Blithe Spirit
  by Noel Coward
 Stetson University Stover Theatre
  April 2011

This play is another classic comedy of manners, this time set in mid-twenthieth-century England. Its twist on the genre is its nature as a "haunted house comedy."

The play offers up fussy, cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, who has married his second wife Ruth some years after the death of his first wife, Elvira. At a séance conducted for research into his new book Charles becomes haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife Elvira. She is called forth through a visiting "happy medium," by the name of Madame Arcati. The principle of "three's a crowd" is in full force as Charles tries to accommodate both his wives in their now haunted house – and this situation is just the starting point for the witty, madcap comedy that follows.

This production featured a number of advanced students in leadership positions, where they achieved a very creative lighting design with "haunted house" color effects, costume and makeup design, and special effects: storms, doors that open and close by themselves, and some chaotic Poltergeist effects of props flying off shelves, which were a particular source of pride for our student stagehands. You can get a sense of the difference between regular and "haunted" lighting by comparing the photos above and below.


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Copyright © 2012 by Ken McCoy.