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Last update: 4/23/08

[University of Wisconsin-Green Bay News Release]

For Immediate Release:

April 16, 2008

'The Sleeper' caps off UW-Green Bay student theater season

Photo: Kelly Pfeifer as Gretchen and Jason Szmanda as Matthew in The Sleeper.

GREEN BAY-The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will present the contemporary single-act play, "The Sleeper" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 24-26, and Wednesday, April 30 through Saturday, May 3 in the Jean Weidner Theater inside the Weidner Center on campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Set in spring 2002, the play features a suburban mom who is "shell shocked" by the new post 9/11 reality. She finds herself irresistibly drawn to her son's tutor, a handsome young man with political leanings far from her own.

"She's someone who had been leading a safe, sheltered life, then 9/11 jolts her out of that and she suddenly becomes aware of what's around her," said director John Mariano.

The one-act features a cast of seven, with four actors taking on main roles and the others each playing several characters, Mariano said. With such a small cast, it features some of the top student talent at UW-Green Bay.

"It's a play that kind of disarms you by being a very funny play, but there are a lot of ideas in it that people will be thinking about after the fact," Mariano said. "It's really more about how that event (9/11) has affected people on a personal level. (It's) what happens if you allow your fear to control your decisions and your thinking and what it takes to overcome that."

"The Sleeper" was first produced in 2004. Playwright Catherine Butterfield says it's "a dark and slightly zany comedy."

Butterfield, who is currently producing the CBS primetime drama "Ghost Whisperer" with Jennifer Love Hewitt, also wrote the plays "Joined at the Head," "Where Truth Lies," and "Snowing at Delphi."

Through the humor, the audience can come away with new ideas on the perceptions of world around us, Mariano said.

"I like plays that pose a lot of questions for you to think over," he said. "I don't like plays that should tell you what to think. This play doesn't do that."

Due to adult content the play is not recommended for children.

Members of the cast include:
Kelly Pfeifer, Oregon, as Gretchen; Jason Szmanda, East Troy, as Matthew; Matthew Fayfer, Greenville, as Bill; Megan Tresedder, Rothschild, as Vivian; Cody Heil, Edgar, as the salesman and others; Jessica Breest, Jackson, as the therapist and others; and Joshua Weishaar, Westfield, as the expert and others.

Student assistants include:
Andrew Cimpl, Wauwatosa, prop designer; R.J. Kenny, Germantown, lighting designer; Donne J. Hansen III, Abrams, sound designer; Brittney Roffers, De Pere, stage manager; and Suzi Lindner, Rio, assistant stage manager. 5

Faculty credits include scenic designer Jeff Entwistle, costume designer Kaoime Mallow and technical director Mike Ingraham.

Tickets for "The Sleeper" are $15 in advance and $18 at the door for adults; $12 in advance and $15 at the door for seniors and those under 18; and $10 for UW-Green Bay students. Tickets are available by calling (920) 465-2217 or (800) 328-8587, or in person at University Ticketing Services located in the University Union on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Dr. Tickets are available online at The box office at the theater is open 90 minutes prior to the performances.

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08-96 | Contact: Mike Heine, (920) 465-2526

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