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Whitworth Theatre to stage "Hay Fever" Oct. 14-22

September 28, 2011

This October, Whitworth Theatre will present its fall production, "Hay Fever." Performances will be Oct. 14, 15, 21, and 22 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 16 at 2 p.m., in Cowles Memorial Auditorium on Whitworth's campus. General admission is $8; students and senior citizens (62 and up) pay $6. Tickets may be purchased at the door, in advance by calling the theatre box office at (509) 777-3707, or online at

"Hay Fever," written by Noel Coward, is a comedy set in the witty and stylish world of the 1920s. The play revolves around the eccentric Bliss family: a semi-retired actress mother, a novelist father, and two budding artist children. It takes place in the family's English country house, where each family member has invited a guest to spend the weekend. The family's outrageous antics alternately infuriate and astound their hapless guests. Rousing fights, surprise engagements and fevered declarations of love are all just part of the fun at the Bliss household during this weekend romp.

The production will mark the debut of Whitworth's new assistant professor of theatre, Aaron Dyszelski, who specializes in costume and set design. Dyszelski will be in charge of creating the world of "Hay Fever," which will mark the first time a set will be designed in-house at Whitworth.

"The play is set in 1920s England, so the set requires a light and airy feeling combined with the grand elegance of that period," Dyszelski says.

The play provides a glimpse into the theatrical world of the 1920s with all of its unique mannerisms and clothing. The actors must master the accent and the elevated use of language and wit, the style of the clothing and how that affects their movements and body language, and also capture the air of casual elegance that marked the period.

"The style of the 1920s is really beautiful and fun, and we’re having a great time creating this world," says Diana Trotter, the director of the play and a Whitworth theatre professor. "I hope the production captures the wonderful style of the 1920s and I hope that it delights people with its humor."

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Jennifer Toulouse-Lee, theatre department program assistant, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3707 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or