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Graceland University Theatre to Perform Lend Me a Tenor


Press Release

October 2, 2017

Male and female theatre students rehearsing on a dressed stage

The Graceland theatre department has been practicing six nights a week since school started in August for the upcoming performance of “Lend Me a Tenor.” Pictured: Andrew Dipoto and Jayne Welch.

by Tabi Miller ’17, Communications Writing Intern


The Graceland University Theatre Department will put on upcoming performances of “Lend Me a Tenor written by Ken Ludwig during the homecoming weekend. The play is directed by Gary Heisserer, PhD and has a cast of eight characters.

The play is set in 1930s September in the hotel room of the greatest opera singer of the time. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, and his assistant, Max, set about readying everything for the arrival of the world-famous tenor Tito Merelli. Merelli is scheduled to perform for one night only as Otello.

Unfortunately, through a series of comical events, Merelli ends up taking a double dose of tranquilizers, making Saunders and Max believe he is actually dead. In order to keep the show going, Saunders persuades Max to dress up as Merelli and perform Otello in his place. Everything is back on track and going to plan until Merelli wakes up and gets into his spare Otello costume. This leads to two men running around as Otello and two women running around in lingerie, each thinking that she is with the famous tenor.

Many of the challenges of this play deal with timing. “Farces don’t work if the timing isn’t right,” says Heisserer. The actors have to be very precise in their movements and lines for the humor to come across.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this hilarious farce. The play is two hours long and has been performed on Broadway and in London’s West End. This series of hilarious mishaps will leave the audience laughing through tears.

Performance dates are Oct. 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. in the Shaw Family Auditorium. Tickets are $10 each and available for purchase Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Shaw Ticket Office, online at www.Graceland.edu/shawtickets or by calling 641.784.5296.

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