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Dark, nontraditional holiday play brings laughs and hope to University Theatre

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

LAWRENCE—Dealing with questions of identity, loss, redemption and acceptance, “Reckless” follows its crazy characters in finding new perspectives on life and the world. The University Theatre at KU will open this dark holiday comedy next month.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4-5, Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 10 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the William Inge Memorial Theatre in Murphy Hall.

“Usually a holiday story involves the redemption of a character in some way, somehow learning the ‘reason for the season’ along the way,” said James Dick, director and manager of audience services for University Theatre. “In ‘Reckless,’ the main character, Rachel, is full of the holiday spirit and has it tested by a series of betrayals and tragic events.”

While on the surface “Reckless” appears to be a reversal of the traditional holiday theme, Rachel ultimately learns lessons from her experience and becomes a different person – perhaps a better, more fulfilled one.

Dick approached the direction of the play as other “journey” stories, such as “The Wizard of Oz” or “Alice in Wonderland,” where the audience can experience their fears through the safe allegory of a fairy tale.

“We all know that bad things happen to good people for no reason, that death and tragedy can come suddenly and without warning,” Dick said. “'Reckless’ reminds us that sometimes darkness is hidden behind the colorful trappings of the holidays and the importance of appreciating the good times when they’re here.”

The company includes Stephen Elberg, Weston, Florida, freshman, as Doctors #1-5; Annie Fuquay, Kansas City junior, costume designer; Kendra Hacker, St. John junior, as Trish and Doctor #6; Sophia Hail, Tulsa, Oklahoma, senior, as Pooty and Sue; Brandon Khamsiharath, Andover junior, stage manager; Aden Lindholm, McPherson senior, as Roy, Tim Timko and Host; Song Loftus, Shawnee senior, assistant director and sign language coach; Casey McNamara, Kansas City graduate student, scenic and lighting designer; Jacob Miller, Overland Park senior, as Tom and Tom Jr.; Jacquelyn O’Connor, Burlington senior, as Rachel; and Josh Philoon, Wilmette, Illinois, sophomore, as Lloyd.

Tickets for “Reckless” are on sale now at KU ticket offices and online at www.kutheatre.com. Tickets are also available by calling University Theatre, 785-864-3982, and the Lied Center, 785-864-ARTS. Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for senior citizens and KU faculty and staff, and $10 for children. KU student tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

*This production includes adult language and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

The Department of Theatre is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.

For more information on the Department of Theatre visit www.theatre.ku.edu. For more information on the University Theatre, visit www.KUTheatre.com. Follow KU Theatre on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.