Writer Charles Condomine invites eccentric medium Madame Arcati to hold a seance at his house.
He asks his friends, Dr. George and Violet Bradman, to join while intending to gather character inspiration from Arcati for his latest book.
Despite initially thinking the seance has been a failure, it soon becomes clear Arcati has unwittingly brought back Condomine’s first wife, Elvira, to haunt him.
Once in his house, Elvira is unable to leave, and as she cannot be seen or heard by Condomine’s wife, Ruth, she causes all kinds of mischievous trouble between the couple.
When Elvira unwittingly causes Ruth’s death in her attempts to bring Charles over to be with her, he becomes haunted by both of his now-deceased wives.
Frustrated by their odd situation, the three call on Arcati once more to send Elvira and Ruth back to the other side.
The comedic play by Noël Coward will open at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Actors Community Theatre of Seymour, 357 Tanger Blvd., Suite 208, at Shops at Seymour. It also will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and again Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
Tickets are $12 and may be purchased online at seymouracts.ticketleap.com or at the door.
As a bonus, for entertainment purposes only, there will be tarot readings, fortunes and crystal ball readings from 6 to 7 p.m. before each show for a freewill donation to benefit the theater.
“I chose this play because it reminded me a lot of ‘Death Becomes Her,’ which was one of my favorite movies growing up, and I thought it would be perfect for spooky season,” Director Tiffany Lowe said. “As soon as I saw the script, I was like, ‘We have to do this one.’”
Danny Stout and Skyla Fields play the roles of Charles and Ruth, respectively.
Initially, Stout was cast as Dr. Bradman, but after another actor stepped down from the role of Charles three weeks ago, Stout stepped up. He said he likes his new character because he’s full of energy and enthusiasm.
Fields took a two-year hiatus from theater and is just now getting back into the swing of things, and this is the biggest role she has ever had to memorize and act in, she said.
“For me personally, it has been really hard, but it took me until just this past week to be like, ‘It is OK because this is what I like to do, and it is fun,’” she said. “Hopefully, everyone in the audience will understand if Ruth is reading from a journal and writing things down. I’m just having a good time, and I put away my perfectionism for it just to be with people and have fun again because it is my passion, it is what I like to do.”
Ashley Toler was cast as Elvira.
“I love Elvira. She’s absolutely fabulous, and I wish I was her in real life, except not dead,” Toler said, smiling. “It’s so funny because everything that I’ve done actingwise, I always play real sweet characters, so it has been really nice to step outside of that and play the villain.”
Summer Hall is portraying Madame Arcati.
“I came out of retirement for that role,” she said. “What can you not like about Madame Arcati? It’s Carol Burnett in a nutshell. She has got a good heart, and she’s powerful, and no one thinks she is. And she’s wackadoodle. That’s what I love about her. She is a fun role.”
The Bradmans are played by Shawn Bryant and Mikéla Disque, and the other character is Edith the maid, played by Deb Stout.
Stout said she was supposed to be stage manager for the show, but she wound up in the cast and said she is “tickled to death” to share the stage with her son, Danny.
“I think all of the characters and cast members, they just really have a good rapport. We all help each other,” Deb said. “I think the characters were cast perfectly. Each person brings who they are to their character.”
Lowe said everything has come together despite cast changes and illnesses along the way.
“They are all rock stars, and I could not ask for a better cast. They’ve been putting in extra work outside of what I’ve required. They’ve really stepped up,” she said.
“I haven’t watched any of the movies. I haven’t watched any of the YouTube plays,” she said of other versions of “Blithe Spirit. “I wanted this to be my vision and what I believed it should be without any kind of influence from anywhere else. I’m very excited with the way it has turned out because it’s pretty much exactly as I hoped it would turn out.”
If you go
What: Actors Community Theatre of Seymour’s production of “Blithe Spirit”
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1
Where: Actors Community Theatre of Seymour, 357 Tanger Blvd., Suite 208, at Shops at Seymour
Tickets: $12 (may be purchased online at seymouracts.ticketleap.com or at the door); for entertainment purposes only, there will be tarot readings, fortunes and crystal ball readings from 6 to 7 p.m. before each show for a freewill donation to benefit the theater
Director: Tiffany Lowe
Lead tech: Cade Bryant
Tech crew: Chris Lowe
Stage crew: Cooper Lowe
Cast: Danny Stout, Skyla Fields, Ashley Toler, Shawn Bryant, Summer Hall, Deb Stout and Mikéla Disque