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February 14, 2013

Community Theatre brings ‘The Constant Wife’ to stage

TERRE HAUTE — Community Theatre of Terre Haute’s next play will take audiences across the Atlantic Ocean to the 1920s drawing room of a wealthy physician. This is the setting for “The Constant Wife” by W. Somerset Maugham, directed by Sandra Groves, which opens at 8 p.m. Friday. Additional performances are Saturday and Sunday as well as Feb. 22-24.

Written in 1926, “The Constant Wife” tells the story of a modern woman with themes still relevant today. Constance Middleton (Jude Ciancone) is a calm, intelligent woman who knows full well that her husband, John, (Jeffrey Ford) is having an affair with her best friend, Mary-Louise (Gina Glaros). Her mother (Judy Dukes) and sister (Laura Reed) work to protect Constance from learning about the affair, not knowing that she is already fully aware of it but not bothered. The plot further thickens when a former love, Bernard (Trevor Ramsey), returns to tell Constance he has never loved anyone but her.

The comedy of manners delivers a twist when Mary-Louise’s suspicious husband (Cliff Macke) reveals evidence pointing to the affair. Constance’s reaction surprises everyone. Rather than becoming angry or forlorn or simply accepting it as her lot in life, Constance takes matters into her own hands. She makes plans to go into business with her friend Barbara (Karen Crispin) as an interior decorator, allowing Constance to gain financial and emotional independence.

“I believe the play is extremely relevant to today’s audiences,” Groves said. “Constance is an independent woman.”

In 2005, Lynn Redgrave played the role of Constance’s mother, Mrs. Culver, on Broadway. For that run, she was nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. When the play opened on Broadway in 1926, Ethel Barrymore played the title role. It ran on Broadway for 295 performances, and Barrymore also played the role in the touring cast. Maugham dedicated the play to her when the first edition of the play was published in 1927. Another notable person who starred in a London production of “The Constant Wife” was Ingrid Bergman.

The ticket office is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and one hour before show time. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and youth. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

Community Theatre is at 25th and Washington streets. Learn more at www.ctth.org or call the ticket office at 812-232-7172.

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