UW Summer Theatre Opens June 5

May 30, 2012
Paul Hope
Guest actor Paul Hope from Houston's internationally renowned Alley Theatre stars in the University of Wyoming Snowy Range Summer Theatre production of "The Santaland Diaries," showing June 5-9 at 7:30 p.m. in the UW Fine Arts Studio Theatre. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming's Snowy Range Summer Theatre opens its 2012 season with "The Santaland Diaries," humorist David Sedaris' irreverent and hilarious tale of his stint as Crumpet the Elf in Macy's Santaland display.

Presented by the UW Department of Theatre and Dance, the play runs June 5-9 at 7:30 p.m. in the UW Fine Arts Studio Theatre. Tickets cost $10 for the public and $7 for students, seniors and children over 5. Discounts are available for groups of 20 persons or more. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts. "The Santaland Diaries" is recommended for mature audiences.

Directed by UW Professor Rebecca Hilliker, "The Santaland Diaries" riffs on a few of Sedaris' truly odd encounters during the height of the holiday crunch. Unemployed and desperate, a struggling Sedaris attempts to enter into the holiday spirit as he deals with the humiliation of elf training, abusive customers, screaming children and badly cast Santas.

"'Santaland Diaries' is one of those shows that is really fun to produce and to see," Hilliker says.

Sedaris first read the essay on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" in December 1992. The piece was an instant hit, and Sedaris later published the essay in the collections "Barrel Fever" (1994) and "Holidays on Ice" (1997). He narrated a longer version of it for Ira Glass's Public Radio International program "This American Life," where it is still a regular holiday feature.

The Snowy Range production of "The Santaland Diaries" features guest actor and resident company member Paul Hope from Houston's nationally and internationally renowned Alley Theatre.

"We are thrilled to share with Wyoming audiences Paul's wonderful rendition of the role of Crumpet, which he performed last year at Alley Theatre," Hilliker says.

Hope has appeared on the Alley stages for 20 seasons, including in "Arsenic and Old Lace," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and "Twelfth Night," among many others. Hope has an extensive musical theatre background, performing regularly at Houston's Theater under the Stars and the Houston Grand Opera with performers such as Cyd Charisse, Hal Linden, Juliet Prowse, Robert Morse, Lee Roy Reams and Eddie Bracken. He also serves as artistic director for Bayou City Concert Musicals.

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