A Flea In Her Ear Opens April 17 -

April 17, 2014

The University of Virginia Drama Department will close its 2013-2014 season with the Georges Feydau’s classic farce A Flea in Her Ear, which will open on April 17 at the Ruth Caplin Theatre.

The setting is Paris, at the dawn of the 20th Century. A suspicious wife sets the farcical wheels in motion for a wild comedic ride that features mistaken identities, narrow escapes, secret rendezvous, crazy coincidences and little lies that grow bigger by the minute. Before long, everyone is drawn into the comedic vortex, and it’s hard to imagine how the truth will ever re-emerge!

A Flea in Her Ear, featuring a translation by John Mortimer, will be directed by Colleen Kelly, and presented in The Ruth Caplin Theatre from April 17-19 and April 23-26, 2014 at 8pm.

Ticket prices for A Flea in Her Ear are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and U.Va. staff and alumni association members and $8 for students. Tickets are available online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu, by calling 434-924-3376 or in-person from noon until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the U.Va. Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Drama building.

“One of the things that interested me about this particular play was the combination of the elegance of the language, wordplay and wit, butting up against a bit of slapstick comedy,” Kelly said. “I just thought it would be very interesting to see how these things can live together in the same world. The real challenge for me is to communicate to the actors that while there is quick movement and urgency to what their characters are doing, you always have to be conscious not to lose the language, and let the physicality take over. “

Kelly and her cast are also conscious of presenting a period piece to contemporary audiences. “Sometimes I am not sure if today’s audiences always understand they have permission to laugh, particularly in a period piece like this. For example, the play has characters who struggle to communicate, including one with a speech challenge, and others who are foreigners and have trouble being understood and heard. I would certainly not expect an audience to feel comfortable laughing at these struggles themselves, yet there is definitely humor to be found here in watching people try to, with grace, communicate in the absurd situations in which they find themselves.”

The same goes, Kelly said, for the play’s physical comedy. “It is sort of like watching the Three Stooges hitting each other. It’s not about laughing at violence. These things remain funny, and yet I think contemporary audiences sometimes have that moment of saying, ‘Wait, do I have permission to laugh at that, or is it OK to laugh at that?’”

The answer to both questions, she said, is a resounding yes.  “There is a reason this play is often placed up there among the greatest farces of all time. It’s a fast-paced, fun theatrical experience that keeps you thinking and laughing all the way through.”

Free parking for all U.Va. Drama performances is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, conveniently located alongside the theaters.