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“The Foreigner” Comes to the Fire Hall Theatre

Molly Andrews, Staff Writer

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Laughs lined the walls of the theatre Thursday during the opening night of the Fire Hall Theatre’s performance of “The Foreigner.” “The Foreigner” was written by Larry Shue and was originally an off- broadway comedy play that was very popular. The play ran for over 600 performances when it originally came out and has won several awards including two Obie Awards as well as two Outer Critics Circle Awards. A comedy is made to amuse the audience by the drama, satirical tone and most of all, by the happy ending. This two-act play lasted for a little over two hours but the performance had a way of pulling you in and making you feel like you were part of it. “The Foreigner” is a story about a man named Charlie, played by Isaac Engels, whose wife is sick and tells him to go on a trip with Froggy, played by Greg Jones. They go to a lodge in Georgia were they are a guest. Froggy has to leave for a couple days and Charlie, who is anxious and doesn’t want to talk to other people, asks him if he can make sure the other people staying at the lodge won’t talk to him. Froggy thinks for a bit but promises him that he can make it happen. When Charlie goes off to bed, Betty, played by Bonnie Schonmeier, arrives back at the lodge which she owns and is delighted to see Froggy. They start to talk and Froggy tells her about Charlie and says that he is a foreigner and therefore cannot speak English so he can’t understand what anyone is saying. Froggy tells Charlie about the plan and at first he doesn’t want to follow through but he decides to do it anyway. Everyone at the lodge is under the impression that Charlie cannot speak or understand English so they all start to tell him their secrets and he begins to learn the scandals of the people around him. The cast is made up of local Grand Forks volunteers who have all been part of the Fire Hall Theatre for at least a year. It was directed by Nicole Quam,a former alumni of UND who has directed many plays before this one. “I just do theatre,” Quam said, explaining how she has been acting since age one and has been part of theatre for her entire life. Quam was part of the building of the Fire Hall Theatre in 1997 after the flood. She built the stage and seating herself and has been at the Fire Hall Theatre since her return to Grand Forks in 2009. Quam faces some challenges while directing shows. “Being patient is difficult while the actors are learning their lines because there is nothing you can really do to help them,” Quam said. This play had a seven week rehearsal process which seems short but Quam says she typically prefers a four week rehearsal process. “The style of comedy, the word play, the farce is very funny,” Quam said. “The Foreigner” is a laugh out loud, must see comedy. It will be playing at the Fire Hall Theatre from September 27th – October 13th. Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for students and can be purchased at the Chester Fritz Box Office. You can either walk in or call 701-777-4090 to get your ticket today!

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“The Foreigner” Comes to the Fire Hall Theatre