WT students give comedic performance in “A Flea in Her Ear”

Hannah Nelson, Senior Reporter

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The West Texas A&M theatre presents their production of David Ives’ adaptation of “A Flea in Her Ear”, directed by Callie Hisek, assistant professor of art, theatre, and dance. This French farce, written around the 1900s by George Feydeau.  

“Basically what happens is Raymonde Chandesbise finds a pair of suspenders that were sent to her husband, they are his suspenders, and they were sent from the Frisky Puss hotel,” Hisek said. “So now she is lead to believe that her husband is deceiving her.”

A set up is planned by Raymonde and her friend Lucienne to confront the husband. The woman writes a letter pretending to be a female from the hotel and sends it to Raymonde’s husband. Then they hope he will go to the hotel where they can confront him.

“The best-laid plans never work fully, and that’s how we pretty much get the farce that is A Flea in Her Ear,” Hisek said.

The production is fast-paced filled with jokes, physical humor, and wit. The story is a wild and chaotic adventure with Raymonde trying to find out if her husband is cheating on her.

“All because of this Flea in Her Ear, which is a French term basically meaning that somebody has put a thought into somebody else’s mind, and they can’t get rid of that annoying though,” Hisek said.

Senior theatre performance major Marlee Wall was very excited to take on her role as Raymonde Chandesbise.

She is the ultimate drama queen that I think we all want to let out sometimes. She holds nothing back and all of her emotions are right out there on her sleeve,” Wall said. “She can cry, laugh or shriek at the drop of a hat and that has been the most enjoyable thing to experiment with all of her wild levels.”

Time has been spent researching the time period and setting. All the actors and actresses also spent time working on executing their character and what makes them unique.

“Camille as a character has to be very physically active, using body language to convey what she means. It’s taken a lot of work to get my body comfortable with that,” Jax Ebert, sophomore theatre education major said.

Wall has enjoyed the challenge of her role in applying all of the comedic aspects to her performance. She has worked alongside the cast to transform herself into Raymonde.

“Comedy challenges me more than drama does. It is finding a truthful yet humorous way to play a moment without making it too much or too little.  It’s working with your fellow actors to find that balance and feeding off what they are giving you,” Wall said.   

A big part of performing this farce is executing all of the comedic aspects that the characters are involved in. The audience also plays a big part in allowing the actors and actress to hear their reactions.

Having an audience will take this farce to the next level. It really makes a difference having people there to feed off of,” Ebert said.

Rehearsals for the play started towards the end of the fall semester. There are many aspects within the production, including fight scenes that took some time to polish.

“You can’t just punch somebody in stage combat and assume that it is safe, it’s all about eye contact, distance, coordination, making it look smooth, making it look real. So, a simple punch can take an hour and a half to learn,” Hisek said.

The production of “A Flea in Her Ear” will take place inside the Branding Iron Theatre. Performances running Feb. 8-10 and 15-17 at 7:30 p.m. The final performance will be on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit wtamu.edu/theatre.

“I’m really just looking for the audience to get in there and just to forget about their problems for awhile, and just enjoy the craziness of these characters,” Hisek said. “The show is just very fun, flirty, and frenzied. That’s what I think the audience is going to see and enjoy and that’s what I look forward to the most.”

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