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Source: Marci Maullar, 785-532-6878, marcima@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Megan Wilson, 785-532-6415, media@k-state.edu

Monday, Feb. 2, 2009

K-STATE THEATER TO PRESENT 'INTIMATE APPAREL'

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's K-State Theater, in conjunction with K-State's Ebony Theatre, will present Lynn Nottage's critically-acclaimed play "Intimate Apparel" at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5-7 and 11-14 in Nicholas Theater.

The play is the story of one woman's struggle with race and class in turn-of-the-century America. It was named best play in 2004 by the New York Drama Critics and won the Outer Critics Circle Award.

"Intimate Apparel" is set in 1905 New York and is inspired by the author's own great-grandmother and the tintype pictures of that era. The main character, Esther, designs and sews intimate apparel for a variety of clients, from wealthy women to prostitutes. With her life savings tucked away in a crazy quilt, the lonely seamstress dreams of owning her own beauty parlor. Her desire for love is fulfilled in a long-distance correspondence with a poetic stranger, but reality soon offers her a harder picture that threatens to shatter her romantic illusions and her entrepreneurial spirit.

"Esther's is a journey that I believe to be universal and quite human," said Tyler Woods, a graduate student in theater from Fort Scott and director of the K-State production. "Every character in this piece has something that Esther dreams of possessing, from the wealth of her client, Mrs. Van Buren, to the unquestioning faith of her fabric vendor, Mr. Marks, a Jewish Romanian, right down to Mayme, a popular prostitute in New York's brothel district. Our challenge will be reflecting Esther's journey in the sets, costumes, sound design and so forth."

K-State's Ebony Theater was founded more than 30 years ago to create and produce plays with African-American playwrights, actors and directors. Over the years, the group has expanded to include multicultural casts with shows like "Intimate Apparel," produced in conjunction with the K-State theater program.

The play is co-sponsored by McAlister's Deli. Tickets are $8 for students, $11 for military and $13 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased at the McCain Auditorium box office from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or at the K-State Student Union's Little Theater box office from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. weekdays. To order by phone, call 785-532-6428 during box office hours. For group discounts, contact Marci Maullar at 785-532-6878.

K-State students involved as cast or crew members for "Intimate Apparel" include:

Dennis Craig, senior in theater, Baldwin City, as Mr. Marks; Laura Lindsay, junior in theater, Hillsboro, stage manager; Ashley Ann Kings, junior in theater, as Mrs. Van Buren, and Kathleen Henderson, junior in theater, props master, both of Leavenworth; Eric Voecks, senior in theater, Manhattan, master electrician; Greg Myers, freshman in theater, Overland Park, assistant stage manager; Sean Jefferson, senior in kinesiology, Salina, as George Armstrong; LeAnn Meyer, sophomore in theater, projections, and Britney McLeod, junior in theater, as Mayme, both of Topeka; and Dylan Harris, senior in theater, scenic designer, and DaNesha McNeely, senior in animal sciences and industry, as Mrs. Dickson, both of Wichita.

K-State faculty members involved with the production include: John Uthoff, associate professor of communication studies, theater and dance, lighting designer; Mary Leyendecker, instructor of communication studies, theater and dance, costume designer and costume shop manager; Dan Matthews, assistant professor of communication studies, theater and dance; and George W. Matthews, instructor of communication studies, theater and dance.