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'The Bald Soprano' and 'The Lesson' to open this week

RELEASED: Dec. 2, 2009

Bald Soprano posterEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire department of theatre arts will present Eugene Ionesco's "The Bald Soprano" and "The Lesson" at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 9-12, with a matinee performance at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 6. in UW-Eau Claire's Kjer Theatre.

Known as the "Father of Theatre of the Absurd," Ionesco wrote groundbreaking plays that are often described as hilarious, tragic and profound. Now his one-act plays "The Bald Soprano" and "The Lesson" are available in a translation by Pulitzer Prize finalist Tina Howe.

In "The Bald Soprano," Ionesco puts together a cast of characters including the British middle-class Smith family; their guests, the Martins; their maid, Mary; and a fire chief. It's a production that takes on problems in modern communication. "The Lesson" illustrates Ionesco's darker side, where a frightening nightmare ensues as a professor becomes increasingly frustrated with his hapless student, and the student with his teacher.

Cast members for "The Bald Soprano" and "The Lesson" are sophomore Joshua Barnard,

Le Sueur, Minn., as Mr. Smith; sophomore Siri Brobst, Rochester, Minn., as Mrs. Smith/the student; senior Cameron Cylkowski, St. Paul, Minn., as the fire chief; sophomore Alicia Homan, Brule, as Mrs. Martin; freshman Sami Johnson, Rogers, Minn., as Mary and the maid; junior Matt Tatone, Golden Valley, Minn., as Mr. Martin; and senior Eddie Neve, De Forest, as the professor.

"The Bald Soprano" and "The Lesson" are directed by Dr. Jennifer Chapman, assistant professor of theatre, with Kevin Gawley, assistant professor of theatre, as scenic and lighting designer and Mallory Prucha Rishoi, artist in music and theatre arts, as costume designer.

Tickets, available at the Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-8932, are $10 for the general public; $8 for those 62 and older and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff; $6 for those 17 and younger; and $2.50 for students with a university ID. Tickets for campus events also are available at the ticket office in the Haas Fine Arts Center lobby weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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KJ/RD/DW

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