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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Theatre to present The Foreigner

Media Contact: Bonnie Bosworth, 401-874-5922

KINGSTON, R.I.- -February 13, 2009—The University of Rhode Island’s prize-winning Theatre Department announces its upcoming comedy, The Foreigner.

The award-winning play, written by Larry Shue in the 1980s, to be performed in the Robert E. Will Theatre, Fine Arts Center, Kingston Campus, will run Feb. 26 through 28 and March 5 through 7 at 7:30 p.m. and March 1 and 8 at 3 p.m. Admission is $14 for the general public, $10 for senior citizens and URI faculty/staff, and $8 for students.

“If farce is your cup of moonshine, you’ll want to drink in The Foreigner. A cross between the Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres, the play takes audiences beyond stereotypes. While some characters try to find out who they really are, others work hard to hide their identities. Ku Klux Klansmen look and sound like foolish buffoons-- much like the Nazi character Franz Liebkind in the The Producers. The play does not try to reach your social conscience, merely your funny bone. Audiences have been known to laugh the bad guys right off the stage.

The Foreigner, set in a fishing lodge in rural Georgia, revolves around two of its guests, Charlie Baker and Englishman Froggy LeSuere. Charlie is so pathologically shy that he is unable to speak. As way of explanation, Froggy claims his companion is the native of an exotic country who does not understand a word of English. Before long, Charlie finds himself privy to assorted secrets and scandals freely discussed in front of him by the other visitors. This fuels the non-stop hilarity of the play, and sets up the wildly funny climax in which things go uproariously awry for the “bad guys” and the “good guys” emerge triumphant. The play won two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production.

The March 1 performance is dedicated to the memory of Thomas R. Pezzullo, a former vice president for University Relations at URI and frequent actor who died in 1992 at the age of 49. All proceeds from that performance will go directly to the Thomas R. Pezzullo Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Theatre Department was pleased to award scholarships from the fund this year to four theater students: Maria Hyde of North Kingstown, Rachael Nadeau of Coventry, Max Ponticelli of Braintree, Mass. and Ben Rose of Charlestown.

URI’s The Foreigner is directed by Alan Hawkridge, who has also directed Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Blithe Spirit, set design by Cheryl deWardener, costume design by Rachael Ralby of Sudbury, Mass., senior theatre major; lighting design by Renee Surprenant, senior theater major from St. Albans, Maine; sound design by Michael Hyde.
For more information or to make reservations, call 401.874.5843. To be included on the theater mailing list, call 401.874.5921.

Members of the cast, their characters, and hometowns follow:

Cast, Character, Hometown,

Johnny Sederquist, Charlie Baker , Middleborough, Mass
Benjamin Gracia, Sgt. Froggy LeSuere, E. Providence
Nile Hawver, David, Coventry
Cory Crew, Jr., Owen Musser, Putnam Valley, N.Y.
Jennifer Michaels, Catherine, Stonington, Conn.
Betsy Rinaldi, Betty, Coventry
Michael Puppi, Ellard, Narragansett


Pictured above


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University of Rhode Island students (seated) Johnny Sederquist of Middleborough, Mass. and Betsy Rinaldi of Coventry and (standing) Cory Crew of Putnam Valley, N.Y. and Michael Puppi of Narragansett star in the University’s Theatre Department’s production of The Foreigner. The award-winning play, written by Larry Shue in the 1980s, to be performed in the Robert E. Will Theatre, Fine Arts Center, Kingston Campus, will run Feb. 26 through 28 and March 5 through 7 at 7:30 p.m. and March 1 and 8 at 3 p.m. Admission is $14 for the general public, $10 for senior citizens and URI faculty/staff, and $8 for students. For more information or to make reservations, call 401.874.5843. URI photo by Randy Osga.