Monday, April 27, 2009

In the Wings: Private Lives. Meet Sidney Pellissier, the director.


Sidney Pellissier directs Private Lives, the final production of the 2008-2009 Mainstage Season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script was written by Noël Coward.

A Civic Theatre veteran, Sidney has directed several shows. He especially loves comedies and shows with smaller casts, two traits of Private Lives. He also enjoys the language of the script.

"It is beautiful, elegant, witty and wry," Sidney said. "The show is about divorced people who get back together and live in sin, as they say, but there's not a single off-color word in the script. And it's interesting to me as a retired language teacher to work with a cast where one person speaks French and everyone else is doing a British accent. It's fun to work with the actors and bring them into this."

The first act is set in Deauville, France, which Sidney described as a very elegant place. Elyot and Amanda, a previously married couple that divorced, are newly remarried to other people and starting their honeymoons in rooms that are next door to one another and share a terrace.

"That's where the fireworks begin," Sidney explained.

He concluded by explaining what an audience may take away from a performance of Private Lives.

"Audiences will come away from an experience where they have a wonderful time laughing and mocking the characters," he said. "But they'll realize later that the situation wasn't so funny. The play speaks to morality/amorality. These people are very superficial and shallow, they're beguiling and charming but they're not kind people. They're very egocentric and selfish, and very much like children who haven't been socialized yet. They don't take responsibility for anything they do."

Private Lives opens Friday, May 8, and runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 24. Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 8:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon shows begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.

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