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UW Profiles

UW Theatre and Dance's Snowy Range Summer Theatre
 

 

The nearest professional theatre is closer than you may think. Much closer.

One of the longest-running summer stock theatre shows west of the Mississippi River, the Snowy Range Summer Theatre provides the Laramie and the University of Wyoming communities, as well as residents across Wyoming, with an opportunity to see high-quality professional productions without leaving the Cowboy State.

"We're fortunate to be able to experience this level of theatre without going to Denver or somewhere else," says Leigh Selting, chair of the UW Department of Theatre and Dance.

He chuckles and adds, "In fact, we've had some professional actors from Denver come here to perform in the summer."

The 59th annual summer theatre is just one of many offerings from the UW Department of Theatre and Dance, which produces six main shows during each academic year, from contemporary and classic plays to musicals and operas to a range of modern dance, ballet, jazz and vertical dances.

The recently-concluded season was highlighted by The Mikado, a comedic operetta regarded as the most popular of Gilbert and Sullivan's works, and a pair of dance performances constructed by the renowned Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company during Jones' residency last fall at UW. Additional standout productions from recent seasons include Roger and Hammerstein's Carousel, the restoration comedy The Beaux' Stratagem and a new comedy musical Rainy Day People based on the award-winning play by UW alumnus Todd McCullough.

The summer schedule features three productions: The Santaland Diaries (June 5-8), an irreverent, hilarious tale of a Christmas elf gone bad starring Paul Hope, an accomplished Equity actor from Houston; Always ... Patsy Cline (June 26-30), a family-friendly, toe-tapping tribute to a country music legend that includes UW alums Lindsay Cozzens, in the featured role, and Sëan Warren Stone, as musical director; and Romance/Romance (July 10-14), a musical about the roller coaster of love that brings together UW student actors and UW Department of Music faculty.

All performances begin at 7:30 nightly. Tickets cost $10 for the public and $7 for students, seniors and children over 5. Discounts are available for groups of 20 persons or more. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.

"I think one of the great things about summer theatre here is that our tickets are ridiculously inexpensive," says Casey Kearns, a UW associate professor who is serving as the theatre's artistic director this summer. "Our patrons are going to a live theatrical production, in the case of The Santaland Diaries, a show produced by a professional company that has hired an Equity actor, and the most expensive ticket is $10.

"It's pretty hard to find an evening of professional entertainment, in Laramie or anyplace else, for $10."

The 2012 season continues a longstanding tradition of bringing professionals from the Actors' Equity Association -- Hope joins a list that includes Michael Legg (Rounding Third, 2008), Jennifer Mendenhall (Hate Mail, 2009) and Brandon Taylor (Cockeyed and Rounding Third, 2008), among others -- to Wyoming to work alongside UW students who aspire themselves to become Equity professionals.

This year, for example, Ryan Dunn, a junior theatre major, designed all lighting for The Santaland Diaries. In 2011, four UW students shared the stage with Equity actor Caryn Daus Flanagan in A ... My Name Is Alice, a lively musical revue directed by Selting.

"The Snowy Range Summer Theatre is not only a rich and wonderful cultural experience for our patrons but it really bridges the gap for our students between education and professional acting," says Selting. "It's just such a unique and valuable experience for the university, the city of Laramie and the state of Wyoming."


UW Theatre and Dance Program


 

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Professional Theatre Close to Home

A scene from the restoration comedy "The Beaux' Stratagem", performed at UW in February 2012.
A scene from the restoration comedy "The Beaux' Stratagem", performed at UW in February 2012.

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