close
close

Familiarity abounds in Bemidji Community Theatre’s production of ‘Blithe Spirit’

Familiarity abounds in Bemidji Community Theatre’s production of ‘Blithe Spirit’

BEMIDJI — Bemidji Community Theatre will present the two-week-long family play “Blithe Spirit” this weekend.

Noël Coward’s witty and charming comedy opens Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at the BCT Center for the Performing Arts (316 Beltrami Ave. NW).

The seven-part cast includes a husband and wife, Steven and Anna Mayer, and a mother and daughter, Amy and Elisa Strande. Steven Mayer plays the title character, Charles Condomine. Anna Mayer plays his first wife, Elvira. Amy Strande plays family friend Violet Bradman. Elisa Strande plays the family’s maid, Edith.

Members of the Bemidji Community Theatre rehearse a scene from their play “Blithe Spirit,” which opens at 7 p.m. Friday, July 12, at the BCT Performing Arts Center.

Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Julie Kaiser, meanwhile, wears two hats. She is the director of the production and plays the role of Madame Arcati.

“It’s an interesting endeavor to wear two hats,” said Kaiser, who also played Madame Arcati in a Vision Theatre production a few years ago. “I joked about doing it again, but I didn’t think it would happen. But the actress I wanted to cast couldn’t do it. We were a little behind schedule, so I decided to do it instead of someone else coming in.

Bemidji Community Theatre members (left to right), Rebecca Swanson as “Ruth Condomine,” Julie Kaiser as “Madame Arcati” and Elisa Strande as “Edith,” rehearse a scene from their play “Blithe Spirit,” opening at 7 p.m. Friday, July 12, at the BCT Performing Arts Center.

Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

“It was just different because you don’t get the perspective that you normally get. But I have a wonderful stage director and assistant director in Vickie Stenerson. I trust her eye and she knows what my vision is. So she’s been a blessing to me.”

Other cast members include Rebecca Swanson as Charles’ second wife Ruth and Reed Peterson as Dr. George Bradman.

Steven Mayer also played the widower Charles Condomine in that early Vision Theater production. Charles’ remarriage to Ruth is complicated by the unexpected appearance of his dead wife’s spirit following a seance conducted by the eccentric medium Madame Arcati.

Bemidji Community Theatre members (left to right) Rebecca Swanson as “Ruth Condomine,” Steven Mayer as “Charles Condomine,” Reed Peterson as “Dr. George Bradman” and Amy Strande as “Violet Bradman” rehearse a scene from the upcoming play “Blithe Spirit.”

Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Madame Arcati, who at first thought the seance was a failure, appears to have inadvertently brought back Charles’s deceased first wife, Elvira. When Elvira arrives, she is unable to leave. She cannot be seen or heard by Ruth, and causes all sorts of mischievous trouble between Charles and Ruth.

Kaiser said that it was easy to direct him in the role of Charles.

“Steven has an extraordinary ability to remember a lot of dialogue,” he said. “He commits himself to a character. He does a great job of balancing wit and sarcasm.”

Members of the Bemidji Community Theatre rehearse a scene from their play “Blithe Spirit,” which opens at 7 p.m. Friday, July 12, at the BCT Performing Arts Center.

Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

“Blithe Spirit” continues with performances on July 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and on July 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at McKenzie Place and Ken K. Thompson Jewelry. Prices are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $6 for children. Limited concierge seating is also available for $25.

More information is available online at:

bemidjicommunitytheater.com.

Bemidji Community Theatre members Steven Mayer, left, as “Charles Condomine,” and Rebecca Swanson, left, as “Ruth Condomine,” rehearse a scene from their play “Blithe Spirit,” opening at 7 p.m. Friday, July 12, at the BCT Performing Arts Center.

Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Dennis Doeden, former publisher of the Bemidji Pioneer, is a features reporter. He graduated from Metropolitan State University with a BA in Communications Management.