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Department of Theatre and Dance

UW Theatre Offers Dark Comedy

Nov. 3, 2004 -- The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance continues its 2004-2005 season with the premiere of a new one-act comedy, "The Little Train That Could (But Chose Not To)," which runs Nov. 9 through 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Studio Theatre. This play contains adult material, which may not be suitable for all audiences.

Tickets cost $13 for adults, $11 for senior citizens, and $6 for students. For ticket information or to purchase, call(307) 766-6666, stop by the Fine Arts box office (10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays), or go online at

The play was written by UW professor William Missouri Downs and directed by Department Chair and Professor Rebecca Hilliker. It features costume design by Lee Hodgson, scenic design and book illustrations by Karl Brake and assistant designer Lisa Gruber, and lighting design by Larry Hazlett.

This dark comedy for adults centers on the unexpected convergence of Emma (Heather Welch) -- a dedicated, impassioned, but increasingly strident college professor -- with several of her current and former writing students.

Jill (Heather Kaloust), Emma's one-time star pupil, has settled into life as a New York children's book editor. Suffering from writer's block and increasing malaise with the workaday world, Jill returns to her alma mater to seek Emma's help after a silence of nearly a decade.

Jill soon must contend with Daisy (Stephanie Lovell), Emma's perpetual graduate student and co-commiserater in all things anti-establishment. Although now a paraplegic, Daisy has changed little since Jill's college days, save that her struggle is now less against the "system" than against her own body and others' perceptions of her disability.

Starr (double cast with Kelleen Shadow and Rachel Rosenfeld), a pert, impressionable, but not particularly bright young undergrad, is Emma's newest teaching project and one of her sole remaining supporters on a campus that no longer tolerates Emma's many idiosyncrasies.

Providing a throughline for the play is Lillian (Emily Joffrey), Jill's former roommate and the unpublished author of such children's books as "Why Mommy Is On Prozac." Lillian is a vulnerable young writer and erstwhile substitute first-grade teacher who consistently fails to establish her voice in the profit-driven and socially conservative publishing world.

Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004

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