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UW Snowy Range Summer Theatre Closes with Award-Winning Farce

July 1, 2015
William Missouri Downs
William Missouri Downs

The University of Wyoming Snowy Range Summer Theatre concludes its 62nd season with “Mad Gravity,” a wacky new farce about living authentically and the meaning of life.

Presented by the UW Department of Theatre and Dance, “Mad Gravity” can be seen July 7-11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Studio Theater. Tickets cost $10 for the public and $7 for students, senior citizens and children over age 5. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more people. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666, go online at, or visit the Performing Arts box office or the Wyoming Union information desk.

Winner of the Reva Shiner Comedy Award and finalist at the Eugene O’Neill New Play competition, “Mad Gravity” has been hailed as “a wildly different evening of fun theater,” according to the Bloomington Herald Times.

Written and directed by UW Department of Theatre and Dance Professor William Missouri Downs, the play features Peter Parolin, associate professor and chair of the Department of English; UW Theatre and Dance faculty members Landee Lockhart and Kevin Inouye; and student performers Lana Percival and Kat Demith. 

“Mad Gravity” focuses on Archie and Eudora, who take the line “all the world’s a stage” a little too seriously -- every night they “act” out their private lives before a live studio audience. But, when their unsuspecting dinner guests are less than thrilled to find an audience in the living room, hilarity ensues, and the great philosophical questions of life take center stage: Can people be good if no one is watching? Are comets a sign from God or simply caused by gravity? Is it proper etiquette to serve pistachios at a dinner party?

“This farce is topped off with the craziest second act in the history of the theater,” according to a review.

Downs has written more than 20 plays, including “Innocent Thoughts,” the winner of the National Playwright's Award, and “The Exit Interview,” the winner of the 2012-13 rolling opening from the National New Play Network. As head of the playwriting program at UW, Downs has won more than a dozen teaching and research awards. He also has written several books, including “The Art of Theatre,” an introduction to theater book used at more than 100 universities.

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