Mistaken identities, a pair of suspenders, and anonymous love letters mixed with a diverse cast of characters helped guide the plot of the most recent Loras Players production.
On Nov. 18-20, audiences crowded St. Joseph’s Auditorium in Hoffmann Hall to watch the Loras Players present their annual fall play. The cast, each year composed of Loras students, brought the classic farce “A Flea in Her Ear” to life under the direction of long-time Loras theater director Douglas Donald. “A Flea in Her Ear” was originally written in 1907 by Georges Feydeau, but the wacky characters and energetic plot still resonate with modern audiences. The fast-paced comedic story follows a day in the life of a French couple as a simple case of mistaken identity leads to an increasingly intricate plot consisting of attempted murder, chance romantic encounters, and slapstick humor that kept audiences laughing from beginning to end.
“The goal for the show was to get the cast to understand the style of the show; the speed required, and the physicality required,” said Donald. “As for the audience, our main goal was simply to get them to enjoy themselves and laugh.” The performance met both goals very well.
At every performance, the cast took to the stage with newfound energy that made each show unique and kept audiences engaged. “A Flea in Her Ear” was a demanding project for all the cast members, as physical humor was a major component of this show.
“This show was a lot of hard work, mostly physically, but mentally, as well,” Caroline Breitbach, a first-year and cast member recalled. “I really hope people came out of this performance with a deeper respect of live theatre and the amount of work that goes into it.”
But the work wasn’t exclusive to acting. The weeks leading up to performance weekend were filled with rehearsals and long nights dedicated to putting the set together, often stretching late into the night. The setting of “A Flea in Her Ear” required the building of two entirely different sets, involving members of both the cast and crew. But their long nights and hard work paid off. By opening night, the company had put in all the work necessary to share their finished work with audiences composed of students and the general public.
“I think the performances went really smoothly. Everything started falling into place pretty early, but once the shows opened, the audience really gave us that extra boost of energy that really took our show from great to greater,” Caroline concluded.