The title of the play may be “The Madwoman of Chaillot,” but the really wacky ones in the latest Pittsburg State University Theatre production are a group of greed-obsessed “men of industry” who plan to destroy Paris because they think it’s floating on a pool of oil.

The title of the play may be “The Madwoman of Chaillot,” but the really wacky ones in the latest Pittsburg State University Theatre production are a group of greed-obsessed “men of industry” who plan to destroy Paris because they think it’s floating on a pool of oil.

The show will be presented at 8 p.m. today through Saturday in Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.

Austin Curtright is the President, who heads numerous companies that have no function other than to bring in money. He meets up with a Prospector, played by John Sullivan, who firmly believes that Chaillot, a district of Paris, lies over a huge oil deposit.

“I can taste the oil in water that has flowed within 15 miles of the deposit,” he claims. “Sometimes 20 miles.”

That’s enough for the President and his henchmen to start making plans to get at the oil. All they have to do is get rid of the city and its people.

“What would you rather have in your garden, an almond tree or an oil well?” the Prospector asks. “What does a mountain have that a slag heap doesn’t have?”

This play, by Jean Giraudoux, premiered in 1948, but if anything is more relevant today than it was then.

Fortunately for Paris, the Madwoman of the title, the Countess Aurelia, finds out about their dastardly plot. Portrayed by Kristy Magee, she’s a charming, kind woman who’s still believes that the world is a beautiful place and everybody in it is happy.

When her friends at the Cafe Francis inform her of the truth, the countess devises a plan to save Paris and everything beautiful in the world. Assisting her are the vagabonds of Chaillot, including ragpickers, flower sellers, jugglers, and three other madwomen.
She conducts a trial of the evildoers, with the Ragpicker, played by Robert Wilson, standing in for them.

Justice is done and there’s a happy ending, all in time for the Madwoman to feed her cats their dinner. Unfortunately, the real world isn’t quite so satisfactory.

The cast also includes David Sowards, Lara Ismert, Chris Alexander, Jessie Denton, Griffin Cooper, Jacob Hacker, Haley Wolf, Morgan Beech, Brett Baker, Dalton Jay Nelson, Jordan Lepoglow,  Taylor Patterson, Robyn Hilt, Micah Black, Michael Holleron, Jeanine Kunshek, Joel Ybarra, Lynn Jones, Corin Cooper, Lauren Rauniker, Courtni Dillard, Sam Hardy, Ethan Caldwell, Chelsea Smith, Ceyeli Corbett and Victoria Smith.

Gil Cooper is director, with Doug Bennett as scenic, lighting and sound designer and technical director. Lisa Quinteros, premiere costumer of the Pittsburg theater scene, does an outstanding job as usual. Jason Huffman is Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium technical director. Michelle Rhoades is stage manager, assisted by Beth Newhouse.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and $6 for those under 17 and over 65. PSU students, faculty and staff will receive free tickets with a valid PSU photo ID. Tickets may be obtained through the PSU Ticket Office, 235-4796, or at the door.