Linfield Theatre prepares to ‘Slightly Distract’

Gilberto Galvez, Culture editor

A new production will grace the stage this weekend at Linfield’s Marshall Theatre, and this year, the play-reading committee chose “The Blonde and Other Slight Distractions,” a collection of short plays by David L. Peterson. Performers will present the plays at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18-20 and at 10 p.m. Sept. 19.

Three student directors will be working on the six plays. Senior Daniel Bradley will direct “Closure” and “One Last Time.” Senior Nicholas Granato will direct “Thanksgetting” and “The Gate.” While senior Mariko Kajita will direct “The Blonde” and “Final Approach.”

“’The Blonde and Other Slight Distractions’ provides our program with the chance to get students involved quickly by rehearsing and mounting a night of six scenes in a short rehearsal process,” Janet Gupton, associate professor of theater arts and resident director, wrote in an email. “The collection of scenes provides characters who are humorous and thought provoking.”

Kajita sees the plays as pursuits of happiness where sometimes the happiness characters find is not the happiness they thought they were looking for.

“What’s interesting is that Paterson didn’t just end each scene with a happy ending. Sometimes it’s rather depressing. As the play goes on, those strange situations and their odd small happiness somehow turn out to be something understandable and very similar to what we may find in our lives. Everyone has different shape of their happiness and that is why this play is so believable and enchanting,” Kajita said.

For ‘The Blonde,’ Kajita considered the two characters in his play and their different views on the world.

“During a rehearsal of ‘The Blonde’, we discussed about how people see a river differently. Artistic people, like Eddie, may see it as a framed beautiful picture of nature, but someone like Gloria notices the fact like how much water runs in a minute. It is impressive how two different ways of going through life can be affected by each other. The ending is beautifully twisted and cynically concluded,” Kajita said.

Tickets are available at, by phone or at the Marshall Theatre Box Office. Located in the lobby of Ford Hall, the box office is open 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 3 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday and from 3 to 10 p.m. on Friday. The Marshall Theatre is fully accessible. For more information, call 503.883.2292.