CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University's theatrical summer season hit, Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias," will return for three performances, Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage of OSU's Withycombe Hall. One of the characters describes the plays as "laughter through tears."

On Oct. 14-15, OSU's University Theatre will present a revival of the American premiere of Elizabeth Kuti's "Treehouses." The revival is part of the regional annual meeting of the American Conference for Irish Theatre held on the OSU campus. The play is set in Dublin with flashbacks to World War II Hungary. Curtain time for the two performances is 7:30 p.m. in the Withycombe lab theater.

Charlotte Headrick directs and George Caldwell is scene director for both productions. Vreneli Farber, a professor of Russian , performs in both plays. In "Steel Magnolias," she plays the lovable curmudgeon Ouiser, who says she isn't depressed but has just "been in a bad mood for 40 years." In "Treehouses," Farber portrays Magda, a woman in her 80s haunted by memories of warn-torn Hungary. The audience sees her interact with her Irish caregiver and witness her memories, which are enacted on stage, as a young woman protecting a young Jewish refugee and with her boyfriend, Stephen.

Farber has been acting with OSU's University Theatre for several years. Before that she worked with the Barn Theatre. In 2000, she directed "The Suicide" for the University Theatre and has directed plays performed in Russian for the Russian community in the area and the state.

Tickets may be reserved and purchased for both plays at the University Theatre box office in Withycombe Hall starting Monday, Sept. 26. Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m,. Sept. 26-30. Tickets for "Steel Magnolias" will also be available on evenings of night performances.

Tickets for "Treehouses" will be available at the box office on evenings of performances, Oct. 14-15. Entrance to the lab box office is from the east entrance of Withycombe Hall. Because of the configuration of Lab Theatre, latecomers cannot be seated.

Tickets for Steel Magnolias are $9 for general audiences, $6 for seniors and $5 for students. Tickets for Treehouses are $7 general, $5 for seniors and $4 for students.


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Charlotte Headrick, 541-737-4918