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Published January 29, 2024
Three Wyoming natives will return to the state to discuss a new play set to take place next month at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA).
“Staging the Non-Traditional American West: In Conversation with Nina McConigley, Matthew Spangler and Leean Kim Torske” will be Monday, Feb. 5, at the University of Wyoming. The discussion -- free and open to the public -- will be at 4 p.m. in Room 506 of Coe Library. Light refreshments will be provided.
Spangler, Torske and McConigley adapted two short stories from McConigley’s award-winning “Cowboys and East Indians” for the stage. The stories follow the Sen family grappling with expectations and culture collisions moving from India to Wyoming. The staged reading will be at the Colorado New Play Summit at DCPA Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24-25.
“We are excited to welcome three Wyomingites who are telling unexpected Wyoming stories out in the wider world,” says Peter Parolin, dean of UW’s Honors College. “The stories in ‘Cowboys and East Indians’ reveal the complexity of Wyoming’s people in ways that expand the stories we tell about the West.”
McConigley was born in Singapore and raised in Wyoming. Her short story collection, “Cowboys and East Indians,” won the PEN Open Book Award and a High Plains Book Award. In 2022, she received a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. She is a UW alumna and former faculty member. She currently teaches at Colorado State University.
Spangler, from Casper, is a playwright and director. He adapted “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini as well as Christy Lefteri’s novel “The Beekeeper of Aleppo,” co-written with Nesrin Alrefaai. He is a performance studies professor at San Jose State University and a writer-in-residence at the Hinterland Festival in Ireland.
Torske, DCPA Theatre Company’s Literary Programs director, previously held roles as literary manager and casting associate at Northlight Theatre; director of the Russ Tutterow Fellowship at Chicago Dramatists; and contributed to Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Notably, her play “And the Wind Howls” was recently commissioned and produced by Relative Theatrics, with support from the Wyoming Arts Council.
Torske, Spangler and McConigley also will visit with honors students during a luncheon to further discuss the staged reading.
The Honors College and UW Libraries sponsor the events.
For more information, call Mandie Reish at (307) 766-6796 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.