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UW Theatre and Dance Presents Summer Festival

May 22, 2009
Man and woman dancing
Dancers from the Cleo Robinson Ensemble will perform during the Dance Festival Gala Concert.

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance will present an exciting performance season with comedy, drama, music and dancing during the 2009 Snowy Range Summer Theatre and Dance Festival.

The combined festival, established in 2005, is an outgrowth of UW's longstanding summer theatre program and its annual dance festival.

The festival begins in June and July with three full-length plays: Doug Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, "I Am My Own Wife" (June 9-13), funnyman Steven Martin's hilarious farce, "The Underpants (June 23-27)," and Jason Robert Brown's innovative musical about love backwards and forwards, "The Last Five Years" (July 8-12).

The theatre season concludes July 16 - 18 with Bill Corbett's and Kira Obolensky's hilarious epistolary play, "Hate Mail". This special event will feature Equity actors Leigh Selting and Jennifer Mendenhall and will be produced at Hart's Alley in downtown Laramie.

The festival continues in late July and August with three dance concerts: the free Student Showcase Concert (July 22), the Dance Festival Gala Concert (July 25), and Vertical Dance at Vedauwoo (August 22 and 23).

All regular theatre performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Studio Theatre. Hate Mail will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Hart's Alley in downtown Laramie. Both dance performances will be held in the Arts and Sciences auditorium, with the free Student Showcase Concert beginning at 7 p.m. and the Dance Festival Gala Concert beginning at 4 p.m.

Tickets for theatre are $10 general public, $8 seniors, and $5 students and tickets for dance are $12 at the door or $10 pre-purchased. For tickets and information call 766-6666 or go online at

"Our summer festival has really grown over the past few years, and we've been excited to offer a whole season of cultural presentations to the community," said the festival's artistic director and UW Theatre and Dance Department Head Leigh Selting.

"We've also had the privilege of welcoming to our stages many distinguished guest artists and designers and directors, as well as recent alumni now working in both theatre and dance," he added. "Our current students have really benefitted from their experiences with these professionals."

"I Am My Own Wife," written by Doug Wright and directed by Rebecca Hilliker, is a vivid portrait of the cunning and outrageous Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an openly gay German transvestite and collector of culture who survived and flourished within the harrowing eras of Hitler's Gestapo and East Germany's Stasi. This one-man play features acting faculty member John O'Hagan portraying 36 diverse characters.

O'Hagan directs "The Underpants," Steve Martin's hilarious adaptation of Carl Sternehim's 1910 German farce "Die Hose," tells the story of a puritanical German bureaucrat who is horrified when his lovely new wife accidentally drops her "unmentionables" to her ankles during a procession for the king.

"The Last Five Years" is a musical about love, it offers an intensely personal look at the relationship of an ambitious young writer, Jamie, and his struggling actress wife, Kathy.

Written by Tony-winner Jason Robert Brown, the show is directed by Selting and stars UW alumni and theatre professionals Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako and Chris Will.

"Hate Mail," written by Bill Corbett and Kira Obolensky , tells the story of Preston, a spoiled rich kid who meets his match in Dahlia, an angst-filled artist.

The festival closes with the Dance Concert Series. The free Student Showcase Concert on July 23 features festival participants, while the Dance Festival Gala Concert on July 25 features festival resident dancers from the Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble and the American Ballet Repertory Dance, as well as festival participants performing repertory works by festival faculty.

The ever-popular Vertical Dance at Vedauwoo concert will be held in the spectacular Vedauwoo Recreation Area Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and August 23 at 2 p.m.


Posted on Friday, May 22, 2009

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