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Contact: Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, 318-869-5242

When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? Opens Nov. 11 at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse at Centenary College

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Theatre Department at Centenary College will present the double award-winning hit of the 1973-74 Off-Broadway season —When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?— at the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse beginning Nov. 11 and continuing for seven performances.

This play received the Obie Award for Distinguished Playwriting and the Outer Critics' Circle Award as Best Playwright and is considered to be one of the most defining plays of the 1970s. When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? was written by Mark Medoff, who also wrote the Tony Award winning Children Of A Lesser God.

When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? plays at 8 p.m. Nov. 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 14. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and $10 for students. There will be a 7 p.m. preview performance on Wednesday, Nov. 10, with tickets priced at $7. The box office opens on Nov. 4 and is open daily from noon to 4 p.m. and tickets can be reserved by calling 318-869-5242. Officials note that this play contains strong language.

When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? is directed by Robert Buseick with set and light designs by Don Hooper and costume design by Patric McWilliams. Brigitte Bechtel is the assistant director/stage manager and Adam Boyd is the sound designer.

Playwright Medoff has constructed a taut and gripping story of confrontation in its rawest aspects. Into a run-down diner in a small New Mexico border town is intruded a mysterious and ominous figure, Teddy, with his girl, Cheryl. He has run out of funds, and his VW needs repair. In the diner he finds Angel and Stephen/Red, who work there; the cripple Lyle, and Richard and Clarisse, the successful businessman and his violinist wife. Teddy terrorizes this group, the portrayal of his machinations providing on the surface a suspense story of great impact.

Overlaying the play and honing it with razor-sharp imagery is Medoff's metaphoric use of mythic and popular 20th-century heroes to achieve a satiric commentary of the modern American Scene. Figures of the Old West, comic strip and movie characters, and sports idols provide a counterpoint to the aridity and waste portrayed in this lament for a lost morality and for greatness once achieved but now tragically missing. Red Ryder doesn't deserve the name he has appropriated - or will he one day rise to meet its challenge?

Senior film major Phillip Brooks plays Teddy, who is both catalyst and celebrant in the play. Phillip has been seen at MLP in productions of The Underpants, The Bat, The Shape of Things, Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon, The Wayside Motor Inn, Noises Off and 1776. He won an SB Memory Acting Award for his performance in The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

Stephen/Red Ryder is being created by Jamie Norwood, a sophomore theatre major who has appeared at MLP in the productions of The Underpants and last season's production of The Laramie Project.

Senior theatre major Ashley Beckham plays Angel, the sweet and innocent waitress. Ms. Beckham has appeared at MLP in productions of Gypsy, The Wayside Motor Inn, Winnie the Pooh, Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon, Women Behind Bars, The Laramie Project, Wit, Electra and The Seagull.

Shannon Shea plays Teddy's girl friend, Cheryl. Shannon is a senior theatre major and was in PAC's production of Camelot last summer. At MLP she appeared as a nurse in Verna: USO Girl. She has appeared in many productions for Peter Pan Players and played the lead in their production of The Little Mermaid.

Lyle Stricker, the owner proprietor and janitor of the local filling station/motel is being played by veteran actor Jamie Sanders. He has appeared at MLP in productions of Angels in America, Under Hunter's Moon, Into the Woods, Camino Real, Grand Hotel and 1776. He won a Times Drama Award as best supporting actor in Night of the Iguana.

Richard and Clarisse Ethredge, a married couple who stop by the diner for breakfast are unwilling victims caught in the violence. These roles are played by junior theatre major Tim Broderick Jr. and senior theatre/communication major Anysia Manthos. Ethredge is a successful businessman and his wife is a concert violinist. Broderick has appeared at MLP in productions of Winnie the Pooh, Gypsy, The Bat, 1776 and The Wayside Motor Inn. Ms. Manthos has appeared at MLP in Wit, Electra, Winnie the Pooh, The Bat, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Women Behind Bars and The Laramie Project.

Rounding out the cast is Trey Jackson as the manager of the diner, Tommy Clark. He last appeared at MLP as Tulsa in Gypsy.

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