The second offering at the Minot State University Summer Theater will be the final one for an area drama stalwart.
"Love, Sex and the I.R.S." by William Van Zandt and Jane Milmore runs from June 23-27, and is the final play at MSU to be directed by Paula Lindekugel-Willis.
"I took my undergraduate degree here in 1968-72," she said. "Then came back in '81 to finish a degree in broadcasting, and got hired in 1984."
From left to right, Brett Olson as Leslie, Katie Langemo as Jon's fiancee, Kate, and Chris Capp as Jon are shown.
She has not directed this play before, but said it's a farce that's different from those she's directed in the past.
"I looked at it and thought, 'Where's the shtick?'" Lindekugel-Willis said. "It's not physical farce like we've had the last couple of years. It's more in the verbal, the language."
"Love, Sex and the I.R.S." is set in the 1970s following President Nixon's resignation and the ending of the military draft.
"It centers around John (played by newcomer Christopher Capp), who's been living with his friend (portrayed by Brett Olson) in New York for a couple of years," Lindekugel-Willis said. "John has been doing their taxes for years, and at some point he checked 'married' and they saved a lot of money. He thought he could get away with it because his roommate's name is Leslie, which could be male or female."
"(When the play begins) he finds out the I.R.S. is coming to visit," she said.
The farcical aspect comes with the love triangle between John and his fiancee, played by Katie Langemo, and Leslie dressed as a woman. It becomes a "love square" when Leslie's girlfriend (Peg Morris) appears right after the tax man, played by David Iversen, comes in.
"Then Arnold Grunion, played by Josh Snyder, comes along and really throws a wrench into the works," said Lindekugel-Willis. "He forces the preceding stories to come together."
Chad Gifford, who designed the set, remarked to Lindekugel-Willis that he had never before designed a set for a farce with only two doors. In most, there are several entrances and exits so that characters may be revealed and concealed rapidly. Lindekugel-Willis countered that at least there are two levels.
"Besides, any play that has Brett Olson in a dress has to be a farce," she said with a grin. Matt Dempsey designed the costumes and Brittany Armstrong is the stage manager, with Jason Gaarder as her assistant.
Performances are at 8:30 p.m. with the box opening an hour before. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $5 for age 12 and under and $3 for MSU faculty, staff and summer students with current ID. There is also deck seating for $10 each. Military Appreciation Night, with discounted admission for military members, is Saturday night. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 858-3228.