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Husband-wife team portrays newlywed couple

Carolea+Webb%2C+right%2C+plays+Mrs.+Ethyl+Banks+in+%E2%80%9CBarefoot+in+the+Park.%E2%80%9D
Carolea Webb, right, plays Mrs. Ethyl Banks in “Barefoot in the Park.”

Carolea Webb, right, plays Mrs. Ethyl Banks in “Barefoot in the Park.”

COURTESY OF KRISTIN WILLIAMS

COURTESY OF KRISTIN WILLIAMS

Carolea Webb, right, plays Mrs. Ethyl Banks in “Barefoot in the Park.”

LATISHA JENSEN | Evergreen reporter

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When one seasoned actress convinced her much less experienced husband to dive into acting, the newlywed couple became the main stars of Pullman Civic Theatre’s (PCT) production of “Barefoot in the Park.”

Fourth-year doctorate student Lucy Kompaniyets has acted in PCT productions since her first year at WSU. She stars as Corie Bratter in this production, an adventurous and spontaneous wife.

In his first major role and only his second play, third-year doctorate student Kyle Lorenzano said the play has been a challenging, yet fun, experience. He stars as Paul Bratter, the “stuffy workaholic.”

“I’ve never done theater before I met [Kompaniyets].” Lorenzano said. “She eventually convinced me, and they needed a newlywed couple. We were newlyweds, so here we are.”

The main plot of the play is about a couple only six days into their marriage. They just moved into a small New York apartment on the sixth floor with no elevator, said Gary Thoren, PCT director and head of the production committee.

In the play, after arriving in the big city, Corie is thrilled by all the excitement, while her husband is underwhelmed. Despite their quirky neighbors and all the issues with the apartment, the couple’s polar opposite personalities work well together, he said.

Thoren received his degree in theater, acted professionally for about four years and then gradually moved toward directing, which he considers one of the best experiences of his life.

“[Directing] is the area that I’m the most confident in,” Thoren said. “You have this vision of how you want it so you start going with that, and the actors when they start getting into it, they have their own vision. It’s wonderful to watch the two meld together.”

Thoren said he enjoys how the theatre is all volunteer-based, which allows everyone to participate merely because of their love of theater.

“You go in there and you just get re-energized,” Thoren said.

Usually for auditions, there is an equal balance of PCT actors and outside new actors, he said.

“We like to bring new people in. We like to have new blood,” Thoren said. “This is a special case where we did pre-cast [newlyweds]. It’s cool and sweet, and they’re adorable together.”

Lorenzano said he believes he relates to the characters because in the couple’s marriage, he is the more “boring” one, while she is more adventure-driven.

He said he enjoys the quality time he gets to spend with his wife, whether at rehearsals, running through their script together or performing in the play.

“I think it’s really nice that Lucy and I get to do something together other than just school and work and all the usual stuff,” Lorenzano said. “We both like music and all these creative things, but we don’t do it together as much so this is something creative we could do together.”

“Barefoot in the Park” will show at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Pullman Civic Theatre. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door for Friday and Saturday shows and $10 in advance and $12 at the door for Sunday shows. Tickets can be bought at Dissmore’s, Neill’s Flowers and Gifts and at pullmancivictheatre.org.

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Husband-wife team portrays newlywed couple