June 21, 2011 — The University of Wyoming's 2011 Snowy Range Summer Theatre and Dance Festival continues with "Forgiving John Lennon," William Missouri Downs' award-winning new comedy/drama about campus politics and the mine field of misguided political correctness at a university that has committees for everything -- including one to investigate if there are too many committees.
Also directed by playwright-in-residence Downs, "Forgiving John Lennon" runs at 7:30 nightly June 28-July 2 inside the UW Fine Arts Studio Theatre. Tickets cost $10 for general admission, $8 senior citizens (60 and older) and $5 students. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts .
Since Downs came to Laramie from Hollywood, where he was a sitcom writer, 10 of his plays have been featured on the UW stage, including "Kosher Lutherans," "Cockeyed" and "Books on Tape." All three of these plays have had recent productions nationwide.
"Forgiving John Lennon" takes a dark comic look at two married professors who struggle to uphold their progressive ideals, which is symbolized by their love of John Lennon, while also trying to gain tenure.
One of the inspirations for the play came when Downs was an apprentice at the Circle Rep Theatre in New York and inadvertently stumbled upon the murder of John Lennon after taking the wrong subway.
"When I reached 72nd Street, where the famous Dakota Apartment building stands, I found a crowd of police, people crying, and an ambulance pulling away," says Downs.
The Wyoming production of "Forgiving John Lennon" will preview at the Snowy Range Summer Theatre Festival before being the featured presentation in July at the Telluride New Playwright's Festival in Telluride, Colo.
Jennie Franks, John O'Hagan and Claudine Nako rehearse a scene from the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance production "Forgiving John Lennon," showing at 7:30 nightly June 28-July 2 inside the UW Fine Arts Studio Theatre. (UW Photo)