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February 4, 2000

UW-RF Theatre to Present "Talking With..."

March is Women's History month and every year the UW-River Falls Women's Studies Program sponsors important public events that highlight the achievements of women. This year, Women's History Month programming will concentrate on the accomplishments of women in the arts.

In honor of this year's theme, the University Theatre will produce "Talking With. . . .", a dramatic collage about women's experience by Jane Martin. Performances are in the Sanford Syse Studio theatre of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. Performance times are 8 p.m. March 21-23, and at 2p.m. on March 22. Tickets are $7 for adults/non-students and $3 for students and senior citizens.

To reserve tickets, call 715/425-3114.

Co-director Cristel DeJesus said, "'Talking With. . . ' is a touching and funny celebration of the diversity and beauty of women."

The play consists of a series of monologues, each to be performed by a different actress who addresses some aspect of women's experience. The characters come from different backgrounds and different parts of the country. They vary in age, education, and social class. In life, they would never have encountered one another. What they have in common is their gender, a factor that profoundly influences their experience.

Among the various characters are an actress, a snake handler, a baton twirler, and a host of other interesting individuals, all of whom share their stories with the audience. Some of the characters are very funny and others are deeply moving. All of them describe their experience in ways that are surprising and interesting.

According the co-director, Meg Swanson, "'Talking With . . .' speaks to me. Its characters are survivors who look experience straight in the eye and search for meaning in the mundane experience of daily life. These women not only talk. They sing!"

Women students will also be featured as designers on "Talking With . . ." Gwen Heyn, a sophomore from Columbia Heights, Minn., will design the set, Nicole Johnson, a sophomore from Baldwin, will coordinate the lighting, and Moria Clinton., a freshman from River Falls, will supervise the costumes. Sound design will be by Scot Moore, a junior from River Falls.

Swanson points to the women on the production team with pride. Not so long ago, she says, it was rare to see a women designer or technician. The fact that so many women students are now active in technical fields is a testimonial to the progress women have made in expanding into nontraditional areas

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