Saint Martin’s University presents “Cloud 9”

October 23, 2012

cloud 9 photoLACEY, WASHINGTON— The Saint Martin’s University Department of Theatre Arts announces its production of “Cloud 9,” Caryl Churchill’s time-shifting comedy that explores sexual identity and politics through the lens of one family and two centuries. Olivia Baumgartner, a senior double-majoring in theater arts and sociology at Saint Martin’s University, is directing the play. It runs Nov. 9-11 and Nov. 14-17 at The Midnight Sun Performance Space, 113 Columbia St. NW, Olympia. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. except for the 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, November 11. Tickets are available at the door: $12 general admission; $7 for students, seniors and the military. Advance tickets are also available at This play contains adult content and language \ that may not be suitable for children.

“Cloud 9” humorously follows the lives of a family that ages 25 years between acts, while the world ages more than 100 years. The first act is set in British-colonized Africa in the late 19th century, while the second act is set in the late 1970s in a London park. The comedy casts a spotlight on stereotypes and expectations about culture, gender and race, casting characters into seemingly contradictory roles.

David Hlavsa, theater arts professor at Saint Martin’s University, comments, “‘Cloud 9’ explores how we come to terms with traditional ideas about sex, gender and who we are supposed to love. What happens when we love people that society says we’re not supposed to? What happens when we reject societal restrictions but then find ourselves wanting to live traditional lives?”

“‘Cloud 9’ is an old-time sex farce in the first act and then a wry, nuanced treatment of the same issues in a modern context,” he adds. “We’re presenting the play in an election year, when we face choices that resonate with themes playing out on the ballot,” says Hlavsa. “What the audience will get this year, with the performance being on the heels of an election season, is nuance. I hope the play is fun for people, but mostly I hope it gets people talking.”

“I love this play because it’s about our right as people to be what we want, live how we want and love who we want,” adds Baumgartner. “I’m hopeful this play will incite some sort of debate on the things we should to be talking about but aren’t.”

For further information, please contact Hlavsa at 360-438-4345 or

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 375 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

David Hlavsa
Theater department

Sarah Holdener
Director of community relations and event management
Office of Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University