OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Oscar Wilde’s romantic comedy, “An Ideal Husband,” to open Feb. 11

01/27/2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will present Oscar Wilde’s 1895 romantic comedy, “An Ideal Husband,” Feb. 11-13 and Feb. 18-20 at beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Withycombe Hall main stage, 30th and Campus Way in Corvallis.

Wilde’s comedy of manners tracks the lives of Sir Robert and Lady Gertrude Chiltern, a well-respected London society couple. Their seemingly perfect marriage and unstained reputations are endangered when the conniving Mrs. Cheveley threatens to expose a long-buried secret from Robert’s past. With the aid of the Chilterns’ best friend, Lord Goring, and his love interest, Miss Mabel Chiltern, Wilde offers a mix of characters and a plot filled with secrets, schemes and love.

Wilde’s comedy also has a serious side, examining what can happen when people harbor secrets and the consequences of setting loved ones upon impossibly high pedestals.

OSU student Matt Holland of Corvallis will play Sir Robert Chiltern and OSU Theatre faculty member Elizabeth Helman will play Lady Gertrude Chiltern. Students McKenzie Miller (La Grande) as Mrs. Cheveley, Rowan Russell (San Francisco) as Lord Goring and Jordyn Patton (San Diego) as Mabel Chiltern round out the cast.

Director Charlotte Headrick called the play, “a sparkling, bubbly comedy with an interesting dark streak.”

This production is set in its original 1895 time period and features the design work of OSU faculty members George Caldwell and Barbara Mason.

Headrick said despite its time period, the play has relevance to contemporary times.

“The whole time I have been thinking about this play, the shadow of Bernie Madoff has been in the background,” she said. “There are so many themes that speak to today’s society – honesty in relationships, honesty and transparency in financial dealings, and especially dealing with people as they are, not idealizing them.”

Ticket prices are $12 general, $10 senior, $8 youth/student, and $5 for OSU students. Call the OSU Theatre box office at 541-737-2784 for tickets and more information. Online purchases can be made at http://www.oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre