OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Rollicking Irish comedy ‘Playboy’ opens at OSU

02/01/2007

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will present John Millington Synge’s rollicking comedy, “The Playboy of the Western World,” starting on Feb. 8.

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8-10 and Feb. 15-17 at Withycombe Hall, at 30th and Campus Way on the OSU campus.

The play was first performed in 1907, causing riots in Dublin and later in the United States for its controversial depictions of Irish life as well as what was considered to be at the time startling references to women’s undergarments.

“The Playboy of the Western World” is set in a pub in a rural community on the west coast of Ireland. It tells the story of Christy Mahon, played by senior Jason Craig, whose alleged murder of his father makes him a local hero.

Professor Charlotte Headrick directs the play, which is her fourth Irish play in a row, starting with 2005’s American premiere of “Treehouses” at OSU. She then went on to direct a 2006 production of Frank McGuinness’s “Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme” at Berry College (Rome, Ga.), the American premiere of Nicola McCarthney’s “Heritage” at the University of Central Oklahoma, and now the University Theatre’s production of “Playboy.” Not surprisingly, Headrick’s research area is in Irish drama.

“‘Playboy of the Western World’ is not only one of the great plays of Irish literature and one of the great plays of the English language, but it is also one of the great classics of world drama,” Headrick said. “It is a very funny play.”

The play includes traditional Irish music sung by seniors Rike Teose and Steve McClain.

The stage manager of the production is sophomore Gibby Reynolds with assistance by Heather Hewlett. Costume design is by Barbara Mason; George Caldwell is the scene designer. Technical direction is by Kevin Walker.

Tickets are $9; $7 for seniors and $5 for students.

Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 6:30 p.m. on evenings of performances. For more information, call the box office at 541-737-2784 or go online to http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre/

The cast includes:

  • Astoria: Addy Rutter, junior in chemistry, as a villager
  • Aumsville: Jason Craig, senior in theater arts, as Christy Mahon; Kevin Taylor, senior in English, as villager.
  • Corvallis: Rick Wallace, 1970 OSU graduate, as Michael James Flaherty; Bill McCarthy, 1963 graduate, as Old Man Mahon.
  • Eugene: Carrie Sigloh, junior, zoology major, as Pegeeen Mike.
  • Grants Pass: Matt Smith, senior in English, as Shawn Keogh
  • Hillsboro: Jake Daggett, junior, New Media communication, as Declan McMillan.
  • Hood River: Sadie Masek-LeSueur, freshman, as a villager
  • Pendleton, S.C.: Ariane Jacques, sophomore in theater arts, as a villager
  • Portland: Joey Nicola, senior in theater arts, as a villager; Maarika Teose, senior in math and biology.
  • St. Helens: Gieselle Blair, senior in theater arts, as Widow Quin
  • Tigard: Brenda Jeffers, senior in theater arts, as a villager