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18th century classic "The School for Scandal" goes to Hollywood!: The School for Scandal

Thu. March 13th 2008 8 pm - 11 pm doors at 7 pm Phoenix Theatre @ Uvic (All Ages) 8 pm - 11 pm doors at 7 pm
$10.00 - $20.00 (Previews $5.00)
Tickets at: The Phoenix Box Office, 721-8000 (Opens March 6th).
George Clooney, Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Tom Cruise. Their extravagances, follies, triumphs, and failures pervade our everyday lives through a barrage of media like eTalk Television, People Magazine, and the National Enquirer - believe it or not, just as the upper class in 18th century England once did through the tabloids of their day!

Join University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre as they dig the dirt, drop names and kill off characters in director Fran Gebhard's reinterpretation of Richard B. Sheridan's classic tale of romance, hypocrisy and gossip - The School for Scandal, running March 13 to 22, 2008.

"Upon reading the script, I was immediately taken with the striking similarities between the gossip-driven scandal society of Sheridan's time and the celebrity cult culture of today," says Gebhard.

Having performed previously in the play and directed it twice, Gebhard is familiar with her material. Originally set amongst the 18th century upper classes, she has been hard at work setting the play in the present day of Hollywood and fusing its witty, 18th century restoration period language with contemporary pop culture references. Fraught with paparazzi, fashionistas and its own famous "self help" TV psychologist, the play mirrors our culture where, as Gebhard reflects, "We are fascinated by the lives of today's genuine celebrities and those we have raised to the level of celebrity. We have become a nation of voyeurs. We love nothing more than when celebrities end up destroying themselves."

Hollywood fashion also inspires the aesthetic if the play's set and costume design. Student co-designers Nathan Brown and Brian Culp's minimalist set evokes the simple sleekness of California modernist mansions, complete with clean-lined, Italian-style furniture. Fourth year student Kate Costin's costumes create a synergy between designer runway fashions and high-end streetwear and have inspirations from the high fashion chic of Beverly Hills to California's beach culture. Guest lighting designer, Tim Harron, brings the warmth of the southern sun to the stage, and the students studying sound in the theatre 205 course have stepped out of their technical role to design the sound elements of the play.

Central to the plot of The School for Scandal is the May-September relationship of Mr. and Mrs. Teazle (Morgan Cranny and Sarah Pelzer)- in this case "Dr. Peter" Teazle - who's lives are publicly meddled with by the likes of Mrs. Sneerwell (Rielle Braid), Joseph Surface (Brian Culp), and his brother Charles Surface (Jesse Collin).

Leading a life of scandal himself, including elopements, politics, numerous marriages, financial success, and a descent into poverty, Richard B. Sheridan is considered one of the most successful "comedy of manners" authors in English speaking history. First performed in 1777, The School for Scandal remains to this day Sheridan's undisputed masterpiece. Please join us for a FREE public lecture on Friday, March 14th at 7:00 pm with Dr. Gordon Fulton, an Associate Professor in the Department of English and a specialist in 18th century literature.

The performance schedule for The School for Scandal at the Phoenix Theatre @ UVic is as Follows: Public Preview Performances at 8pm on March 11th and 12. Evening performances at 8pm on March 13 (opening night), 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. Matinee Performances at 2pm on March 22.

Single Tickets: $10.00 - $20.00 (previews $5.00)

Phoenix Box Office opens March 6th in person, or by calling: (250)-721-8000.
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