University of Wisconsin-Stout

Nov. 22, 2011

The comic farce “The Underpants” written by comedian and actor Steve Martin will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Dec. 7-10, at Harvey Hall Theatre at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Martin adapted the original play, “Dies Hose,” which was set in 1910 Germany. It involves the hilarious complications — desire, deception and intrigue — resulting from a woman’s bloomers falling down while she is trying to get a glimpse of the king during a parade.

The play is directed by Paul Calenberg, UW-Stout theater director. New faculty member Beth Janetski, speech, making her debut with University Theatre, is in charge of scenic and lighting design. Deb Selvig, Eau Claire, handles costume design.

Calenberg chose the production partly because when he first saw it he had never laughed so much during a play in his life, he said. Also, “It’s a fast-paced comedy that is sure to entertain, and a comic farce is a good play for the holiday season,” he said.

“Steve Martin’s comic genius will ensure the audience leaves delighted and upbeat,” Calenberg said.

The cast of seven students includes Elizabeth “Izzy” Merrill, of Rochester, Minn.; Kevin Roland, of Middleton; Michael Flaherty, of McFarland; Andy Straub, of Marathon; Autumn Ament, of Chaska, Minn.; Isaac Bont, of St. Croix Falls; and John “Jack” Lazorik, of Shoreview, Minn. Merrill and Roland play lead characters Louise and Theo, respectively.

More than 30 students work backstage.

Harvey Hall Theatre, originally called Stout Institute Auditorium, celebrated its 95th birthday this year. It opened May 30, 1916. Also, earlier this year a theater renovation was completed. It included reconstruction of the stage extension, replacement of the stage and house lighting and controls, installation of a new sound system and renovation of the stage rigging, curtains and tracks. Seating was replaced and reconfigured, along with other updates.

“It’s the most state-of-the-art theater in the area now,” Calenberg said.

Tickets are $12 and are available in room 141 of Merle M. Price Commons or online at Call 715-232-1431 for more information.