CORVALLIS - From a vehicle for the Marx Brothers to a Russian farce, the 1999-2000 schedule for the University Theatre program at Oregon State University has a decidedly comedic look.

Billed as "A World of Comedy," the season will explore the comedy genre in theater.

"It's a vital theatrical and dramatic form which is popular with audiences and, frankly, fun to perform," said Marion O. Rossi, an OSU faculty member in the theater arts program. "Focusing on comedy for a full year should help our students gain some valuable acting and production skills."

The year actually will open with a revival of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. The Shakespeare comedy was performed by the University Theatre actors this summer.

First up for the new year is "Room Service," a classic American script which became a vehicle for the Marx Brothers. Written by John Murray and Allen Boretz, the play will run Nov. 11-13 and Nov. 18-20 with Rossi directing.

"The Suicide," a famous Russian farce written by Nikolai Erdman, is scheduled Jan. 27-29 and Feb. 3-5. It will be directed by Vreneli Farber.

Moliere's "Tartuffe," a satirical farce from the French Neoclassical period, will be performed March 30 to April 1 and April 6-8 with Rossi directing.

Closing out the year of comedy will be "Love and a Bottle," by playwright Declan Hughes. The funny, racy update of a classic play from the English Restoration period will be directed by Charlotte Headrick.

Season tickets for the University Theatre productions are available by calling the theater at 541-737-2853. Theater patrons may buy a coupon book for $30 which contains a voucher for each of the four plays, plus an additional voucher for an extra ticket to one of the four.

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Marion O. Rossi, 541-737-4917