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KU Theatre Highlights Physical Comedy in One Man, Two Guvnors

Monday, February 18, 2019

LAWRENCE — University Theatre will open the Tony Award-winning play "One Man, Two Guvnors” later this month at the University of Kansas. Audiences can expect skiffle music, British accents, nonstop physical comedy and audience interaction.

In 1963 England, an out-of-work skiffle player named Francis Henshall (played by Hunter Hill, a junior theatre performance major) becomes separately employed by two men: a small-time gangster and an upper-class twit. In action-packed, hilarious and downright ridiculous scenes, Francis goes out of his way to serve two “guvnors” and keep his dual employment a secret. The play, written by Richard Bean, is based on Carlo Goldoni’s “A Servant of Two Masters” with songs by Grant Olding. In addition to winning a Tony for best actor in a leading role in 2012, this play earned an Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award.  

“Based in the classic Italian commedia dell’arte style, this light-hearted play makes use of stock scenarios, larger-than-life characters, audience interaction, physical comedy and props,” said Jason Bohon, the play's director and an assistant teaching professor in the KU Department of Theatre & Dance. “The stage is designed as a playground for action. ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ plants you in 1960s England and touches on the women’s rights movement that was going on at the time.”

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22-23 and March 1-2, with Sunday showtimes at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 24 and March 3, at KU's Crafton-Preyer Theatre. Tickets for are $25 for adults, $20 for senior citizens and KU faculty and staff, and $10 for children. It’s $15 for KU students at the door, and $10 for KU students in advance, with KUID. For tickets and more details, call 785-864-3982, visit the University Theatre Ticket Office in Murphy Hall, or go to kutheatre.com.

Bohon graduated from the University of Central Missouri before receiving his MFA from the London International School of Performing Arts/ Naropa University. Most recently he directed Shakespeare's “Antony & Cleopatra” at KC Rep and “She Kills Monsters” and “Anon(ymous)” at KU. As the producing director of Split Knuckle Theatre, a physical theatre company, Bohon has taken his work to New York, London, Paris, Brussels, Athens, Bangkok, Frankfurt and Prague.

Additionally, the “One Man, Two Guvnors” company consists of Hunter Hill, a Sabetha junior, as Francis Henshall; Jack Zimmerman, a St. Louis junior, as Stanley Stubbers; Aubrey McGettrick, a Wichita freshman, as Rachel Crabbe; Kara Stobie, an Overland Park sophomore, as Alfie; Matthew Reynolds, an Olathe senior, as Harry Dangle; Leon Cambridge, a recent graduate from Philadelphia, as Lloyd Boateng and an ensemble member; Dominique Waller, a Shawnee junior, as Pauline Clench; Isaac Liebold, a Lawrence senior, as Charlie “The Duck” Clench; Jake Gillespie, a Paola junior, as Alan Dangle; Kaia Minter, a Shawnee senior, as Dolly; Ty Skillman, a Burlington junior, as Gareth, ensemble member and Francis understudy. Additional ensemble members are Denniel Correa, an Arecibo, Puerto Rico, sophomore; Marie Putzier, a Salina sophomore; Michael Ostermann, a Lawrence sophomore, and Maggie Puderbaugh, a Topeka junior. Lexey Jost, a Hutchinson MFA student, is the costume designer; Gabrielle Smith, a Lansing sophomore, is the choreographer; Jenny Sledge, an Annapolis, Maryland, doctoral student, is the dramaturg; and Emma Genevieve Dodge, a Leavenworth senior, is the stage manager. The production also features Scott Stackhouse, University of Missouri-Kansas City assistant professor of theatre in voice, and Amy O’Conner, vocal and body language consultant, as voice and dialect coaches; Kelly Vogel, KU theatre & dance resident artist/academic associate, as scenic designer; Mark Reaney, KU theatre & dance professor, as lighting designer; Wallace McCanless, University of Missouri-Kansas City MFA student, as sound designer; and Ryan McCall, KU theatre & dance accompanist/composer, as musical director.

The University Theatre is a production wing of Department of Theatre & Dance, offering six public productions during the academic year. The University Theatre productions are funded in part by Student Senate fees and supported by Truity Credit Union.

The department is one of three 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 University Theatre or to purchase tickets, visit KUtheatre.com.

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