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UW Summer Theatre Season Opens with ‘The Missionary Position’ June 14-18

June 9, 2016
woman talking to man, both sitting on bed
Dodie Montgomery (Julie) and Jason Pasqua (Roger) rehearse a scene for the 2016 Snowy Range Summer Theatre season opener, “The Missionary Position,” that runs June 14-18 at 7:30 p.m. in the new Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre. (Donald Turner Photo)

Pragmatism and piety collide in the 2016 Snowy Range Summer Theatre season opener, “The Missionary Position,” Keith Reddin’s timely comedy about the backroom dealings on a presidential campaign trail.

Presented by the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance, and directed by UW Assistant Professor Patrick Konesko, “The Missionary Position” runs June 14-18 at 7:30 p.m. in the new Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre.

Tickets cost $10 for the public, and $7 for students, senior citizens and children age 5 and older. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more people. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666, go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts, or visit the Performing Arts box office or the Wyoming Union information desk.

Commissioned by Pittsburgh’s innovative City Theatre for the 2006-07 season, “The Missionary Position” uses biting humor to expose the hypocrisy inherent in modern politics. Konesko notes that the play is especially evocative given the current political climate.

“This year, our presidential primaries have alternated between high drama and the basest of farce,” Konesko says. “Our political circus is only going to become more theatrical as we hit convention season.”

“The Missionary Position” is set against a backdrop of banal hotel rooms throughout the country during the campaign of an unseen presidential front-runner. Roger, an ardently sincere and influential operative of a Christian organization, is on a crusade to restore the country’s religious values, even among the housekeepers he encounters in cities from Houston to Detroit.

Also working for the campaign is Neil, a cynical, no-holds-barred campaign manager who pursues a win-at-any-cost mentality. When personal tensions flare between these unlikely colleagues, the situation is comically complicated by the actions of Julie, a wealthy donor and minor party member with a major sense of entitlement, who hopes to run for office one day herself.

“‘The Missionary Position’ goes backstage in this political big top to explore this spectacle from the eyes and relationships of the campaign staffers,” Konesko says. “In short, this play is about the politics of working in politics.”

Reddin is an award-winning playwright of such works as “Black Snow,” “Almost Blue,” “Frame 312” and “Human Error.” He also has written several adaptations, including Molière's “The Imaginary Invalid,” Thornton Wilder's “Heaven’s My Destination,” F. Scott Fitzgerald's “The Rich Boy” and Aleksandr Buravsky’s “The Russian Teacher.”

His film credits include “All the Rage” (with Joan Allen and Gary Sinise), “The Heart of Justice,” “Bad Boys,” “Milken” and a film adaptation of his play, “Big Time,” for American Playhouse PBS.

“The Missionary Position” contains instances of language that some may find objectionable.


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Chad Baldwin

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