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Contact: Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, 318-869-5242
or Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Marjorie Lyons Playhouse at Centenary Opens 2004-05 Season Sept. 30 with Steve Martin's The Underpants

SHREVEPORT, LA — The 2004-05 theatre season at the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse on the Centenary College campus will open Sept. 30, with comedian Steve Martin's adaptation of Carl Sternheim's comedy, The Underpants.

Using Sternheim's 1910 comedy, Martin has reinvigorated The Underpants into a hilarious, laugh-out-loud farce. As the play opens, Theo Maske, an
officious, puritanical bureaucrat, berates his wife, Louise, for allowing her underpants to fall to the ground at a parade for the king. Theo worries that he and Louise will be financially ruined and become social outcasts from the inevitable scandal. But before long, besotted men appear at Maske's door to rent a room and, unnoticed by the proprietor, to seduce his wife.

As the scandal erupts, the characters reflect upon society's fascination with fame, its reliance on gender roles and its enslavement by sex. Filled with off-the-wall humor, wordplay and masterful banter expected from one of today's most gifted comics, Martin's adaptation is as relevant today as Sternheim's play was a century ago.

Martin is, of course, the celebrated comedian from Saturday Night Live and has among his film credits Roxanne, Father of the Bride, Parenthood and L.A. Story. As a playwright he scripted the award-winning Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

Appearing as Theo Maske will be Phillip Brooks. At Marjorie Lyons, he has been seen in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Noises Off, 1776, The Bat, The Wayside Motor Inn and The Shape of Things.

The role of Theo's wife, Louise, will be played by Sarah Smith. She was recently seen as Dainty June in Gypsy and has had leading roles in The Shape of Things, Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon, Women Behind Bars, The Laramie Project and Verna: USO Girl.

Jamie Norwood will be seen as Benjamin Cohen, one of Louise's potential suitors. Norwood was seen in last season's The Laramie Project and Verna: USO Girl.

The role of Frank Versati, an elegant gentleman seeking Louise's affections will be played by Joshua Porter. He has numerous credits, which include major roles in The Shape of Things, Noises Off, As Bees in Honey Drown, Wit, Electra, The Wayside Motor Inn, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Pride's Crossing.

Appearing as Gertrude Deuter, a noisy upstairs neighbor, will be Charity Schubert. She has had roles in Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon, As Bees in Honey Drown and The Shape of Things. Schubert has also appeared with The Company in As You Lie It and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Robert Buseick will appear as the king. He is the chairman of the Theatre Department at Centenary and has been seen in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, God's Country, Mary Poppins and Pride's Crossing.

The comedy will be directed by Patric McWilliams, who directed last season's Gypsy, Women Behind Bars and Verna: USO Girl. The set and light design will be created by Don Hooper, with costumes designed by McWilliams and sound design by Adam Boyd. Ashley Beckham will be the assistant director/stage manager.

The opening night performance will be Thursday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m., with additional performances Oct. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9, all at 8 p.m. There will be a Sunday matinee, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. There will be a preview performance Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. Tickets costs are: adults $15, senior citizens $13, students $10 for all performances. The preview performance is priced at $7 for all seats. Reservations can be made by calling the Box Office at 318-869-5242.

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