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   from the issue of March 24, 2005

University Theatre presents The Voice of the Prairie

UNL Theatre's University Theatre completes its 2004-2005 season with a play about the development of radio in the Midwest by John Olive. The Voice of the Prairie performances are at 7:30 p.m. March 31, April 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 in Howell Theatre, first floor Temple Building.

University Theatre presents The Voice of the Prairie. Pictured (l-r): Ja'nelle Taylor, Andrew Beck, Jordan Warren.
 University Theatre presents The Voice of the Prairie. Pictured (l-r): Ja'nelle Taylor, Andrew Beck, Jordan Warren.

The story begins when radio is first heard across America and tells of a teenage orphan, his youthful adventures with a spirited blind girl and their bittersweet reunion later in life. Radio and storytelling play an essential role in this vibrantly dramatic exploration of memory, fear, laughter and hope. The Voice of the Prairie is a wonderful tribute to the art of theatrical storytelling with three actors portraying many colorful characters.

This production of The Voice of the Prairie has been invited to the internationally acclaimed Podium Festival in Moscow, Russia, in late April. In early May, this production will travel across Nebraska.

Director and associate professor Virginia Smith says, "The Voice of the Prairie is a tribute to the energy and ingenuity of the American spirit; part con artist, part dreamer. It's about rules and regulations losing, and dreamers and lovers winning. It's about the magic of radio and the transcendent power of storytelling.

"The Voice of the Prairie is truly an actor's piece. Two MFA graduate and one undergraduate actors play nearly a dozen characters bouncing back and forth in time from a free wheeling adventure in the 1890s to the 1920s and the first days of radio. Think of Garrison Keillor spinning yarns on The Prairie Home Companion and then imagine gathering in the parlor with all your neighbors listening to the adventures of Davey Quinn and Frankie the Blind Girl."

The actors are Ja'nelle Taylor and Andrew Beck, both members of the MFA Professional Actor Training Program and undergraduate theatre major Jordan Warren.

Scenic design is by graduate student Stori Lauritzen with costumes by graduate student Cate Wieck. Graduate students Erik Vose and Mike Legate design lighting and sound, respectively.

Tickets are $14 regular, $12 faculty/staff and senior citizen, and $10 student/youth. Tickets are available at the Lied Center Ticket Office, 472-4747.



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University Theatre presents The Voice of the Prairie