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Northwestern University to Stage Harold Pinter's Dark Comedy

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October 31, 2006 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter's “The Birthday Party,” a dark comedy about personal violence and the struggle for power, will be performed in November at Northwestern University.

“The Birthday Party” will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10; 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov.11; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12; 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15; 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16; 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17; 8 p.m. Nov. 18; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Ethel M. Barber Theatre, 30 Arts Circle Drive, on the University's Evanston campus.

Pinter's three-act comedy is set in a small seedy boarding house at a coastal resort town. The house is home to a man, his mentally wayward wife and their boarder, who is a strange chap, apparently in flight from someone. After an even stranger and threatening man and his menacing, muscle-bound henchman arrive, the boarding house owner's wife decides to celebrate the boarder's birthday. The ensuing celebration pushes the inhabitants of the boarding house over a psychotic precipice that only Pinter -- widely regarded as the United Kingdom's greatest living playwright -- could envision.

Jason Tyne will direct the Theatre and Interpretation Center's Mainstage production, which features a six-member student cast. As with many of Pinter's plays, there is room for a wide range of interpretations as to what, if anything, really transpires on stage, said Tyne.

Single tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for full-time students.

To order tickets, call the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or visit <www.tic.northwestern.edu>.