Go to Home Page Hay Fever
by Noel Coward
Directed by Stephanie Hepburn

Hay Fever publicity graphic

Synopsis:

A weekend in the tumultuous lives of the Bliss family... Judith has finally retired from her acting career (at least for the moment) and her husband, David, a writer, is busy on his next novel. Their two children, Sorrel and Simon don't do much of anything - well, Simon paints - sort of! The household is completed by Clara, the maid, who used to be Judith's dresser. Each of the family members has, unbeknownst to the others, invited a guest for the weekend. Unfortunately for the stability of the household, some of the guesta have their own plans for the weekend's activities. Myra Arundel, invited by Simon, is out to seduce David, while Richard Greatham, invited by Sorrell, has a crush on Judith.. Sandy Tyrell, invited by Judith and Jackie Coryton, invited by David, are abrim with puppy-love for their respective hosts but are soon disillusioned. A significant amount of partner-swapping and posturing takes place before the guests in various degrees of panic or fury flee the scene, totally out-maneuvered by the Blisses for whom the whole affair (succession of affairs actually) is just one delightful theatrical extravaganza. The desertion of their guests leaves the family at peace once more, to plot David's book and Judith's triumphant return to the stage.


Corinne Melancon in rehearsalThis was the first PRT production as Theatre-in-Residence at the Paramount Center and it opened in early November 1995 with a Champagne reception. We had been extraordinarily fortunate with the casting and had found our ideal "Judith Bliss" in Corinne Melancon who was 'between shows' - literally! Corinne had been in the original cast of Me and My Girl on Broadway. She had just finished a run in My Fair Lady (the Richard Chamberlain revival on Broadway) and was waiting for rehearsals to start for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular where she was a regular as Mrs Claus. And we came along with an interesting role at just the right time! She wowed all of us as well as sell-out audiences. Needless to say Corinne has just kept on doing bigger and better things. Since appearing with us she has been in A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Gardens, BIG - the musical and then became the leader of the ensemble in Jekyll and Hyde.

Production shot #1 As a result of other casting successes, PRT gathered several more regulars who worked with us on many occasions. Ariane Barron (Jackie Coryton) had been with the company from the beginning but Elizabeth Moritz (Myra Arundel), Steve Plaushin (Simon Bliss), James Cairl (Sandy Tyrell), and Daniel Anderson (David Bliss) all appeared with PRTagain either in Paramount productions or the children's shows. Angus Hepburn reprised his performance as Richard Greatham ("the diplomatist") that he had done a few years earlier with the Station Theatre in Illinois. Stephanie Hepburn directed the show and even appeared as Clara, the maid (well, good help is hard to come by nowadays!).

Corinne and Steve in performance The biggest gamble about the show was the staging. We had a great cast and a great script and Stephanie had no problem licking us all into shape, but the three-quarters staging with the audience up on stage with us was a gamble. Fortunately, as soon as the play started, the audience settled into the whole thing and loved it. Initial reservations about the staging turned into enthusiastic support. And so we have continued to this day with the same approach.
Rehearsal shot #2 Daniel, Stephanie, Steve, & James We defined the two main entrances in the show using white wooden trellises covered with flowers. A fine investment since they appeared in several productions before they were finally retired in 1997 having been patched so often that there were parts of them that were more glue and nails than wood!

Our stage manager for the show was Christine Ryan, and as always, lights and sound were run by the Paramount staff.



Hay Fever
by Noel Coward
directed by Stephanie Hepburn

Cast in order of appearance

Sorrel Bliss.......................................
Simon Bliss.......................................
Clara..................................................
Judith Bliss.......................................
David Bliss........................................
Sandy Tyrell.....................................
Myra Arundel...................................
Richard Greatham.............................
Jackie Coryton..................................
Selene Athas
Steve Plaushin
Stephanie Hepburn*
Corinne Melancon*
Daniel Anderson
James Cairl
Elizabeth Moritz
Angus Hepburn
Ariane Barron

the setting
the Conservatory of the Bliss' country home, England.
June, 1925.

Act One - A Saturday afternoon
Act Two - After dinner on the Saturday evening
Act Three - Sunday morning, about 10 o'clock



Production Crew

Director....................................................
Producer..................................................
Stage Manager.......................................
Sets & Props...........................................
Costumes.................................................
Lights/Sound...........................................
Stephanie Hepburn
Virginia Mastromonaco
Christine Ryan
PRT Members and Cast
PRT Members, Helen Zurhellen, Milano Tuxedo
The Paramount Staff


* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract

Special thanks to: Back In Time Antiques, Mr. John A. Balassi, C.P.A., Curl Up & Dye Inisex Salon, Forever Yours Flowers and Gifts, Howard Goodman Photography, Ralph Mastromonaco, Milano Tuxedo, Dr. E. Michael Polao, Helen Zurhellen.

Hay Fever is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.



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Updated: - 16th Street Graphics Copyright 2002