At the Pussycat Motel

Eugenia, Bernard, and Ferrallion
Eugenia, Bernard, and Ferrallion

By Dr. Pamela Washington

All the characters from Act I end up at the Pussycat Motel, but a whole group of people call the Pussycat home. What type of person would live and work in a place like the Pussycat?

Owner Ferrallion and his wife Olympia (the leather lioness), represent divergent responses to violence and chaos. Perhaps because of his military experience in Korea, Ferrallion dishes out violence at every opportunity, but there is a complex psychology at play in Ferrallion. Potts was under his command in Korea, and Ferrallion seems to dish out military style violence to him, but he also continues to employ Potts even though he is an alcoholic and in some ways incompetent. The same is true with Bernard, Ferrallion’s alcoholic uncle whose moaning—well enough said about that. In Ferrallion, our playwright, Feydeau has created a very complicated psychological portrait. . . .  read more

10 Reasons to see “A Flea in Her Ear”

By Dr. Pamela Washington

  • There is a double—one is prim and proper—the other—not so much;
  • Laura and Maria—think Lucy and Ethel;
  • 9 doors which slam, hide, expose and reveal;
  • A mauve letter;
  • The Pussycat Motel has a new jungle room;
  • Doctor Finache can cure anything with simple household products;
  • Senior Homenides De Histangua is a jealous husband with a gun;
  • Fabulous 1960’s fashions;
  • Olympia (The Leather Lioness) and her husband, Ferraillon trying to “control” the action at The Pussycat;
  • Andrew Tournel—finally a man who understands women’s fashion.
  •  . . .  read more

    Meet Our Directors

    Alyssa Moon and Daisy Folsom
    Alyssa Moon and Daisy Folsom

    By Dr. Pamela Washington

    In both of the previous posts about “A Flea in Her Ear,” I’ve talked about the physical comedy of farce, but I haven’t introduced the two people who are bring the frantic physical activity to life. This post is a mini-interview with the two women who are sharing the directing duties.

    Our director, Ms. Daisy Folsom is a Full Professor in the University of Central Oklahoma’s Theatre Arts Department. In action, Daisy is a quiet force to be reckoned with and is a bit like a feather-covered brick wall—lovely and fun, effervescent, but solid and steadfast underneath. . . .  read more

    Why Is Farce Funny?

    By Dr. Pamela Washington

    Actors at A Flea In Her Ear Rehearsal

    At rehearsal of A Flea in Her Ear last night, I witnessed the physicality of farce at its best and couldn’t help but laugh out loud when Histangua kicks Chandler into a closet threatening him with a gun and again when Laura aggressively backs Tournel onto a desk. I went home with a smile on my face.

    Why do we love plays like Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, or the most famous farce, Moliere’s Tartuffe? Why do we watch reruns of Seinfeld or I Love Lucy, and can someone please tell me how a movie like The Hangover becomes a franchise with multiple sequels? The answer lies in the function of farce in our culture. . . .  read more

    Movement in Feydeau’s “A Flea in Her Ear”

    By Dr. Pamela Washington

    Two Actors at "A Flea in Her Ear" rehearsal.
    Photography by Michael Washington

    The bedroom farce, as a genre, requires slamming doors, people appearing and disappearing through them, and quite a bit of physical confusion.  The mechanics of misunderstanding are starting to come together in the blocking of the UCO Theatre Arts Department’s first season offering, “A Flea in Her Ear.”  A French farce by Georges Feydeau, the play was originally set in the early 20th century, in an old French apartment building with a traditional multi-room, two story floorplan.  How has Greg Leaming adapted this play’s setting to 1968 Scarsdale, New York, and more importantly how has the Theatre Design Team adapted two sets with a total of nine doors—yes nine much used doors—to the Mitchell Hall stage? The tape on the floor during a recent blocking rehearsal only partly tells the story. Watching these young actors figure out which door to go through when—well, the laughter has already started! . . .  read more