KU News Release

Jan. 6, 2011
Contact: Marisa Bregman, Lied Center, (785) 864-2722

Lied Center to present William Inge’s ‘Bus Stop’

More Information

LAWRENCE — The Lied Center of Kansas will present “Bus Stop,” written by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright and Kansas native William Inge and performed by the Montana Repertory Theatre, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19.

In this passionate and comedic American classic, iconic playwright Inge examines some of the many faces of love. Immortalized in the 1956 film featuring Marilyn Monroe, “Bus Stop” is an enduring work that still captures the modern audience through its timeless combination of humor and love.

“The play is about the lifestyle of America, in the 1950s, as America was coming of age,” said Director Jere Hodgin in a webcam interview with the Lied Center, viewable at lied.ku.edu. “America was expanding as we were becoming less isolated. ‘Bus Stop’ is a wonderful story about a Montana cowboy who falls in love with a girl and how, in a snowstorm in Kansas, they survive the night and find one another.”

Written in 1955 by the University of Kansas graduate, “Bus Stop” follows a group of strangers traveling by bus. Stranded in a rural Kansas diner during a freak snowstorm, the compelling narrative observes eight characters as they experience frustration, tears and laughter, examine their own motivations and forge unlikely romantic connections in a single night.

Inge was born in Independence, Kan., and graduated from KU in 1935 with degrees in speech and drama. He began his postgraduate education on a scholarship to the George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tenn., but didn’t complete his degree. After teaching and working as a news announcer in Kansas, Inge returned to Peabody and completed his master’s degree. While working as a drama critic in St. Louis, Mo., Inge was inspired to become a playwright after meeting Tennessee Williams and attending one of his plays with him.

“Bus Stop” was adapted from Inge’s short story of the same name and opened at the Music Box Theatre in New York City in 1955. The film version starring Marilyn Monroe was released a year later. Inge wrote other popular plays including “Come Back, Little Sheba,” “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” and the 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Picnic.”

The Montana Repertory Theatre, based in Missoula, Mont., will perform “Bus Stop” as part of its 2011 national tour. Montana Rep is considered one of the oldest and most respected touring companies in the country.

Established in 1967, Montana Rep is part of the University of Montana’s School of Theatre and Dance. The company has produced celebrated classics including “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

As part of its residency, Montana Rep will present a master class with KU’s theatre department. The Lied Center will create a lobby display that will focus on Inge’s presence at KU as well as the play “Bus Stop.” Additionally, local theater faculty and professionals will discuss the effect Inge has had on their professional lives and will present readings from some of their favorite Inge plays.

The Friends of the Lied will recognize businesses whose generous donations support the Lied Center with a special pre-performance reception and special recognition throughout the hall. Any businesses wishing to join Friends of the Lied can contact Megan Poindexter, director of development, at (785) 864-2788 or meganp@ku.edu for more information.

“Bus Stop” is presented, in part, by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Tickets are on sale at the Lied Center ticket office, (785) 864-2787 or (785) 864-2777 TDD; Murphy Hall box office, (785) 864-3982; and online at lied.ku.edu. Tickets are $28 for the public and $10 for students and youth. All seats are reserved. Discounts may apply.

Note to editors: High-resolution images and digital media materials can be accessed at lied.ku.edu/press. This information is for news media only.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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