Professor Holly Barbaccia lectures Falstaff (Chuck Harris) about "Falstaff's Serious Play," the free talk she’ll give prior to Friday night’s performance.

Georgetown, KY – Director Heather Hunnicutt has cut ticket prices in half for this weekend’s Lyric Theatre Society opera production of “Falstaff” so that patrons will have a chance to see our gifted Georgetown College students during these tough economic times.

“We lowered the prices to $5 (adults) and $3 (students) because it’s what Shakespeare and Verdi would have done to make the theatre accessible for all,” said Dr. Hunnicutt, Chair or the Music Department. Children under 10 will be admitted free,  but parents take note: the show is rated “PG-13.”

Tickets will be available through the College bookstore at(502)  863-8134, and at the door. The performance is in the College’s John L. Hill Chapel on Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.

Prior to Friday’s performance, the public is invited to attend a free lecture at 7 p.m. by English professor Holly Barbaccia in Asher Science Center Room 112 entitled “Falstaff’s Serious Play.” She’ll talk in general about the Renaissance – which all of GC’s Foundations 111 classes are covering – as well as Shakespeare and his Falstaff character.

Foundations 111 is a course that all freshmen take in their first semester at Georgetown College. The course helps students build the skills crucial for academic success, such as critical reading, arguing, and composing, while they read and discuss classic texts in literature, religion, philosophy, and the social and natural sciences.

Scott County High juniors Kyle Reihmer, left, and Spring Miles are embraced by GC senior Chuck Harris, one of the two Scott County natives who will play the title role in “Falstaff.” GC junior Nathan Van Til is the other.

Director Hunnicutt also did some innovative promoting and recruiting recently when she and 10 of her opera cast members held an improv competition at Scott County High School. SCHS juniors Spring Miles and Kyle Reihmer were the talented winners who will get to perform cameo roles in this weekend’s four shows.

“Even for cameos, these winners had to be talented so we could keep ‘Falstaff’ at a high performance level,” Hunnicutt said. “This is a difficult opera by Giuseppe Verdi that most graduate schools do not attempt to perform. So, this could be an experience of a lifetime for Kyle and Spring – and certainly something for their resumes as they begin the process of applying for colleges.”

Both Spring and Kyle were in the recent SCHS production of Neil Simon’s “Fools.” The son of Ted and Renee Reihmer, Kyle is the youngest of triplets with two other siblings. Spring, who plays trombone in the SCHS band, is the daughter of Colleen London and Harold Miles.

Spring and Kyle are working alongside and getting acting advice from students who have had years of experience. They are working hard to memorize cues, blocking and possibly a song in the last scene.  “It’s been challenging balancing my four AP classes on top of rehearsal,” Spring said. “But it is definitely worth the hard work and has been a wonderful experience that I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy.”

The four main leads – Chuck Harris, Nathan Van Til, Sarah Smith and Elizabeth Maines, all Scott County High graduates – have made it a point to take Spring and Kyle under their wing. “That these amazing actors all went to my high school makes the whole experience even better,” Kyle said. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity and so glad that Dr. Hunnicutt chose to come to our school.”

Dr. Hunnicutt said she realized SCHS was a goldmine for talent when they worked with the show choir in April 2010 for a ‘Hairspray’ scene in OpShop. Ever since then she has wanted to hold a competition. “This was so successful, I hope we’ll get to do this again for future productions,” she said. “I’ve got to thank Brent Merritt (SCHS choir director) for allowing us to have the improv audition and for his great work in developing students. SCHS has a treasure in him.”

Despite the difficult level of performance, the two students as well as the entire cast have had fun with the comical plot. “Falstaff” is based on Shakespeare’s ‘”The Merry Wives of Windsor.” This infamous drunken knight plots to win over wealthy ladies in order to fund his lavish lifestyle. The wealthy ladies get wind of the plot and set out to teach him a lesson he will never forget. It is strictly comical; there is hardly a minute lacking humor throughout the whole opera.