Anderson Theatre Presents Miss Firecracker Contest

Posted on November 4th, 2004 by

Rick Snyder, a member of Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company, returns to Gustavus this fall to direct Anderson Theatre’s main stage performance of Beth Henley’s MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST. Performances in Anderson Theatre of Henley’s comedy begin at 8:00 p.m. on November 18, 19 & 20 and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 21. Tickets for the performances are available by calling the Gustavus Ticket Center at 507-933-7590.

MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST is a quirky comedy set in a small Mississippi town in the weeks before its annual beauty and talent pagent, the Miss Firecracker Contest. Like other Beth Henley plays, the characters, while not extraordinary in any sense, bring with them the baggage of everyday life. One is a “wanna be” winner whose reputation around town may derail her chances to represent her town. Another is a former pagent winner returning to town following a less-than-successful marriage and life outside the small town. And yet another is a man whose “carney” personality adds a bit of the ridiculous to an already ridiculous situation.

The play takes the audience into the small town and the difficulties faced by its inhabitants as they try to either redeem themselves or to escape to a better life on the outside. There are elements of morality, wealth and poverty, education and ignorance, dreams of the “outside world,” racism and finally, hope. It may well be the story of every town, or any town, and the men and women who struggle through life in search of something better. And when they find the better life, they find that reality is not always as attractive as appearance. Much like everyday life, success and failure bring challenges and disappointments.

THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST is Rick Snyder’s second production on the Anderson Theatre stage. In addition to his directing duties, Mr. Snyder teaches acting classes and works with students on preparation for life in the world of theatre. The Steppenwolf Theatre performer spent the spring of 2002 on campus as a visiting artist and director and directed Lanford Wilson’s BALM IN GILEAD. He is much in demand as an artist in residence and continues with Steppenwolf as an actor and director.

THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST comes to the Anderson Theatre stage November 18 – 21 at 8:00 p.m. each day except for a matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 21. Tickets are available at the Gustavus Ticket Center, 507-933-7590, and at the theatre box office beginning one hour before showtime.

 

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