Coe theatre to present Chekhov one-act comedies in Amana, on campus

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2010-09-02 09:34:43 - General

The Coe College Department of Theatre Arts will present "Chekhovian Chuckles: three one-act comedies by Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) celebrating his 150th birthday." These special productions will be staged at both the Iowa Theatre Artists Company (ITAC) in Amana and on the Coe campus.

The ITAC presentations will be held Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 12 at 1:30 p.m. General admission is $10, $8 for students and seniors. In addition, patrons can attend a preview performance at no charge on Friday, Sept. 10, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by calling the ITAC Box Office at 319-622-3222.

At Coe, the performances will be held in Mills Experimental Theatre in the Dows Fine Arts Center on Friday, Sept. 17 and Saturday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or by calling the Coe Box Office at 399-8600, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Prices are $10 for general admission, $8 for students and seniors.

The productions are directed by Coe Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Steven Marc Weiss, and feature the acting talents of Weiss and Coe students Britt Anderson, Satchel Jones, Anna Hegland and Brandon Palmer. A synopsis of each of the one-act presentations is as follows:

"On the Harmfulness of Tobacco" - a dramatic monologue, featuring Weiss as Ivan Ivanich Nyukhin, a henpecked husband whose wife insists that he supplement the family income by delivering popular lectures on subjects about which he knows almost nothing. The topic of today's lecture is tobacco's deleterious effect on humankind. Never actually getting around to that subject, Nyukhin spends the entire 20 minutes of this funny and sad solo piece in one digression after another, as he (often hilariously) recounts the daily miseries of his home life.

"The Marriage Proposal" - a "joke" in one act, featuring Weiss as a landowner Stepan Stepanovich Chubukov, Anderson as his daughter Natalya Stepanovna, and Satchel Jones as neighbor Ivan Vassilyevich Lomov, who is overanxious about his health.

An intended proposal of marriage goes hysterically awry as the young, sensitive hypochondriac Lomov is left alone with Natalia, the daughter of his neighbor Chubukov, who is delighted at the thought of marrying off his only child. Before Lomov can even get around to proposing to Natalia, however, a misunderstanding develops between the two over ownership of a small parcel of land bordering their two properties. Their argument escalates into a full blown verbal battle, and the father's attempt to mediate the crisis only adds fuel to the fire.

"The Boor" - a "joke" in one act, featuring Hegland as the widow Yelena Ivanovna Popova, Palmer as middle-aged gentleman farmer Grigory Stepanovich Smirnov and Weiss portraying Popova's servent, Luka. Smirnov, a landowner and creditor, arrives at the home of the widow Popova to collect money her late husband owed him. Popova has steadfastly refused to give up mourning her spouse, even though he's been dead for a full seven months and she knows that he was often unfaithful. Outraged by Smirnov's rude intrusion on her "solitude," Popova tries unsuccessfully to ignore him, but in the end she confronts him head on with her irritation over his crude incivility, challenging him to a duel with her husband's pistols. But first, she needs him to teach her how to hold and shoot a pistol!

For more information, call 399-8600 or visit