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Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson

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This Year



UIS Theater presents spring production of Fifth of July

March 10, 2005

SPRINGFIELD - Lanford Wilson’s comedy-drama Fifth of July, the spring production of the Theater Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, will be presented in six performances: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 1-3 and 8-10, in the Studio Theatre, located in the lower level of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. All performances will be at 8 p.m. except the two Sunday performances (April 3 and 10), which will be at 2 p.m.

Critics have hailed the play as “a major work by one of the theater’s most important and celebrated writers…alternately funny and moving.”

Set in 1977, the story deals with a group of old friends and the changes that have occurred in their lives and attitudes in the years since they were antiwar activists in college. The characters are Ken, a Vietnam veteran and amputee; his lover, Jed; Ken’s sister June; June’s teenage daughter Shirley; heiress and aspiring rock star Gwen; Gwen’s husband/manager John; and Ken’s Aunt Sally.

The action centers on Gwen’s offer to buy Ken and John’s rustic farmhouse, which she plans to convert into a recording center, and on Aunt Sally, who has come to the family homestead to scatter the ashes of her late husband. The interactions of this group are sharp and funny, revealing their lost hopes and dreams and the bitterness that we must sometimes fight back before we can see the good that life has to offer. (Synopsis provided by the 2003-2004 Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Catalogue of Plays) Note: This play has mature situations and language and is not recommended for children.

Cast members are John McAdams (Ken), Anthony Wanless (John), Shirene Thomas (Gwen), Brad Hammond (Jed), Marie Pignon (June), Molly Sullivan (Shirley), Shirley McConnaughay (Sally), and Christopher Wyant (Weston). Wanless, Pignon, Sullivan, and Wyant are current UIS students. The director is Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson, assistant professor and director of theater at UIS.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $6 UIS faculty/staff, or $4 UIS students with current i-card and are available now at the UIS Ticket Office, located on level two of the Public Affairs Center. Purchase tickets in person, by phone at 217/206-6160 or 800/207-6960 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.sangamonauditorium.org/. A limited number of tickets will also be available at the ticket office beginning 90 minutes before curtain time.

For more information about this play or about UIS Theatre, contact Thibodeaux-Thompson by phone at 206-6613 or by e-mail at ethib1@uis.edu, or go to www.uis.edu/theatre.



    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.