ROCKPORT — The Camden Hills Regional High School Drama Department will present “Dust in your Eyes” at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 5, and Wednesday, March 9, in Strom Auditorium. The period farce is translated by Emanuel Wax from Eugene Labiche’s original dating from 1861 Paris. Tickets are $5, general admission.
What’s there for Doctor and Madame Malingear (played by Sean Bardon and Shayna Cohen) to do when their daughter Emily (Taylor Fairfield) falls for a young lawyer Frederick (Domingo Brown) who is from a family, he assures them, that is “of sufficient fortune?” When their assumptions about the wealth of his parents, Monsieur and Madame Ratinois (Sean Fay and Maddie Chilton), overstep the reality of the Ratinois’ similar middle-class situation, both families are poised to solidify the alliance through extravagant ostentation and flat-out lies, blowing dust into the eyes of the others to insure the match is made. And maids Alexandrine (Jenna Hill) and Justine (Francie Merrill) and Footman (Morgan Cates) are only too happy to assist in the deception. Luckily, earthy Uncle Robert (Kyle Laurita-Bonometti) is sticking around for dinner, a ‘simple’ affair catered by the Maitre d’hotel (Duncan Hall) from the swanky establishment across the street. The result is a laugh-out-loud farce about the expensive cost of deception.
Costuming this period farce proved an enjoyable challenge for the lively costume crew led by student Anna Grigo and hair and makeup crew led by Anna Mason. The production received a boost from Youth Arts, which provided funding for Kathleen Brown and Terri Ralston to conduct a semester-long residence for CHRHS students interested in furthering interests in costume, hair and makeup design. Mutton chops and hoop skirts are suddenly back in fashion.
The set design crew, led by Vanessa Bemis, used the challenges presented by the limitations of the Maine Drama Festival rules to portray the interiors of two 19th-century middle-class family households, more similar than anything, despite the pretensions.
“Dust in Your Eyes” is the school’s entry in the 2011 Maine Drama Festival and will be performed at the Regional Festival at noon Saturday, March 12, at Ellsworth High School. All Maine Drama Festival performances are open to the public. Admission to those performances is $7, $4 students.