CORVALLIS - One of the most interesting plays from the repertoire of one of America's most gifted playwrights will open this Jan. 28 at Oregon State University.
OSU's University Theatre will present "Camino Real" by Tennessee Williams, a play that Williams and others have said is the playwright's most challenging and ambitious work. It's also an ambitious undertaking for a university theater program. The play has an enormous cast - 42 actors, some playing multiple roles - as well as some very complex staging and imagery.
"Camino Real" depicts the dream of mythical hero Don Quixote, who envisions the adventures of historical and mythical figures trying to escape from the ending point of the Camino Real, a "royal road" running from California to Central America. Set in an unnamed police state, the characters struggle to distinguish imagination from reality.
Performances are scheduled Jan. 28-30 and Feb. 4-6 at OSU's Withycombe Hall theater, located at 30th Street and Campus Way. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $7 for general admission, $5 for seniors and $4 for students. They may be reserved by calling 737-2784 beginning Jan. 25.
The performance on Friday, Feb. 5, will be signed for the hearing impaired, and have a narrative description for the visually impaired.
It has been 28 years since OSU has performed "Camino Real," according to director Marion O. Rossi. The play presents a powerful and sometimes perplexing experience of the Camino Real by presenting it as a journey along 16 blocks.
"The end of the Camino Real is a place that is both everywhere and nowhere, a mixture of past and present, of the real and the fantastic," Rossi said. "The play is filled with suggestive, yet sometimes opaque imagery. Romantics, misfits and dreamers suffer at the hands of a generally unfeeling and unaware society."
Among the many characters are Jacques Casanova, portrayed by Steve Massott; Marguerite Gautier (Vreneli Farber); Lord Byron (Ryan Manderfeld); and the American hero, Kilroy (Rudi Rose).
The artistic staff includes Marie Chesley, costume designer; Richard George, scene and lighting designer; and Rossi, director. Stage manager is Jeff Weston, an OSU senior.
The cast and crew of "Camino Real" follows:
OUT-OF-STATE CAST MEMBERS
SAN JOSE: Casey Camors, a sophomore in English, as a student and a vendor.
MAUI: Melissa McKay, a junior in human development, as an assistant instructor.
TAILUA: Stephen Sasa, a junior in music, as a waiter and an instructor.
CHICAGO: Nick Levine, a senior in theater arts, as Don Quixote.
SEATTLE: David Radford, a senior in media communication, as Sancho and Nursie.
YELM: Daniece Witt, a sophomore in animal science, as the second woman at the market.
BRISTOL: Jennifer Backstrand, a senior in theater arts, as a guest.
INTERNATIONAL CAST MEMBERS
Rudi Rose, a senior in film studies, as Kilroy.
SEOUL: Ji-Yeon Kyung, a junior in speech communication, as a passenger.
ANKARA: Setenay Yener, a sophomore in animal science, as a vendor.
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Marion Rossi, 541-737-2853