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UW Theatre and Dance Opens Spring Season with ‘Sonia Flew’

February 7, 2017
male student and female student rehearsing a play
UW students Daniel Daigle and Paige Miller rehearse a scene from “Sonia Flew,” which runs Feb. 14-18 at UW’s Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts. (Donald P. Turner Photo)

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance opens the spring season with Melinda Lopez’s “Sonia Flew,” a powerful story of love and sacrifice that unfolds across two generations and two countries’ political upheavals.

Directed by Patrick Konesko, UW Department of Theatre and Dance assistant professor, “Sonia Flew” runs Feb. 14-18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre. Tickets cost $14 for the public; $11 for senior citizens; and $7 for students. Tickets are available at the Performing Arts box office and the Wyoming Union information desk, by calling (307) 766-6666 or going online at

Opening night will be a pay-what-you-can night.

Winner of the 2004 Elliot Norton Awards for Best Production and Best New Play and the 2004 Independent Reviewers of New England Awards for Best Production and Best New Play, “Sonia Flew” follows the matriarch of a family, Sonia, through her flight from 1960’s revolutionary Cuba through Operation Pedro Pan into her post-9/11 life in Minneapolis, where she has built a life raising two boys with her Jewish husband.

When Sonia learns of her son’s decision to leave college, enlist in the military and fight against terror in Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11, memories of her own childhood overwhelm her. She struggles to reconcile being forced to flee Cuba as a young girl with her own responsibilities as a mother facing uncertainty. Sonia must find a way to come to terms with her past, her lost parents, her own children, her adopted country and the cost of forgiveness.

“This is a play about memory and trauma, and how one’s present view of things is skewed by information from the past,” Konesko says. “The characters are always conflicted by the fantasy of what they imagine versus the reality of it, and they have to reconcile these competing ideas eventually.”

“Sonia Flew” jumps between two time periods and two cultures to telescope the large cultural and political forces of a historic moment in order to examine their impact on the intimate lives of ordinary men and women and their families. This, Konesko notes, is the play’s strength.

“I love Melinda Lopez’s command of language,” Konesko says. “She understands how real people in relationships fight. And, her central concern is universal: Most people can identify with finding yourself in a new place, and you have to make new connections, find new friends and family. Alienation and loss are some of the precious few things with which most people can empathize.”

Lopez is a playwright, actress and educator. She is currently the inaugural Mellon playwright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre Company, and teaches theater and performance at Wellesley College and playwriting at Boston University. Lopez is active in the Cuban-American community and makes her home in Boston.

For more information, call Kathy Kirkaldie at (307) 766-2160 or email

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