The Wyoming Theater Festival is establishing itself as a major force in the development of new works for the American theater. The entire focus of WyoTF is aiding playwrights and musical theater teams in the creation of new work worthy of today’s audiences, and shepherding these works towards full productions on stages across the nation. We consider our job unfinished until the plays we develop have found their world premieres.
The audience is central to our development process. Audience reactions will often reveal which parts of an emerging play are successful and which need work. WyoTF provides that live audience experience to our theater creators. And we further serve audiences by offering a full-immersion experience into the world of the festival. Our events include back stage tours, discussions, workshops, lectures, readings, gatherings – a full program of attractions to engage, delight and stimulate theater fans, all of this taking place surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the West. For more information about the Wyoming Theater Festival, please visit the WyoTF website.
WyoTF is partnering with the Sheridan College Theater Department to expose students to the world of theater outside of our home state of Wyoming. This helps mitigate the challenges theater students in our relatively isolated region face as they strive to understand today’s theater and to begin to carve out careers in the field. At WyoTF, students interact with theater professionals to develop meaningful projects which are on track for production in the professional theater world. Nothing forges friendship like the crucible of new play development, and these professional associations are invaluable to students as they establish themselves after graduation. In addition, working with professionals expands students’ understanding of what the theater is and what it is like to work in that world.
2017 Plays / Performances
In the panhandle of Nebraska, two actresses of a certain age are making a homecoming in their small town. Jane’s in from L.A. to check up on her ailing mother. Andrea’s back from New York to bury her father. A romantic, rueful new comedy about the urge to be creative, the itch to move away and the ache of reconnecting with the family and feelings that you left behind. Note from Playwright: There’s a small town in far western Nebraska where I have spent time, as an outsider, with people I love. Its heyday is over. Its population has dwindled to about 2,400. There is drought. Some storefronts are boarded up. Missile silos that once held weapons aimed at Russia during the Cold War have been decommissioned. An oil boom ended. Interstate I-80 diverted traffic away from Main Street long ago. A railroad cuts through town, but doesn’t offer passenger service. There are farms both fallow and fertile. When I visited there, I walked around town. I browsed at a thrift shop. I took pictures of broken windows at the Wheat Growers’ Hotel. I attended a church service. I shared dinners and played cards in a parlor with widows who loved to laugh and talk about their history. I was curious and inspired. I wondered about residents past and present — who left? who stayed? and why? — and it all made me think more deeply about what it means to lead a “creative life.” That was the jumping off point for my writing Hollywood, Nebraska.
Another Roll of the Dice
A musical by Mark Saltzman, based on stories of Damon Runyon and songs by Frank Loesser
“Another Roll of the Dice” might well be called “More Guys, Other Dolls.” But this is not quite a sequel to “Guys and Dolls,” which was also based on Damon Runyon’s famous Broadway tales. “Dice” will present three separate Runyon tales enhanced, as “Guys and Dolls” was, with songs of Frank Loesser, some rarely performed gems, most iconic songs from his catalog of hits, like “Heart and Soul,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have,” “Two Sleepy People,” and “Let’s Get Lost.” The songs and stories will be blended in the best tradition of musical comedy style, with a cast of six and small band, creating a show that could be easily produced in theaters throughout the world.
As America attempts to manifest a unified future following the Civil War, a revolutionary experiment in education is commencing in upstate New York: The nation’s first liberal arts college for women, Vassar, is opening its doors to 353 young female students from around the country. And one student, Elizabeth, urged on by the women in her intensely political family, is determined to make something of herself. Emboldened by an unusual and awe-inspiring female professor to “question everything,” and in a time when “excessive thinking” and physical activity were believed by many to cause infertility or worse, she does something big: she starts a baseball team. Inspired by America’s earliest women baseball players, this is an origin story about who we choose to be when no one is watching, what we’re willing to sacrifice to win, and the unifying power of America’s favorite game.