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UW Theatre and Dance Presents World Premiere

February 6, 2009 — The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance will present the world premiere physical theatre piece "Hey*O*Kah / Hok*A*Hey," Feb. 10-14 at 7:30 p.m. on the Fine Arts Center main stage.

Tickets for "Hey*O*Kah/Hok*A*Hey" cost $14 for the public, $11 for senior citizens and $7 for students. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at

Conceived and directed by UW's first Eminent-Artist-in-Residence, acclaimed Broadway actor, mime, director and educator Bill Bowers, the play explores what it means to be different, to be the "other" in society, and is a natural outgrowth of Bowers' curiosity for and fascination with this topic. Drawing inspiration from the "contrairie" clowns of Native America -- the "Heyokah" of the Lakota tribe in particular -- the play celebrates the power of difference to reflect, critique, and transform culture. The piece also references a Lakota battle cry "Hokahey," meaning "today is a good day to die," as a call to be our best selves and to live authentically.

"Heyokahs were spiritual teachers of tolerance and inclusion," said Bowers. "They ‘asked why' of dangerous subjects, and balanced sacredness with irreverence. Most importantly, Heyokahs encouraged people to take themselves less seriously, to laugh at one's self while being compassionate to others."

Bowers has been in residence since early January to develop these ideas into a "devised theatre" piece, which by definition is created during the rehearsal process.

"Devised theater is essentially a way of working backwards to create a play. There is no script. There is only an idea and inspiration," said Bowers.

John O'Hagan, assistant professor for acting, rehearses a scene for "Hey*O*Kah / Hok*A*Hey."

Posted on Friday, February 06, 2009

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