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The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ takes stage at UA

    Ed Flores

    Courtesy of Ed Flores

    Maggie (Kierna Conner) and Diana (Grace Kirkpatrick) fight over Max (Brian Klimowski) in the comedy farce ʺLend Me a Tenorʺ presented by Arizona Repertory Theatre from now until Oct. 12.

    “Lend Me a Tenor” kicks off the Arizona Repertory Theatre’s 2014-15 season at 7:30 p.m. with fun, laughs and a lot of talent.

    The Arizona Repertory Theatre produces multiple plays and musicals every year featuring students in its acting, musical theatre, design and technology and theatre studies courses. The company allows them to gain professional experience working on a theater production while also providing the rest of the UA community a chance to see some fantastic productions.

    “Lend Me a Tenor” is beginning this year’s program with a bang. Set in 1934, the story centers around the Cleveland Grand Opera Company and its one-night-only production of “Otello,” which features a world-famous tenor singer. When confusion occurs and the star of the show is rendered unconscious, chaos ensues as the opera company attempts to continue with the production.

    “This play is what we call in theater a ‘door-slamming farce,’” said Sara Patterson, stage manager for “Lend Me a Tenor.” “Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and the characters are dealing with the problems in a very exaggerated, but still a realistic, relatable way.”

    Patterson, a theatre production junior with an emphasis in stage management, said despite some of the stress that comes with her position on set, she has had a wonderful time working with the rest of the cast and crew.

    “The nature of this show is to have fun, and our director was constantly telling our actors to do just that,” Patterson said.
    David Morden, an assistant professor in the School of Theatre, Film and Television, is the director of “Lend Me a Tenor.” A graduate of Oregon State University with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington, Morden has a long list of theater experience in both management and acting that he is able to bring to the production.

    “Lend Me a Tenor” is considered a farce, a comedy that involves lots of ridiculous situations and over-the-top characters who deal with them in very eccentric, comedic ways. A farce is different than a typical drama, and it poses its own set of difficulties that the cast and crew had to work out in order to create a top-notch production.

    “The hardest part of directing a farce is the technical skill that playing comedy commands,” Morden said. “It is extremely important that we tell the story very simply and clearly while being ridiculous and extreme at the same time.”

    Despite the challenges that “Lend Me a Tenor” presented the cast and crew, the students involved were able to work cohesively to ensure their play would be the best it could be. Throughout the process of bringing the production to the stage, collaboration between the actors, stage managers, designers, crew members, the director and all who contributed allowed them to take a simple script and turn it into their own.

    Sunday was the first preview showing of “Lend Me a Tenor,” and it was met with an outpouring of positivity from the audience and inspired a standing ovation. Although they have performed in front of an audience already, nerves and excitement are sure to appear on opening night.

    “I am both nervous and excited for opening night, but I like to think that the nerves fuel the energy for the show,” said Paul Thomson, an Africana Studies and acting senior, and a Daily Wildcat columnist, who plays the bellhop in “Lend Me a Tenor”.

    After opening night, “Lend Me a Tenor” will be playing at the Arizona Repertory Theatre until Oct. 12. Show times and dates can be found online at

    Follow Victoria Pereira on Twitter @DailyWildcat

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