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Play with comedic moments opens Clackamas Community College's student season Nov. 14

In "Becky's New Car," opening Nov. 14 at Clackamas Community College, Becky Foster is caught in middle age, middle management and in a middling marriage - with no prospects for change on the horizon. Then one night, a socially inept and grief-stricken millionaire stumbles into the car dealership where Becky works, and offers her a new life.

All the actors in the play are CCC students, and James Eikrem, artistic director of CCC's Theatre Department, helped them understand a woman who works too hard, doesn't have a lot of money and is in a marriage which is no longer very intimate.

Overall, the play "is fun, is contemporary and is relatable to a younger audience," he said.

When the play opens, Eikrem said he will be interested in seeing how the audience reacts to the choices Becky makes.

"There are a lot of close calls; Becky has an indiscretion, and yet it all seems to work out."

Sabbatical

Eikrem took a term off last spring, appeared in a play and went to New York to see Broadway shows. He has now returned to the classroom feeling refreshed.

"I have a really good enrollment this term; it is fun to expose these students to what I offer and watch them gobble it up," he said.

PHOTO BY JENNIFER JETT - Cami Kaylor as Becky, the title character in 'Becky's New Car,' and Kyle Ward, as her husband. While working on "Becky's New Car," "it has been fun to see the lightbulbs go off" as students get what the play is all about, Eikrem said.

The challenge with the play is getting across that the piece deals with serious issues, while at the same time it can be funny, he added.

He is also pleased with the work of costumer Gina Piva and set designer Chris Whitten.

Whitten, scenic and lighting designer/technical director, "knows how to convey through his designs a lot of thematic material" that the play is trying to get across, Eikrem said.

"The concept is of a big game show," he said, noting that the stage floor has been painted like a game board.

Ireland

Eikrem will travel to Ireland in early December as part of the Institute of Study Ireland program. While he is there, he plans to do some accent research so he can develop Irish dialects for actors in "The Cripple of Inishmaan," by Martin McDonagh, which opens at CCC on Feb. 27, 2020.

Then, in May, he will direct "Spring Awakening," with book and lyrics by Steven Sate and music by Duncan Sheik.

Eikrem said that the musical is an expressionist drama set in Germany, which deals with "budding sexuality and the consequences of being misunderstood."

Full speed ahead

What: Clackamas Community College Theatre Arts Department presents "Becky's New Car"

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays Nov. 14-24, with a 10 a.m. show Nov. 22.

Where: The Osterman Theatre, Niemeyer Center, at CCC, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City

Cost: Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (62+) and free for students. Visit clackamas.edu/theatre or call 503-594-3153 for reservations.

Cast: The cast of "Becky's New Car" includes Cami Kaylor as Becky, and Robbie Cantrell, Kyle Ward, Ryan Borgford, Mat Cornett, Rachel Polley and Savannah Pfalzgraff. Haley Hurita is the stage manager for the production.


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