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Last updated:
October 4, 2002

Scapino! Coming to Blanche Davis Stage
By Karyn Nelson
UW-RF News Bureau

The University Theatre at UW-River Falls will present the comedy "Scapino!" Oct. 24-26, 30 and Nov. 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. in the Blanche Davis Theatre of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building.

Scapino! combines a pinch of Moliere, a dash of the Marx brothers, a twist of Austin Powers and a whole heap of fun. Set in Naples, the play focuses on Scapino, a rascal and a trickster who helps two sets of young lovers get together despite the opposition of the boys' fathers. A series of deceptions has the fathers paying for the unions and a few coincidences help bring everything to a happy conclusion.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Gorden Hedahl will direct the play. Hedahl is a professor of theatre at UW-RF. He has directed over 50 productions during his career, two of which were for the St. Croix Valley Summer Theatre. Scapino! will be the first show he has directed during the academic year at the University.

Frank Dunlop and Jim Dale created this modern adaptation from the play titled "The Cheats (or Tricks) of Scapin" which is based on the traditions of the commedia del' arte, an improvisational free-form theatrical tradition which introduced "slapstick" comedy. This action-packed, side-splitting play is sure to be filled with comic madness.

Student actors appearing in the play include freshman Mike McKay, a theatre arts major from Hibbing, Minn., who plays Ottavio; junior Cordell Wesselink, a speech communication major from Beldenville who plays Sylvestro; freshman Andy Anderson, a theatre arts major from Northfield, Minn., who plays Scapino; junior Rob Halberg, a marketing communications major from Hastings, Minn., who plays Argante; sophomore Bradley Jennings, an English major from Chetek who plays Geronte; junior Brad Meyer, a speech communications major who plays Leandro; sophomore Wayne Yeager, a speech communications major from River Falls who plays Carlo; sophomore Peter Josef Potyondy, a broad field social studies major from Woodbury, Minn., and freshman Vince Baumel, a social science major from Brooklyn who play waiters; and David Robelia, a former student with a major in chemistry from River Falls who plays the guitar player/gondolier.

Junior Carrie Pommier, a marketing communications major from Eagan, Minn., plays Giancinta; sophomore Marissa Joy Olson, a German and theatre major from Fridley, Minn., plays Zerbinetta; freshman Jessica Cohen, a marketing communications major from Madison plays the Nurse; junior Stephanie Kay Dale, a sociology major from Cottage Grove, Minn., plays Carla; junior Amber Wuollet, a speech communication major from Shakopee, Minn., plays the waitress; and sophomore Renee Schott, a biology major from Greanleaf, plays the townsperson.

Nancy Tech, a freshman from Shakopee, Minn., with a pre-major in social science, will fill the role of stage manager and sophomore Angie Drinkwine, a speech communication major from Superior, will be the assistant stage manager.

Filling the role of costume designer will be senior Moria Clinton, a speech communications major. Her costumes will include style elements from the 1970's as a base for the commedia clown-like characters.

Tickets for Scapino! are available at the University Theatre Ticket Office in the lobby of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building, or by calling 715/425-3114. The cost is $7 for adults, $3 for children, and $3 for students and seniors.

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