January 25, 2011 — The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance will show "Books on Tape," playwright-in-residence William Missouri Downs' smart new comedy about learning to live and love in the present tense.
"Books on Tape," will show at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3-5 and Feb. 7-8 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 6 on the Fine Arts Center Main Stage. Tickets cost $14 for the public, $11 for senior citizens (60 and older) and $7 for students. For tickets and information call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts .
After its world premiere in Denver last summer, critics called this fast-paced romantic comedy one of "the wittiest new plays in the last few seasons" (Colorado Critics Corner), and "hilarious and thought-provoking" (Denver Theatre Examiner). The Denver Post critic wrote, ". . . Downs flexes his considerable wit in asking if our ability to live in the present has been quashed by our need for familiar outcomes."
"Books on Tape" is the story of a chance meeting at a Barnes and Noble between a woman who loves to listen to romance novels and an actor who records them. Their botched love affair leads to a search for the meaning of life.
Downs said he was inspired to write "Books on Tape" after studying Darwin and Freud's ideas about our desire to find order in the randomness of existence.
"Darwin and Freud are the fountainhead of comedy," Downs said, "All I had to do is sprinkle in a little Dostoyevsky and I had a farce."
This is the ninth Downs' comedy UW has produced in the last 15 years. Others include "Kosher Lutherans," "Cockeyed" and "Jewish Sports Heroes and Texas Intellectuals."
Downs' plays have been produced all over the world. Before coming to UW he wrote for several NBC sitcoms in Hollywood. This spring, Downs' new play, "Forgiving John Lennon" (which will be part of the UW summer theatre), will premiere at the Detroit Rep, and his comedy "Backstage" will open in Vienna.
Sean Higgins and Francesca Mintowt-Czyz rehearse a scene from the William Missouri Downs comedy "Books on Tape," showing Feb. 3-8 at the University of Wyoming Fine Arts Center Main Stage.