Willamette Theatre Presents 'The Women'

Willamette University Theatre announces its final show of the 2007-08 season, Clare Boothe Luce's "The Women." The production runs March 7, 8 and 13-15 at 8 p.m., and March 9 and 16 at 2 p.m., with a preview performance March 6 at 8 p.m. Performances are in the Kresge Theatre at Willamette University.

"The Women" is a gleefully malicious comedy about New York socialites, their twisted marriages and the delicious gossip that ruins their reputations. Smart, sexy and scandalous, these femme fatales close Willamette's 2007-08 season with style.

The play focuses on the lives of several Manhattan socialites in the 1930s, including Mary Haines, the sweet, faithful wife of Stephen. When Mary finds out that Stephen has been seeing a shop girl named Crystal, she is advised by her friends and family to ignore the infidelity. However, when news of Stephen's affair is published, Mary decides against all recommendations to leave her husband. Two years later, Stephen has married Crystal, who proves to be a fickle wife. With the help of her friends, Mary attempts to expose Crystal and win back Stephen's love.

The play examines several poignant subjects that are relevant today, including love, marriage, pride and friendship. Perhaps most pointedly, playwright Clare Boothe Luce reveals the lengths to which women will go to protect their families and their dignity.

"The Women" is directed by guest artist Karen Vaccaro, who has been a mainstay in Chicago theatre since 1982, working as a director and actress. She has won three Joseph Jefferson Awards for her work.

Technical elements of the production will provide a varied portrayal of 1930s settings. Scene designer and department co-chair Chris Harris will create the play's visual surroundings, Bobby Brewer-Wallin will create the stylish 1930s wardrobe, and Willamette Theatre technical director Rachel Steck will serve as lighting designer. The cast features 19 young actresses from Willamette and the surrounding area.

To purchase tickets, contact the Willamette University Box Office at (503) 370-6221 or reserve tickets by email at Opening night is $12 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Most other evening performances are $10 for general admission and $6 for students and seniors. Contact the box office for specific pricing and details. For more information, call (503) 370-6222 or visit