University Theater presents "To Fool the Eye"

Nov. 30, 2012--The UW-River Falls University Theatre will present "To Fool the Eye," Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Jean Anouilh's 1939 comical romantic fantasy "Leocadia." Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-8 and 13-15 in the Blanche Davis Theatre of the Kleinpell Fine Arts building. 

French playwright Jean Anouilh was both cynic and romantic and in "Leocadia" he plays with his favorite theme: a blend of illusion and memory. Hatcher adapted the play for the Guthrie Theatre and opened "To Fool the Eye" in October 2000. His adaptation is a delightful farce that intelligently wonders about the nature of love, artifice, the eye's perception rather than the hearts reality, and the delicate distortion of memory. The UW-River Falls presentation, directed by Sean Dooley, instructor of theatre, will include a pop-up storybook set with an amusing blend of what is real and what is fantasy.

For two years, an eccentric duchess takes extravagant measures to relieve her nephew, Prince Albert, from a suicidal mourning over the death of his divine love, Leocadia.  When she discovers Amanda, a poor hat maker from Paris with an amazing resemblance to Leocadia, she secretly arranges for her to lose her job and offers her employment. Her job is to fool the prince into believing that she is Leocadia with the hope that the prince will finally be happy again. Amanda finds herself in the middle of a fantasy with many other players and three days to fail, fool, or find the truth.        

Actors include Kendra Yarke (Amanda) of St. Paul, Minn.; Brittany Oberstadt (Duchess) of Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; Taylor Evans (Prince Albert) of Hanover, Minn.; David Jackson (Butler) of Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; Kaiman Stowe (Hector) of Minneapolis; Nicholas Vanden Heuvel (Taxi Driver) of Hudson; Malachi Becker (Ice Cream Vendor) of Amery; Alexander (AJ) Swanson (Headwaiter) of Lake Elmo, Minn.; Claudia Vazquez-Velez (Inn Proprietor) of East St. Paul, Minn; Gabrielle Fabrello (Bella) of Shoreview, Minn.; Vanessa Agnes (Maria) of Forest Lake, Minn.; Brent Bundgaard (Nikos) of Osceola; Nichole Wyant (Flagel) of Forest Lake, Minn.; David Bergs (Peshke) of Edgar; Daniel Vopava (Milosz) of New Brighton, Minn.; and Adam Witherspoon (Hunting Aide) of Bloomington, Minn.  Behind the scenes are Heide Dudley (stage manager) of Maplewood, Minn., Shane Donahue (sound designer) of Hudson, Will Slayden (scene designer); Lawrence Bennett; (technical director/lighting designer); and Denise Baker (costume designer).      

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (60+), and $5 for UWRF students with ID. The University Theatre Box Office in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building is open for ticket sales Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and on the nights of the productions from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in person, by calling the box office at 715-425-3114, or by mail. More information and a mail-in order form can found at


Photo:  Prince Albert (played by Taylor Evans) and Amanda (played by Kendra Yarke) are enjoying a ride in the park in the UW-River Falls production of "To Fool the Eye" playing in the Blanche Davis Theatre at UW-River Falls Dec. 6-8 and 13-15. All performances start a 7:30 p.m.

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