MAT to present 'Cupid and Psyche'
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The local acting troupe is bringing a mixture of old and new to Havre this weekend when it opens a production of Joseph Fisher's "Cupid and Psyche" Friday. Montana Actors' Theatre director Audrey Barger said the play, which retells a Greek myth, is set in the modern times while using classical dialogue. "It's very interesting," she said. The play recounts the story of Cupid, the god of desire, being sent by his mother, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, to punish the mortal princess Psyche for attracting attention away from the goddess. Instead, Cupid falls in love with Psyche. The story line, following perhaps the oldest-known fairy tale format, involves a strong cast of characters in complex manipulations and interactions. The cast has been rehearsing the play less than a month, but Barger said they are working together very well. "Their chemistry on stage is incredible. It's really fun to watch," she said. Luke Pratt is playing Cupid, while Kimmi Curtis plays Psyche. Kristi Zuelke was cast as Aphrodite, with Casey Pratt playing the god Apollo. Joe Wetsch is portraying Psyche's father, and Carla Uhl and Louann LaSalle play her sisters, Maleen and Kris. Rounding out the cast is Martin Holt, who plays Cupid's servant Runt. Part of the work in preparing the play was working on present ing smooth, flowing dialogue, Barger said. While the play combines old and new — Aphrodite and Apollo talk using cell phones and Bluetooth headsets — the dialogue is written in a classical style reminiscent of the Shakespearean era. "It's a challenge," Barger said. "We worked hard on that." The complexity includes the scenery. Six people work throughout the play to make 30 set changes during the performance. "The play is appealing because it contains an eclectic mix of comedy and drama and is a must-see as it has been produced in such a way that the audience will be pulled right into the story," Barger said. The doors open at the theater at Cowan Hall on the Montana State University-Northern campus Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., when the backstage lounge also opens. The play starts at 8 p.m. each night. The production returns each of the next two weekends, with performances Feb. 4-6 and 11-14. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and admission is free for MSU-N students with a valid identification card.