Photo courtesy of Marvin Garcia. Actors rehearsing Charley’s Aunt in the Pollock Theatre.
Charley’s Aunt is a unique play set in the Victorian Era at Oxford University in England and is about love, confusion and laughter. The play is directed by COD’s Theatre Instructor, Janet Miller. The first performance starts the weekend of Nov. 9 in the Pollock Theatre.
Charley’s Aunt is a farcical comedy written by Brandon Thomas and was first performed in February 1892 at the Theatre Royal in Suffolk, England. It was wildly popular and ran for 1,466 performances.
What is Charley’s Aunt about? This is how director Miller describes it, “Charley and Jack love Amy and Kitty. The gents think they may miss the opportunity to express their devotion but, as luck would have it, Charley’s mysterious aunt from Brazil is coming for a visit. Now the aunt can chaperone while the boys ask the girls to marry them! Naturally, things don’t go as planned,” said Miller.
Donna Lucia (the aunt) is late and their friend, Lord Fancourt Babberley (Babbs) pretends to be Donna Lucia, and hijinks ensue. Will true love prevail or will all be lost? Only Charley’s Aunt knows for sure.
Miller chose this play because of its history and how fun it could be, “It has a grand history and is wonderfully fun for the actors. Being set in the Victorian Era, it is something different for the actors to work on,” said Miller.
The play promises to deliver a lot of laughs and a different style of comedy, something the cast of Charley’s Aunt agrees with. Cast member, Austin Berry plays character Charley Wykeham, he said, “I think it’s hilarious. I’m super excited to be working with everyone on it.” Another cast member, Aaron Ortega, playing the character Jack Chesney, shared a similar feeling, “It’s a fast-paced farce, with high energy and even funnier jokes.”
The cast of Charley’s Aunt, along with Miller, will be well prepared for the first performance on Nov.
9. “We will be in rehearsal for six weeks,” Miller said. “Our rehearsal period includes working on the character, blocking, a costume parade, tech week and working with a dialect coach.”
Miller hopes this play and future productions in the COD Arts and Media department will accomplish, “a showcase for our talented students here at College of the Desert and a continued appreciation of the arts.” COD is producing Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley in the spring in Theatre Too and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at the McCallum Theatre, May 2-5.
You can see Charley’s Aunt Nov. 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 11, and 18 at 3 p.m. in COD’s Pollock Theatre. For pre-sale tickets go to the COD Bookstore (cash and debit card only). Or online at www.collegeofthedesert.ticketleap.com. For more information call 760-773-2574.