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UW Theatre and Dance Closes Season With ‘Be Like Joe’ Musical April 27-30

April 25, 2022
woman and man on a stage with a prop boat and paddle
UW students Anna Johnston and Carson Almand, who play lead roles Julianne and Joe, rehearse a scene from “Be Like Joe.” The fairy-tale rock musical will close the UW Department of Theatre and Dance’s spring season. Performances will take place April 27-30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre. (Donald P. Turner Photo)

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance will close the spring season with a fairy-tale rock musical Wednesday-Saturday, April 27-30.

“Be Like Joe” will be performed in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $14 for the public; $11 for senior citizens; and $7 for students. To purchase tickets, visit the Performing Arts box office, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.

Written by Kyoung-Ae Kang and UW musical theater faculty member Seán Stone, the work was created as part of the New York University Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. The musical won the inaugural New Musical Award from the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company in Vermont.

“Be Like Joe” is a quirky and lighthearted modern fable in musical form that charts the pitfalls of chasing celebrity and public approval instead of pursuing true love and meaningful relationships.

“Our culture celebrates fame as the highest achievable virtue, but this manner of public living comes at a cost,” Stone says. “It causes us to neglect the love we learn and discover for ourselves, rendering us incapable of any other sort of love -- for others, for our world and benevolent love that exists for its own sake.”

In the fishing village of JoeLand, everyone is inexplicably drawn to adore and protect the charismatic young resident Joe, who has achieved rock star status, both figuratively and literally. When a natural force threatens Joe’s safety, the villagers plan to destroy the creature, only to have their efforts thwarted by Julianne, a feisty young environmentalist from the outside. Joe has never encountered someone like Julianne, who speaks her mind and does not adore him automatically.

Their developing relationship uncovers the source of Joe’s ubiquitous appeal and opens the villagers’ eyes to a broader world outside their island home.

“Once a true love has been deeply drunk, the shallow waters of celebrity worship will never again satisfy,” Stone says. “We hope to bring a glimpse of this satisfaction to our audience.”

For more information, call Kathy Kirkaldie, UW Fine Arts coordinator, at (307) 766-2160 or email kirisk@uwyo.edu.

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