The University of the Ozarks Theatre will open its 2016-17 season with the production of "True West" on Oct. 13, 14 and 15.
The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 and 14 and at 3 p.m. on Oct. 15, in the Walton Fine Arts Center.
Admission is $8 and tickets can be purchased online or at the box office prior to the performance.
Written by Sam Shepard, True West is a 1983 Pulitzer Prize finalist that explores alternatives that might spring from the demented terrain of the California landscape. Sons of a desert dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer clash over a film script. Austin, the achiever, is working on a script he has sold to producer Sal Kimmer when Lee, a demented petty thief, drops in. He pitches his own idea for a movie to Kimmer, who then wants Austin to junk his bleak, modern love story and write Lee’s trashy Western tale. The play contains mature language.
True West will be the University Theatre’s entry into the Arkansas State American College Theatre Festival in late October.
Walton Professor of Theatre Bruce B. Brown will serve as the play’s director as well as scenic, costume and graphic designer. Assistant Professor of Practice of Theatre Lucan Hoiland will serve as technical director and light designer.
Other members of the company include, James Allen as stage manager; Madison Smith as assistant stage manager and properties; Daniel Hall as light board operator; Ronnie Edwards as sound board operator and sound design; and Jamee Barham, Eleazar Coronado, Sandra Davis, Diana Estrada, Ben Howard, Belle Iradukunda and Da’Naizah McCreary as running crew; and Layce Day and Ethan Lubera as wardrobe crew.
The cast includes, Kurt Bennett as Austin, Rhett Sells as Lee, Mason Clough as Saul, and Haley Hanks as Mom.
David Krasner of A Companion to Twentieth Century American Drama, wrote that "True West has … arguably become Shepard’s signature piece, the leanest, most pointed of his full-length works."
The San Francisco Chronicle said, "It’s clear, funny, naturalistic. It’s also opaque, terrifying, surrealistic. If that sounds contradictory, you’re on to one aspect of Shepard’s winning genius; the ability to make you think you’re watching one thing while at the same time he’s presenting another."