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Department of Theatre and Dance

Theatre Department to Showcase Jeff Daniels Play

March 2, 2009 -- The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance will present actor/playwright Jeff Daniels' "Super Yooper" comedy "Escananba in da Moonlight."

The play runs March 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts studio theatre. Tickets cost $6.50 for all. Tickets are available through the Fine Arts box office at (307) 766-6666 or online at

"Escanaba in da Moonlight" is a comedy about five members of the Soady clan as they reunite for the opening day of deer season at their Upper Peninsula, Mich., camp. A man's world of cheap beer and sappy whiskey where superstition and tradition reign supreme, the family deer camp has never held much luck for Reuben Soady. At 35, he carries the shameful stigma of being the oldest Soady in history who never bagged a buck.

But Reuben is determined that this year will be different, and enlists the help of his Ojibwa wife, Wolf Moon Dance, to bag his buck. Reuben breaks one sacred camp ritual after another in his quest to remove himself from the wrong end of the family record book, with hilarious and surreal results.

The comedy is directed by senior Jonathan Hunt Sell and represents the culmination of his directing work at UW as he prepares for graduate study.

"I'm from Michigan, where this play takes place," says Sell. "For my senior thesis project, I wanted to share this fantastic story, to share the types of zany characters who resemble the people I grew up around."

Sell says he also wanted to bring Daniels' play to a Laramie audience. Better known for his work as a film actor ("Arachnophobia," "Dumb and Dumber" and "The Purple Rose of Cairo"), Daniels is a Michigan native and playwright who has created several works for the Purple Rose Theatre, which he founded in 1991 to encourage the development of new American plays.

"Escanaba in Da Moonlight" has been produced extensively throughout the United States and was made into a feature film in 2001.

Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009


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