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Bethany play focuses on life of Noel Coward

February 14, 2013
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

BETHANY - The Bethany College Theatre Department will present "Nole and Gertie," a play about famous playwright and composer Noel Coward and Getrude Lawrence, a celebrated actress in musical theater, Feb. 28 through March 2.

Curtain time is 8 p.m. each day at Maxwell's Coffee House in the basement of Phillips Hall. Admission for the show is free, but donations are appreciated. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged. To reserve a seat, call (304) 829-7124.

Written by Sheridan Morley, the play depicts the professional and personal relationship between Coward and Lawrence, with emphasis on their platonic love for each other, and includes music written by Coward, who wrote hundreds of songs and plays in the 1920s and 1930s.

Article Photos

The professional and personal relationship between playwright Noel Coward, played by Andrew Ferguson of Brilliant, left, and Kim Allison Douglass, a Bethany native, is the focus of “Noel and Gertie,” which will be presented by Bethany College Feb. 28 through March 2. -- Contributed

It is the senior project of Andrew Ferguson of Brilliant, a theater major and music minor who plays Coward.

Playing Gertie is Kim Allison Douglass, a Bethany native who has performed in more than 30 shows at Brooke Hills Playhouse and has worked as a private voice and piano teacher and elementary music teacher at Brooke County Schools.

Her father, the late Jim Allison, taught math at Bethany for more than 30 years. Her mother, Judy, was a nurse at the college for 30 years and will serve as pianist for the evening.

Directing the production is Luke Hardt, associate professor of theater and chairman of the visual and performing arts department. Bethany alumnus Evan Oslund will serve as stage manager, and David Rudari, associate music professor and director of the college choir, serves as musical adviser.

Refreshments will be provided by Alpha Psi Omega, the college's theater honorary society.

Those behind the endeavor said Maxwell's offers a cabaret-style atmosphere suited for the elegance of the production, which aims to draw the audience into the play's setting.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in semi-formal attire, and a complimentary faux cocktail will be offered to those who do.

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