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‘The Night of the Iguana’ to be Staged Feb. 9-13 at UW

February 2, 2016
stage set with woman standing and man in hammock talking
Bri Cordova, as Maxine, and Jacob Claytor, as the Rev. Shannon, rehearse a scene from Tennessee Williams’ “The Night of the Iguana,” which will be performed at UW Feb. 9-13. (Greg Owen Photo)

Tennessee Williams’ play, “The Night of the Iguana,” -- a provocative exploration of human struggle, passion and connection -- opens the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance’s spring season for a five-night run next week.

Directed by UW Department of Theatre and Dance Assistant Professor Patrick Konesko, “The Night of the Iguana” premieres Tuesday, Feb. 9, on the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Main Stage. The show will play through Saturday, Feb. 13, with each performance beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $14 for the public, $11 for senior citizens and $7 for students. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666, visit or visit the Wyoming Union information or Performing Arts box office.

Based on Williams’ 1948 original short story, the play follows the struggles of lonely dwellers of a dilapidated Mexican hotel, each hoping for some sort of redemption.

Maxine, an earthy widow, strives to satisfy her appetite for companionship while serving as sole proprietor of the rapidly decaying hotel. Disgraced Rev. Shannon searches for sanctuary from his personal demons, hovering on the brink of a nervous collapse. Hannah Jelkes travels the world making sketches, alone but for her ancient grandfather, who labors to compose his last poem.

These lost souls join together in a tale of dying dreams and frustrated ambitions brought to a fever pitch by the tropical heat that surrounds them.

“The Night of the Iguana” premiered on Broadway in December 1961 and ran for 316 performances. The play starred two-time Academy Award winner Bette Davis as Maxine, Patrick O'Neal as Shannon and Margaret Leighton as Hannah.

The play received a Tony Award for Best Actress -- awarded to Leighton -- and a nomination for Best Play. A 1976 Broadway revival starred Sir Richard Chamberlain as Shannon.

The play was adapted for film in 1964, starring Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr. Directed by John Huston, the film was nominated for several Academy Awards and won the award for Best Costume Design.

Along with playwrights Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, Williams is considered among the best 20th century American drama writers.

Williams wrote classics such as “The Glass Menagerie” (1944); “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947); “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1955); and “Sweet Bird of Youth” (1959). He also wrote short stories, poetry, essays and a volume of memoirs. In 1979, Williams was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in New York City.

For a complete list of UW Department of Theatre and Dance spring productions, visit the website at

For more information about the spring theater season, contact Kathy Kirkaldie, UW Fine Arts coordinator, at (307) 766-2160 or email

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