Charles Comodine as he prepares to write a book about the occult.

Amidst doing research on the occult, Comodine invites the town medium Madame Arcati to his home to conduct a seance. During the visit, Arcati accidentally conjures up the spirit of John’s first wife, Elvira, who has been dead for seven years.

Hilarity ensues as the ghost of Elvira attempts to win her husband back from Ruth, the woman that John has since been remarried to.

Ramont isn’t a stranger to the story of Blithe Spirit as he has previously worked on the play in the past.

According to Ramont, Coward created Blithe Spirit as a means to entertain as well as provide escapism to a British audience that was experiencing the dreary and scary period of World War II.

“(Coward) wrote basically a confection,” said Ramont. “Something that’s a lot of fun without a lot of depth or meaning to it, in hopes of letting his audience escape.”

Ramont said the audience should have a good time watching the play and expects plenty of hearty laughs.

Cheryl Gottselig, 20, an acting major, plays Elvira. Gottselig encourages everyone to come and check out the play and hopes it will surprise everyone.

She also believes that most people will find it entertaining, as the play is packed with more than just its comedic elements.

“There’s some romance,” said Gottselig. “It’s basically a battles of the sexes, so bring your date and then argue about it afterward.”

Ramont described the cast of Blithe Spirit as diverse, since the group contains a wide variety of talent.

“Across the span, its junior, senior, graduate and faculty, so there’s a lot of different abilities and variety and they’re working really well as an ensemble,” Ramont said.

Other than the undergraduate students who make up the cast, the show will also feature graduate student Julia Cardia, playing Ruth.

CSUF professor and head of acting Svetlana Efremova, who has also acted in several feature films, including The Island and Phone Booth, will take on the role of Madam Marcati.

Assistant director Elena Murray, 22, a theatre arts major, agreed that the cast has been working well together and described how well the rehearsals for the cast have been going.

“It’s a beast of a show; it’s three acts and its a lot of words, but everyone’s been handling it really well,” said Murray. “They’ve mastered their dialects too, because it’s set in England.”

Gottselig added that rehearsals have placed a large emphasis on character developments since the beginning of the semester, when rehearsals first started.

“From beginning to end (of rehearsals), we can see growth in every scene and in every character,” she said.

Behind the scenes, Blithe Spirit requires tedious work such as mixing technical aspects to complement the acting.

Audience members can expect more ghostly elements in the play.

Blithe Spirit will run from March 8 to March 24. Tickets are on sale for $11 or $10 with the advanced Titan Discount.

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