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Released February 6, 2003

SOUTHERN MISS THEATER PRODUCTION IS GOOD FOR A LAUGH

HATTIESBURG - The Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Southern Mississippi is busily preparing its next production of a sexy and scandalous French farce that weaves an outrageous plot full of mistaken identities and comic misunderstandings, saucy servants and hilarious predicaments.

Georges Feydeau's "A Flea in Her Ear," which runs Feb. 20-22 and Feb. 26-March 2, features graduate and undergraduate actors from the department under the direction of department chair Frank Kuhn.

"The play requires real skill in comic timing, and this cast is pulling it off brilliantly," Kuhn said. "We have a first-rate group of comic actors in residence now, and ‘A Flea in Her Ear' is the perfect vehicle for their talents."

The playwright has been often called "the Neil Simon of early 20th-century France," but Kuhn said he might be more accurately compared to Mel Brooks or to the writers of the Carol Burnett Show.

"Feydeau starts with a group of ordinary people, employed in relatively ordinary activities, and before long has them running around like lunatics," Kuhn said.

The design team for this latest Southern Miss production is made up of theater faculty members: associate professor Stephen Judd, whose work was recently seen in Southern Miss's production of "The Caucasian Chalk Circle," is designing the set; assistant professor Brian Hapcic, who designed the lighting for last fall's musical "And The World Goes Round," is the lighting designer; and professor Larry Mullican, longtime costume instructor and director of "The Caucasian Chalk Circle," is designing the costumes.

Assistant professor Drew Sutherland, who directed the department's first production of 2002-2003 season, "God's Country," is choreographing the fights and pratfalls.

Cast members include: Leon Contavesprie as Victor-Emmanuel Chandebise/ Poche, Lacy Gaskin as Raymonde, Daniel Goodman as Camille, Scott Hancock as Tournel, Cliff Thompson as Dr. Finache, Corey Cunningham as Don Carlos Homenides, Brooke Thompson as Lucienne, Joey Plaia as Etienne, Sarah Teatherston as Antoinette, Joe Styron as Ferraillon, John Ginn as Wimbledon, Victoria Lightner as Olympe and Liz Mills as Eugenie.

Student technical staff includes Rachel Rogers as stage manager and Bethany Dailey as assistant director.

The production runs at 7:30 p.m. each evening Feb. 20-22 and again Feb. 26-March 1 — a 2 p.m. matinee on March 2 — at the Martha R. Tatum Theatre. As an added incentive to see all remaining productions of the spring semester, the department is offering a half-off discount of the season ticket packages.

Individual show tickets are $10 general admission; $8 for Southern Miss faculty, staff and senior citizens; and $6 for students. Call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425 for tickets and information about available season packages. Order online at www.tickets.usm.edu.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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