FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Date: February 7, 2003

  Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716


UIS theater program to present award-winning drama

SPRINGFIELD – The second production of the theater program at the University of Illinois at Springfield will be the award-winning drama A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard.

Six performances are scheduled for Friday-Sunday, February 21-23 and February 28-March 2 in the Studio Theatre, located on level one of the Public Affairs Center at UIS. The Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m.; the Sunday performances are at 3 p.m.

Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Drama Desk Award, the play has been hailed as “a landmark,” “mesmerizing, emotionally raw,” with “enormous emotional power and intellectual strength.” Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson, director of the UIS production, calls it “one of Sam Shepard’s masterpieces. It manages to affect us with a poetic sense, as well as intriguing character development.”

A Lie of the Mind tells the story of two desperate families connected by marriage. As the play begins, Beth, brain-damaged after a savage beating from her husband, Jake, is living in Montana with her parents. Jake sends his brother, Frankie, to see if Beth is dead or alive, but Frankie falls in love with Beth himself. Breaking away from his possessive mother, Jake sets out to regain his wife, yet in the end he allows her to stay with Frankie. The play closes with a lonely Jake seeking communion with his dead father -- hoping to find order and meaning in the present by coming to terms with the specters of the past.

The cast features Ed Barnett as Frankie, Anna Dow as Sally, Elizabeth George as Beth, Steven McDavid as Jake, James Gasparin as Baylor, Shelly Huck as Meg, Shirley McConnaughay as Lorraine, and Bruce Schempp as Mike.

Tickets – $10 general admission, $6 for faculty/staff, and $4 for UIS students with current ID – can be purchased at the UIS bursar’s office, level one of the PAC, telephone 206-6738 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or at the door.