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Neil Simon Comedy Closes UW Summer Theatre Season

July 6, 2016
woman showing something to a man in front of a sofa on a stage set
Matthew Lewis Johnson and Hannah Kipp rehearse a scene from “I Ought to Be in Pictures.” Presented by the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance, the play runs July 12-16 at 7:30 p.m. in the UW Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre. (Donald Turner Photo)

“I Ought to Be in Pictures,” a classic family tale about a reconciliation and reconnection told with playwright Neil Simon’s signature comedic wit, closes the 63rd Snowy Range Summer Theatre season.

Presented by the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance, and directed by Kevin Inouye, UW theatre and dance assistant professor, “I Ought to Be in Pictures” runs July 12-16 at 7:30 p.m. in the UW 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, or visit the Performing Arts box office or the Wyoming Union information desk.

In the show, set in 1980, struggling screenwriter Herbert Tucker is surprised when his forgotten past reappears in the form of Libby, a teenage daughter who has hitchhiked from Brooklyn to Hollywood with dreams of movie stardom. After 16 years apart, Libby sweeps into Herb’s home, and tries to convince him that he can open up an acting career for her.

With the isolation of his California bungalow disturbed, and Steffy, his sometimes-girlfriend at his side, Herb decides to take another stab at fatherhood and hopes this time to get it right. Poignant, amusing and peppered with lightning-quick one-liners, “I Ought to Be in Pictures” paints the complexities of love and family with hilarity, honesty and heart.

“I Ought to Be in Pictures” premiered at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in 1979, with Tony Curtis as Herb. The Broadway production opened in 1980 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it ran for 324 performances. The play was adapted into a movie in 1982 starring Walter Matthau, a year after the original Broadway show ended.

Simon is one of the world’s most beloved and successful playwrights. He began as a writer for Sid Caesar’s live comedy television program “Your Show of Shows” alongside other future greats such as Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner.

Simon's work was soon produced on Broadway and beyond, and over his decades-long career, he produced more than 30 successful plays and nearly as many hit movies, including “Barefoot in the Park,” “The Odd Couple,” “The Sunshine Boys,” “California Suite,” “The Goodbye Girl,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Biloxi Blues,” “Broadway Bound” and “Lost in Yonkers.”

Simon has more Academy Awards and Tony nominations than any other writer, and is the only playwright to have four Broadway productions running simultaneously. His plays have been produced in dozens of languages and have been hits from Beijing to Moscow.

For more information, call Kathy Kirkaldie, UW Fine Arts coordinator, at (307) 766-2160 or email, or visit the website at

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