14, 2007 -- The University of Wyoming’s original production of “The ‘M’
Word” has been selected as one of five Region VII finalists for the
2008 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).
Written by professor and playwright-in-residence William Missouri Downs and directed by professor Lee Hodgson, “The ‘M’ Word’ is a darkly comic look at UW 10 years after Matthew Shepard’s murder. The play examines the collision between perception and reality while also poking fun at campus politics.
“The ‘M’ Word was chosen as a KCACTF regional finalist from a pool of more than 30 productions. The regional event, which is part of the Kennedy Center’s annual competition for student actors, directors and playwrights representing colleges and universities nationwide, is Feb. 18-22 at UW.
“Our selection for Region VII KCACTF is a nice recognition from our peers and colleagues,” says Hodgson. “It’s an honor to represent the University of Wyoming at the regional festival, especially since we will be hosting the festival. It will be wonderful to mount our production at home in such a supportive environment.
The other regional finalists are “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail,” Colorado State University; “Noh Telling,” Central Washington University; “Convention,” Western Washington University; and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” University of Northern Colorado.
The winner of the regional competition will advance to the KCACTF National Festival in April at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Four UW student playwrights have also been selected as regional finalists and will compete for a bid to the national festival. Casper’s Leean Torske Stellingwerf, “The Problem With Apples,” Laramie’s Anna Austin Brownsted, “Niagara Fell,” and Laramie’s Amy Hollon, “Backyard Gene Pool,” are finalists in the one-act play division. Nicholas Gene Terpstra-Schwab of Colfax, Iowa, “Sharing This Room With You,” is a finalist in the 10-minute play division.
Also, 14 UW student actors -- the most in school history -- will participate in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. They are: Caleb Clark, John Byron Hill, JP Jaramillo, Nick Linn, Claudine Mboligikpelani and Ken Stellingwerf of Laramie; Harlan Post, Jake Staley and Dominic Syracuse of Cheyenne; Chris Egging of Gurley, Neb.; Rachel Rosenfeld of Aurora, Colo.; Katrina DeSpain of Loveland, Colo.; Kira Galindo of Goodyear, Ariz.; and Katie Herbert of Granby, Colo.
Region VII of the KCACTF comprises Wyoming, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington.
For more information on the regional event at UW, go to the Web site www.kcactf.org/7/festival/2008index.htm.
UW students Harlan Post and Kayla O'Keefe rehearse for "The M Word," the new play by UW playwright-in-residence William Missouri Downs.
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007