The theater department’s next production, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning playwright Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness!, opens this week in the Ragan Theater.

Director Professor John Graham describes Ah, Wilderness! – one of the only comedies written by mostly-serious O’Neill – as the way O’Neill wished his family could’ve been.

"It’s about relationships, family, romance, the need to rebel in order to find yourself and the need to honor the traditions of your family within that rebellion […] [It] shows the family as the central and most important aspect of our lives. It says that the lessons we learn in the family are the ones we take with us out into the world."

Ah, Wilderness! takes place in a small town in Conneticut on July 4, 1906. Through the show, one will experience life as a 17-year-old boy who grows, learns, reaches manhood and comes to terms with his parents and the form of his upbringing on the day of this classic family holiday.

The 15-piece Ah, Wilderness!ensemble features a cast from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds, from age 11 to mid-50s; from students to parents; and from Florida to Orem.

Though categorized as a comedy, Ah, Wilderness! is not the side-splitting production one might be expecting. Graham says, "It’s a darker comedy, not slapstick – although, as always, there is a classic alcoholic uncle – but still really fun nonetheless."

Ah, Wilderness! will be running from Oct. 25 through Nov. 3 (excluding Sunday) at 7:30 p.m. in the Ragan Theater. Tickets are $6 for UVSC students, $8 for other students, UVSC faculty/staff and seniors and $10 general admission and can be purchased at Campus Connection. For more information call (801) 863-8797.

Photos credit: Jacob Scott
Cutline: Deidre Hiatt as Muriel and Wesley Tolmann as Richard in AH, WILDERNESS!