LAWRENCE —“The Zoo Story” and “The American Dream,” both by Edward Albee, will be staged by undergraduate students at the University of Kansas Theatre in February. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-16 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in the Inge Theatre in Murphy Hall.
Each season the University Theatre includes student-directed plays. This gives undergraduate students an opportunity to hone directing skills by staging fully supported productions under the mentorship of faculty advisers. Both plays will be staged each evening or afternoon, beginning with “The Zoo Story” and ending with “The American Dream.”
Albee wrote “The Zoo Story” in 1958 and followed it with “The American Dream” in 1960. Considered to be a part of the Absurdist wave of art and literature, Albee’s work challenges audiences to let go of expectations of an absolute and fixed meaning. The plays do not chronicle the lives of characters in a traditional manner but rather seek to draw the audience into a larger conversation about contemporary notions of progress and success.
“The Zoo Story,” directed by junior Brian Laurence Buntin, is a one-act that takes place on a bench in Central park. Characters Jerry and Peter strike up a conversation that questions the value and significance of progress.
“The American Dream,” directed by senior Jacci Lufkin, takes place in the living room of an American family. A series of visitors reveal a family secret.
General admission seat tickets are on sale in the KU ticket offices: University Theatre, 864-3982, and Lied Center, 864-ARTS, and online at kutheatre.com. Tickets are $15 for the public, $14 for senior citizens and KU faculty and staff, and $10 for all students. All major credit cards are accepted.
Directors and members of the casts for the KU are listed below by county and include the student’s name, class, major, parents’ names, high school and role:
From Lawrence 66049
Eric Palmquist, sophomore, theatre major, son of Larry Palmquist and Yilan Zhao, Free State High School, Peter (“The Zoo Story”)
Jordan Partin, senior, theatre major, daughter of Edward Partin, Garden City High School, Mrs. Barker (“The American Dream”)
Collin Stephens, senior, theatre major, son of Dan and Janet Stephens, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, Daddy (“The American Dream”)
Tim Wilkinson, junior, theatre major, son of Bruce and Lauren Wilkinson, Shawnee Mission West High School, assistant director (“The Zoo Story”)
Brian Laurence Buntin, junior, theatre and English major, son of Louis and Sandra Buntin, Paola High School, director (“The Zoo Story”)
Kristina Armstrong, freshman, theatre major, daughter of Bob and Ra Shelle Armstrong, Manhattan High School, Mommy (“The American Dream”)
Seth Andrew Macchi, senior, film major, son of C.R. and Marti Macchi, Washburn Rural High School, assistant director (“The American Dream”)
From Kansas City
Alex Roschitz, senior, theatre major, son of Sherry Roschitz, Rockhurst High School, Jerry (“The Zoo Story”)
Luke Reddig, sophomore, theatre and history major, son of Scott and Beth Riddig, Valley High School, Young Man (“The American Dream”)
From Kansas City
Jacci Lufkin, senior, theatre major, daughter of Steve and Catherine Lufkin, Melbourne High School (Florida), director (“The American Dream”)
From Les Brouzils
Maggie Boyles, sophomore, theatre major, daughter of Denis Boyles, Chavagnes International School, Grandmother (“The American Dream”)