This article was updated and corrected at 10:37 a.m. on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 to correct performance times and dates.

GORHAM — The theater department at the University of Southern Maine presents “Betrayal,” a chronicle of dishonesty, deception and desire written by Harold Pinter and directed by Thomas Power.

Performances in the Russell Hall auditorium on the Gorham campus are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday; 5 p.m. Nov. 17; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 19, 20; and 5 p.m. Nov. 21.

Tickets cost $8 for students; $11 for seniors, faculty, staff and alumni; and $15 for the general public. In addition, a performance at 5 p.m. Nov. 17 costs $5.

Call the USM box office at 780-5151 for tickets.

“I have been intrigued by Pinter’s work for years and directed many of his plays, including ‘The Homecoming,’ ‘The Birthday Party,’ ‘The Lover’ and a number of his shorter one-acts,” Power said in a press release.

“Betrayal” was first produced in London in 1978 following a difficult time in the playwright’s life, and although viewed as a stretch for college acting students, the play remains a continual favorite for students in acting classes, Power said.

“The universal theme is clear, and the challenge to making this work with young actors with an intentionally intimate performance concept will become evident to audiences,” Power said. “The show is performed in the round, and as in life, characters must occasionally turn their backs on each other.”

Inspired by the playwright’s own seven-year affair, “Betrayal” reveals its story in reverse chronological order, beginning at the end of the deception and ending at the start. For five years, Emma and Jerry carry on behind Robert’s back. Emma eventually confesses her infidelity to Robert while continuing the affair. The duplicity persists in woven layers of lies and deceit, only to be stripped bare, exposing the human capacity for betraying ourselves and the ones we love.

Senior theater major Jacqueline Cascella is the set designer, and senior Danny Gay is the sound designer. The remainder of the production is designed by theater faculty — Renee Garcia is costume designer, and Shannon Zura is the lighting designer. USM theater major Sebastian Ascanio is stage manager.

The cast includes USM theater majors. Jerry is performed by sophomore Sage Landry of Nobleboro, Emma is played by senior Meredith Lamothe of Wells, Robert is sophomore Patrick Molloy of Orono, and the Waiter is performed by junior Alec Rose of Orono.