The Hope College Department of Theatre has the stage set for the first production of the spring semester, “Miss Julie.” Performances will be held on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 19-20, and Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 24-27, at 7:30 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

“Miss Julie” tells the story of the beautiful and superior daughter of a count who creates scandal when she seduces her father’s valet, Jean. A spark of passion ignites between them and soon will force Julie to make a choice: romance or rank?

This classic by August Strindberg caused outrage when it was first produced. The play’s premiere in Denmark in 1889 was banned by the censor and three years later in Berlin, it aroused such protests that it was shut down after one performance. The authentic portrayal of the class structure and human sexuality makes “Miss Julie” one of Strindberg’s most popular and frequently performed plays.

“I was most drawn to ‘Miss Julie’ because, in many ways, I have always seen it as an impossible play to realize,” said director Richard Perez of the Hope theatre faculty.  “The cat and mouse relationships within the world of the play, along with its unconventional ending, have always been very intimidating to me.  However, I am also of the mind that, as an artist, part of my job is always to step out of my comfort zone.”

In addition to Perez, the production team for “Miss Julie” includes faculty members Richard Smith as scenic and properties designer, Michelle Bombe as costume designer, and Perry Landes as lighting and sound designer.  Staff members Darlene Veenstra and Paul Anderson serve as costume shop manager and technical director. The stage manager for the production is junior Nils Fritjofson of Granby, Connecticut, and the assistant stage managers are freshman Megan Clark of Clymer, New York, and freshman Paige Trujillo of Holland. Sophomore Kierney Johnson of Seattle, Washington, serves as assistant costume designer.

The cast includes senior Ellie Campbell of Barrington, Illinois; freshman Jose Angulo of San Francisco, California; and senior Emma Fondell of Wilmette, Illinois.

Tickets are $10 for regular admission, $7 for senior citizens, Hope faculty and staff, and free for Hope College students and children 18 and under. Tickets are available at the ticket office in the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). The office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890. Tickets are also available online.

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue between 10th and 13th streets.