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UCO's theater department stages comedic farce A Flea in Her Ear

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A Flea in Her Ear, staged by the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) theater department, provides more than a few laughs. The production runs 7 p.m. Oct. 14-16 and 2 p.m. Oct. 17 in Mitchell Hall Theatre on the UCO campus, 100 N. University Drive, in Edmond.

Written by Georges Feydeau in 1907, the play humorously addresses issues such as infidelity and sexuality. The UCO theater department chose the adaptation by Greg Leaming first produced in 2004 in Dallas by Classical Acting Company.

“The department chose a farce so that our students would have an opportunity to learn the very physical acting style a farce requires,” said director Daisy Folsom, a professor in UCO’s Department of Theater Arts.

Folsom was intrigued by Leaming’s adaptation, set in 1968, because it examines the cultural shifts of the time in a way that parallels present-day cultural shifts. The idea is that the audience laughs about issues they might normally avoid discussing. These issues represent an exaggerated vision of the human condition, one that, in times of tumult (like the late ’60s and today), seem particularly relevant.

The play focuses on Laura Chandler, portrayed by Lydia McBee Reed of Stillwater, and her husband, Victor, portrayed by Riley Turner of Oklahoma City. Laura attempts to catch him being unfaithful and involves her best friend Senora Maria Homenides De Histangua, portrayed by Arianna Nero of Perry, to set a trap to trap him.

From there, the action builds momentum as Victor sends his friend into the fray and Maria’s jealous husband Señor Don Carlos , the Chandlers’ maid, her husband, the butler, a cousin, Edward Chandler and the family doctor all arrive at Pussycaat Hotel with various assignations in mind.

Pamela Washington, dramaturg at UCO, described the increasingly complicated and chaotic plot that draws in multiple characters with varying motives.

“[It culminates when] Victor arrives at the hotel to stop the tryst and everyone tries to hide, with varying degrees of success, from everyone else,” Folsom said. “Oh, did I mention that Victor has a double?”

This is the first time the production has been staged at UCO. The play is suitable for high school-aged students through adults, as it deals with mature themes.

Steven Akins, College of Fine Arts & Design marketing and communications director, said the audience should “be prepared to laugh and laugh and laugh at these very human characters caught in a ridiculous situation.”

Tickets are $10-$20 and are available online at uco.edu/cfad or by calling 405-974-3375.

Print headline: Farcical flea, The University of Central Oklahoma stages a comedy for all.

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