Regular patrons of the Minot State University's Summer Theater will have noticed the regular schedule was disrupted this year. Because of the flooding, one of the offerings was postponed. By a lot.
Beginning Aug. 25, for three performances only, "Don't Dress for Dinner" will be presented at the Aleshire Theater in Hartnett Hall at Minot State University.
"We were already a week into rehearsal for it when it was cancelled," said director Paula Lindekugel-Willis. "We decided, after conferring with Kevin (Neuharth), to postpone it to a later date.
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - Ryan Haider as Bernard, left, deals with some of the confusion raised in his “catered affair” by his cook, Suzette, played by Kena Davidson, center, and his best friend Robert, played by Daniel Johnson, right, in the MSU Summer Theatre benefit season closeout “Don’t Dress for Dinner.”
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - There is some confusion between Ryan Haider as Bernard, left, and his wife, Jacqueline, played by Jenna Skeldum, right, as to where Daniel Johnson as Robert -- Bernard’s best friend and Jacqueline’s lover -- should sleep.
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - Daniel Johnson as Robert, left, reacts when Ryan Haider as Bernard, right, greets Suzanne, his wife and Bernard’s mistress, played by Katie Langemo, center.
"I'm so proud of my cast for saying 'Yes, we will do this,' " she said.
The set was completed during the final days of the regular Summer Theater. It includes furnishing from Lindekugel-Willis' own home, which found shelter from the flooding on stage.
"No reservations will be taken," she said. "This is a free-will offering, a fund-raiser with donations split into four directions. First a quarter goes to the Summer Theater; a quarter to the Western Plains Children's Choir, because they lost their whole season, a quarter to Minot Public Schools, because they lost the three schools, and finally to the 'I Helped Rebuild Minot' sheetrock fundraiser."
'Don't Dress for Dinner'
Closing out the Minot State University Summer Theatre's 46th season is "Don't Dress for Dinner," Robin Hawdon's adaptation of Marc Camoletti's "Pyjamas Pour Six," running 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday in the Aleshire Theater.
No reservations are being taken for this production. Admission is by freewill donation, three-quarters of which is going to community charities.
The play itself is a farce, but rather than the standard physical farce, which relies on multiple entrances and exits and characters being 'discovered' inappropriately, "Don't Dress for Dinner" relies more on the situation and snappy language.
Set in contemporary times, the location is an undefined locale a couple of hours outside Paris. A couple, Bernard and Jacqueline, played by Ryan Haider and Jenna Skeldum, have turned a farm into a country villa. They refer to various rooms as the cowshed, the piggery, and so forth, not forgetting the hayloft where plenty of hay-making goes on.
"On this weekend, Bernard is expecting Jacqueline to visit her mother in Paris, so decides to host a 'catered affair,'" Lindekugel-Willis said.
Bernard calls on Suzette the cook, played by Kena Davidson, to help out when he has his mistress, Suzanne, played by Katie Langemo, come to stay. Suzie, that is, Suzanne, is married to Bernard's best friend, Robert, played by Daniel Johnson, who is also invited. Jacqueline decides to stay, because she is having an affair with Robert. In the second act, Suzie that is, Suzette has her husband, George, played by Jake Flaten, show up, and there is a lot of mixed up identification going on.
The play was originally written in French under the title of "Pajamas for Six," which has kept costumers Penny Lipsey and Claire Hoselton on their toes, along with assistant director Brittany Armstrong. The show was adapted to English by playwright Robin Howden.