Junior Gage Goza (as Charles Condomine) and sophomore Ellen Rich (as Ruth Condomine) in the UTC Theatre Co.’s “Blithe Spirit,” which will be presented Oct. 3-7 at the UTC Fine Arts Center’s Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Theatre Co. opens its 2023-2024 season Oct. 3-7, presenting Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” in the UTC Fine Arts Center’s Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre.
Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 3-7, with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Oct. 7. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here
and through the UTC Box Office in person or by phone (423-425-4369).
Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students (with proof of student ID) and seniors.
The cast, comprised of UTC theatre majors, “performs this witty comedy that explores what happens when a cynical novelist invites a wacky psychic to his house for a séance,” said Steve Ray, the play’s director. Things go awry when the psychic surprises everyone by conjuring the ghost of the novelist’s late first wife.
“It’s both smart and hilarious,” Mr. Ray said. “We are having fun exploring what happens when a group of intellectuals are confronted with the unpredictable world of the supernatural.
“The student actors are getting a great chance to practice their comic skills with some of the funniest material written for the stage in the past 100 years.”
Because the play is set in England in the 1940s, Mr. Ray said that “anyone that likes British comedy will love this show.”
UTC junior Gage Goza plays novelist Charles Condomine.
“I hope the audience will take away more than a few laughs. I hope that they see the honesty in the comedy,” said Mr. Goza, a native of Ringgold. “This show has taught me so much about how to not only connect emotionally with comedy but also how to follow my impulses onstage and have the courage to make the wrong choice.”
Sophomore Ellen Rich, who hails from Athens, plays Ruth Condomine—the novelist’s second wife. She said her favorite part of “Blithe Spirit” is “how much we get to play.”
“Working with such a fantastic cast on comedic bits and discovering different nuances within our characters means there’s something new to discover with this script every night,” Ms. Rich said. “It’s a wild ride and I can’t wait for the audience to experience it with us.”
“Blithe Spirit” is the first of four UTC Theatre Co. shows during the 2023-2024 season. Upcoming productions include:
• “Alabaster” by Audrey Cefaly (Nov. 14-18). A Southern drama with a dark sense of humor about love, art and the power of women.
• “9 to 5: The Musical,” with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick (Feb. 27-March 2, 2024). Based on the 1980 hit movie, this hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era is outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic.
• “Out at Sea” by Slawomir Mrozek (April 9-13, 2024). An absurdist tale of survival and democratic decision-making.
The UTC Fine Arts Center is at the intersection of Dr. Roland Carter Street (formerly known as Vine Street) and Palmetto Street.
• Keean Enriquez-Sexton (junior, Calhoun)
• Blaine Evans (senior, Fairview)
• Gage Goza (junior, Ringgold)
• Bronwyn McEwen (sophomore, Lookout Mountain)
• Rea Parrish (senior, Maryville)
• Ellen Rich (sophomore, Athens)
• Caton Taylor (junior, Murfreesboro)
• Jaden Partain (senior, Athens)
• Pearson Smith (junior, Ringgold)