Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Broadway Players present ‘The Madwoman of Chaillot’

By Vicki Tillis, Ledger lifestyles editor | Apr 27, 2017
VICKI TILLIS/Ledger photo The Countess Aurelia (Phoenix Haessler), center, implores her friends Madam Constance (Gwen Kermott), left, and Mademoisell Gabrielle (Harper Fiske) to help her put an end to all the bad in the world. The Broadway Players of FHS will perform “The Madwoman of Chaillot” Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the high school auditorium.

The Broadway Players of Fairfield High School will present “The Madwoman of Chaillot” Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the FHS Auditorium.

Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

General-seating tickets will be sold at the door prior to each performance. The box office will open at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5.

According to Betsie Wotherspoon, an FHS teacher and director of the play, Jean Giraudoux’s “The Madwoman of Chaillot” is a classic, but quirky story of the triumph of good over evil.

The plot is pretty simple. One day, in the springtime of next year (wow! if this is next year, fashion trends will be returning to styles of centuries past!), a group of money-grubbing businessmen meet in a Parisian cafe. The President, The Baron and The Broker – representing all the bad in the world – are planning to organize a new corporation even though they don’t yet have a name or a product. The Prospector joins the group and convinces them that there is a huge lake of oil under Paris for the taking ... if they destroy the city, its people and its charm to get to it.

Countess Aurelia, the madwoman of Chaillot, learns about the ugly plot to raze the city and comes up with her own scheme to set the world back on its proper course with the help of her three eccentric friends, a ragpicker and a band of vagabonds: round up and condemn all the evil people in the world to the fate they deserve.

They put the four men on trial in absentia and get their revenge ... truly.

Countess Aurelia, who is determined to rid the world of wickedness, is played by Phoenix Haessler. Her eccentric friends are Madam Constance, Mademoiselle Gabrielle and Madam Josephine, played Gwen Kermott, Harper Fiske and Lilu Papp, respectively.

The unscrupulous men are The President, played by David Wallingford, The Baron played by Dewayne Barnes, The Broker played by Lane Yates, and The Prospector played by Gunnar Mattson.

Pierre, a young man unwillingly entangled in the oil scheme, is played by Zaya Asim Garner. Don’t be confused when you hear Aurelia call him Roderick, Valentine or Valentino – she thinks men’s names change every hour.

Dallas Carlson portrays The Police Sergeant, and Alex Helmick has dual roles as The Doorman and The Sewer Man.

Rachel Funkhouser and Mira Pappin play Irma and Martial, who are employed by the countess in her cafe.

And joining the madwomen on the side of justice is the vagabonds led by The Ragpicker, played by Matthew McLain. He is assisted by: The Deaf-Mime, played by Michael Hunt; Dr. Jadin, played by James Trent; The Gullible Women, played by Harper Fiske and Lilu Papp; The Peddler/Flower Girl, played by Alex Holden; and The Street Singers, played by Alex Holden and Gwen Kermott.

Behind the scenes is the student production crew of Ben Anderson, J.J. Funkhouser, Abyni Garner, Katie McLain, Shaelyn Thompson and Brenden Pool. FHS staff members Jim Edgeton, John Grunwald, and Noel Wotherspoon also lend their technical expertise to the production.

Plus, plans are for Fairfield Community School District superintendent Laurie Noll to artistically and dramatically enhance one performance of “The Madwoman of Chaillot” through sign language.


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