Harvard Soap Opera To Premiere in April

Will gutsy feminist Tasha fall for politically incorrect Phillip's conservative charms? Will ambitious Laurel resort to dirty tactics in the race for president of the Harvard Junior Business Leaders?

Students will have to wait until mid-April to find out. That's when a local cable station will air the premiere episode of "Ivory Tower," Harvard's answer to daytime soap operas, said Co-director Scott L. Schwartz '94-'95.

"The future of the show holds blackmail, fights, romance, sex--everything you could possibly want," said Sara A. Bibel '95, a writer and producer for the soap.

"Ivory Tower" is being produced under the auspices of the Harvard/Radcliffe television Organization, a Harvard cable television station created earlier this year.

Andrea N. Moore '96, who writes and produces for the show, said she hopes "Ivory Tower" will attract a faithful following.

"We want to be addictive," Moore said. "That is definitely one of our major goals."

According to Bibel, the show will be run entirely by students.

Actors were selected through the bi-annual Common Casting process organized by the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club. Undergraduates will direct and produce the show, and will compose its musical score.

The show will air on Cambridge Public Access TV, which is available only to residents of the cable-ready dormitories on DeWolfe and Garden streets and to other Cantabrigians who get cable.

But cable-less Harvard soap opera devotees need not panic.

Recordings of each episode will be aired in every house. In addition, the Science Center may screen the show, Schwartz said.

Although Bibel said the soap opera "does not claim to be a real slice of Harvard life," students are sure to recognize the show's settings.

Scenes will be shot on location at the MAC, the Science Center's Green-house Cafe and in the actors' common rooms, Bibel said.

In fact, actors will provide their own costumes because of the show's limited $200 budget, said Bibel, who is a Crimson editor.

Jennifer N. Breheny '94, who plays racy Tasha on the show, said she hopes people don't confuse the actors with their TV personalities.

"The line between my character and me could be faint for some people, who recognize my common room and recognize my clothes," Breheny said. "I don't want people to think that I'm Tasha."

Schwartz said the second episode of the soap will air this reading period. He said he expects to film additional half-hour episodes in the coming fall.