UW Snowy Range Summer Theatre Features Tour Production of 'Adopt a Sailor'

University of Wyoming Press

The 2019 Snowy Range Summer Theatre will host the latest production in a nationwide tour of the acclaimed play “Adopt a Sailor.” The event is a benefit for the The Evered House, an artist residency for veterans and those who work in conflict zones.

Presented by the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance and directed by Bill Downs, “Adopt a Sailor” runs June 25-29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Studio Theatre. Tickets cost $10 for the public and $7 for students, senior citizens and children over age 5. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more people.

“This light comedy for the whole family celebrates our veterans and was written by a Navy lieutenant,” Downs says. “I thought it was time the Department of Theatre and Dance applauds the great things veterans do to keep us safe.”

The story is set during Fleet Week in New York City, when sailors returning from or shipping out for duty hit the town for a few days of freedom and fun. A young Navy corpsman from Arkansas signs up for the “Adopt a Sailor” program expecting to share a home-cooked meal with a local family before leaving port. However, when he shows up at the door of Patricia and Richard, an affluent, dysfunctional New York couple, they have forgotten about agreeing to host him.

What follows is a sometimes excruciating, sometimes tender, sometimes funny evening spent over a haphazard meal of takeout and cereal, as small-town innocence clashes against Manhattan sophistication. The unlikely companions voice their frustrations and fears, cracking open their insular worlds to embrace a larger perspective on life.

"Adopt a Sailor" was written by the residency's founder, Charles Evered. The residency is dedicated to his father, Charles J. Evered, who served in World War II and died in 1979. The playwright himself served in the U.S. Navy Reserves, reaching the rank of lieutenant.

"Adopt a Sailor" was first performed as a 10-minute play at Town Hall in New York City during September 2002 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The production premiered in long form in New York City in 2007 and was produced as a feature film in 2008, starring Emmy Award winners Peter Coyote and Bebe Neuwirth, as well as Ethan Peck. The film adaptation was directed by the playwright and went on to win several awards, screen at more than 20 national and international film festivals, and premiere on Showtime.

Launched last spring, the tour will continue until it reaches all 50 states, with an expected ending where it started -- a welcome-home benefit reading at the house itself, in Flamingo Heights, California.

“We have a great cast, including UW students and graduates,” Downs says. “Come laugh and enjoy the Fourth of July a little early.”

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