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Vaqueros take center stage UTRGV to start theater season Wednesday

 

UTRGV’s first theater season opens Wednesday in the Albert L. Jeffers Theatre with an internationally renowned work.

The theater program will present “Juno and the Paycock,” which is the second of three of plays by Irish playwright Sean O’Casey that are known as the “Dublin Trilogy.” The other two are “The Shadow of a Gunman” (1923) and “The Plough and the Stars” (1926).

Assistant Professor Brian Warren explained why the program selected an international piece and how it differs from other plays they have done in the past.

“This season we’re doing an Irish classic play, and we’re exposing students to different cultures and areas beyond the realm of the Rio Grande Valley … but we have to reach a wide education scope so there’s that,” Warren said. “Several professors and myself went over to Dublin and we did a study abroad with students, and several of the students who went on the trip are also involved in the show.”

The play is set in the early 1920s in Dublin during the Irish Civil War period. The play centers on the Catholic native Irish who considered the Protestant British to be intrusive in their country. The Irish natives battled the British with acts of gallant disobedience.

“So we researched and brought back this type of culture exchange … and again we’ve never done an Sean O’Casey play here and our purpose is educational,” Warren said. “There’s this nice mix because we have people from the community also involved.”

Once a theater company selects a season, the program has to take into account vital factors such as budgeting, scheduling and the audience interest. By contrast educational theaters also have to think through the learning components for student technicians, actors and their audience in their production selections.

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the community, faculty, students and staff are encouraged to attend a free dress rehearsal at 7:30 p.m. Free admission is also available for the Wednesday through Friday showings at 7:30 p.m. However, students must present their school ID. The play will also be presented at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Reserved seating is $12, general admission is $8, non-UTRGV students with a school ID may enter for $3. Those with a UTRGV ID may bring one guest free of charge. No children below the third grade will be admitted.

For reservations and ticket information, call Elva Galvan, of University Theatre Productions, at 665-3581.

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