Audiences are in for a show filled with sword fighting, strangling and door slamming.

The Gresham High School Theatre Arts Department is presenting “Moon Over Buffalo,” a Ken Ludwig farce, May 1-5 in the high school auditorium, 1200 N. Main Ave.

The comedy set in the 1950s brought Carol Burnett back to Broadway in 1995 for the first time in 30 years and makes Sara Dempsey, adviser and director, feel like she’s in a comedy every day in rehearsal.

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: GRESHAM HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA - Devin Bailey plays George Hays portraying Cyrano, while Lily Cichon plays Charlotte Hays portraying Roxanne, in Gresham High's 'Moon Over Buffalo.'

“I love Ken (Ludwig),” Dempsey said. “His sense of timing and characters are fun to direct.”

“Moon Over Buffalo” centers around George and Charlotte Hay, two fading actors who have one last shot at becoming stars. During a time when everything needs to go right for them to impress a movie director, it goes hilariously wrong.

One of the play’s themes is how passionate people can be, and Dempsey hopes audience members realize through the play they have have a passion that makes them go as crazy as George and Charlotte.

Junior Lily Cichon plays Charlotte, an ambiitous leading actress who was formerly on Broadway and created a traveling company.

One of the fun parts of the play for Cichon was making up situations tailored to the cast and thinking about how far people will go to do what they love.

“Usually I’m more backstage,” she said. “I was the dancer in a musical, but this is my first on-stage lead.”

Senior Austin Joseph plays Richard Maynard, a lawyer madly in love with Charlotte, whom he can never be with.

“He’s so passionate about her in the same way the actors are so passionate about theater,” Joseph said. “This play was an absolute blast. It’s very free and collaborative. I hope audiences have a laugh and change their day in some way to have a positive impact.”

“Moon Over Buffalo” will be staged at 7 p.m. May 1-4 and at 2 p.m. May 5.

The play is best suited for ages 13 and older.

Tickets — $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and $5 opening night — are available at

For more information or to buy group tickets, call 503-674-5516.

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