Bringing a comedy to life

Published 12:28 am Friday, April 7, 2017

United South Central director puts on last spring play for school


After nearly 30 years, the classic farce “Charley’s Aunt” will return to the United South Central school stage this weekend.

Under the direction of Clay Miller, students will perform the play at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

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Miller said this was one of his first shows when he started directing the fall musicals and spring productions 33 years ago at the school.

“I have always wanted at some time to repeat this show,” he said. “This year, we have the perfect cast to do this production.”

Samantha Chaffee plays the love interest of Freeborn Milks in United South Central’s rendition of “Charley’s Aunt.” – Kelly Wassenberg/Albert Lea Tribune

The plot of the show concerns two college boys who fall in love with two young women. They invite the ladies to lunch to meet Charley’s aunt, a wealthy lady from Brazil. Unfortunately, his aunt is delayed, and the two young women cannot stay without a chaperone.

The two boys force a fellow Oxford undergraduate to play Charley’s aunt — black satin skirt, lace, wig and all.

Complications arise when the real aunt shows up from Brazil, but the impostor already has two proposals of marriage from two older gentlemen. The real aunt assumes another identity, and the comic confusion escalates even higher.

“In its many stage revivals, ‘Charley’s Aunt’ never failed to reach a wide and eager audience with its comedic, hilarious situations,” Miller said. “I’m sure you will agree when you see it.”

The students started rehearsals in February and have generally practiced three weeknights and on Saturdays each week since.

“These students do a fantastic, remarkable job,” Miller said, noting that many are involved in other activities on top of the play.

Miller said this will be his last spring production.

“It’s been a great run,” he said. “I am extremely thankful to have worked with hundreds of students, all which have touched my life in many positive ways. I cherish the memories, and I will miss working on future spring productions.”

He will still direct the fall musical.

When the aunt of two of the characters in “Charley’s Aunt” is unable to play chaperone, Brady Berg is forced to assume the role. – Kelly Wassenberg/Albert Lea Tribune

Tickets, please

What: “Charley’s Aunt”

When: 7 p.m. today and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: United South Central school

Brett Pederson, Brady Berg and Freeborn Milks rehearse for their roles as three Oxford college students during “Charley’s Aunt,” which will be presented in the United South Central auditorium this weekend. – Kelly Wassenberg/Albert Lea Tribune

‘Charley’s Aunt’ cast and crew

Jack Chesney: Brett Pederson

Ms. Brassett: Lilly Gonsalez

Charley Wykeham: Freeborn Milks

Lord Fancourt Babberly: Brady Berg

Sir Francis Chesney: Isaac Skains

Kitty Verdun: Kate Koestler

Amy Spettigue: Samantha Chaffee

Stephen Spettique: Bobby Eckwright

Donna Lucia D’ Alvadorez: Mandi Neal

Ela Delahay: Joy Krosschell

Student directors:  Faith Kauffmann and Trinity Seedorf

Stage manager: Sapphire Navarro

Sound board:  Maddie Hart

Light board: Cam Nasinec

Crew: Trinity Seedorf, Faith Kauffmann, Sapphire Navarro, Halle Schrader, Amber Hassing, Madison Klingbeil, Merideth Klingbeil, Danielle Torkkola and Cam Nasinec