UW-Stout News Story

‘The Shadow Box’ mixes laughter while examining life, loss

October 29, 2012

“The Shadow Box” is about three terminally ill cancer patients who are living out their final days at a hospice facility.

Audiences will have a few laughs, however, when the theater department at University of Wisconsin-Stout stages the award-winning play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, through Saturday, Nov. 10, at Harvey Hall Theatre.

Kevin Roland as “Brian,” Annie Foster as “BeverlyTickets are $12 and can be purchased online or by calling 715-232-1122.

“There are lighthearted moments,” said Paul Calenberg, director of theater at UW-Stout who is directing the play. “Just because the play deals with terminal illness doesn’t mean every scene is doom and gloom. Comedy is used to balance the somber moments.”

Written by Michael Cristopher, “The Shadow Box” won a Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Tony Award for best play in 1977. It examines the physical and psychological impacts of cancer on the lives of the three patients and their families.

“The play is really about life and will speak to all audience members. All of us, on some level, have dealt with the issue of loss in our lives,” Calenberg said.

“The Shadow Box” looks at how three very different family units deal with the situation, including a man with a gay lover and ex-wife; a married man with a son; and an elderly woman.

Paul Calenberg“This was one of the first pieces of American drama to treat a gay relationship in an affirming and mature manner,” Calenberg said.

The cast features nine UW-Stout students. The three cancer patients are played by:

•   Abby Anderson, a freshman graphic design major from Rosemount, Minn., as “Felicity”

•   Isaac Bont, a senior psychology major from St. Croix Falls, as “Joe”

•   Kevin Roland, a junior science education major from Madison, as “Brian”

Other cast members are Isaac Burk, a freshman from Eau Claire; Annie Foster, a freshman from Rosemount, Minn.; Jack Lazorik, a junior from Shoreview, Minn.; Izzy Merrill, a senior from Rochester, Minn.; Joseph Saucerman, a freshman from Marshfield; and Barbara Young, a freshman from Hutchinson, Minn.

“The characters and situations are extremely well-developed and dimensional, creating great acting opportunities. ‘The Shadow Box’ is a skillfully-written piece, thoughtful and thought-provoking,” Calenberg said.

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