British farce rehearsals underway at USD Rehearsals are underway for The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre's opening production, Taking Steps, a farce by Alan Syckbourn, England's most widely performed contemporary playwright. Taking Steps performs Oct. 15-18 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.
Taking Steps is a "tale of love, confusion and freedom" set in a three-story crumbling neo-gothic house. The action centers around a wacky collection of characters all of whom are "taking steps" in relationships rife with change. A key farcical element of the play comes from Ayckbourn's scenic device of compressing a three-level home onto a single level so that rooms overlap and change. This inventive trick brings characters into hysterically unique relationships.
The play is directed by Dan Miller, a graduate student in directing who has participated in workshops with Ayckbourn in Scarborough, England, each of the past two summers. Miller may be remembered for having directed Vermillion Community Theatre's production of Robin Hood this past summer and Broken Glass last fall at USD.
Professors Tim Case and Linda Wigley Scribner design sets and costumes, respectively, while undergraduate students Warren Bishop from Summit County, CO and Darren Golden of Council Bluffs, IA design light and sound.
The cast includes Jennifer Edwards (Huron) as Elizabeth Crabbe, a go-go dancer who contemplates dumping her husband, a self-made tycoon in the business of manufacturing buckets. Jesse Jensen (Aberdeen) plays Roland Crabbe, her husband. Jensen may be remembered as Dr. Hyman from last year's production of Broken Glass. Joie Bauer (Morse Bluff, NE) plays Mark Boxer, Elizabeth's brother, who is engaged to Kitty in another shaky relationship. Alyssa Horn, who calls Glencoe, MN home and who is a transfer student from Concordia College, plays Kitty. Leslie, a con-man and motorcycle-loving contractor, is played by Tyler Swank (Rapid City), a veteran of many University Theatre productions. Doug Dotson (Spearfish) assumes the role of Tristram Watson, a solicitor. Dotson played the Baker and Asher in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last season.
Tickets for Taking Steps are $9 for adults, $7 for senior citizens (62+), $5 for youth and non-USD students, and $1 for USD students with current ID. The box office opens Oct. 8. Tickets can be reserved by calling (605) 677-5400.