University Theatre kicks off season with Yellowman Oct. 2-10

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University Theatre kicks off season with Yellowman Oct. 2-10

Fresno State’s University Theatre opens the 2015-2016 season with “Yellowman.” October 2-10 (excluding Oct. 5) with daily show times at 7:30 p.m. and a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee in the Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre in the Speech Arts Building.

The production, written by Dael Orlandersmith and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, is a brutal examination into the complexity of colorism, abuse and gender. Told through recollections of the past, Alma dreams of life beyond the confines of her small town, southern upbringing and the light-skinned man whose fate is tragically intertwined with her own.

Directed by professor of theatre arts Thomas-Whit Ellis, “Yellowman” expands from a two-person production to a cast of four with theatre arts major Matthew Parson (Eugene) and Fresno State student Tierra Richardson (Alma) cast in lead roles that travel from rural South Carolina to the streets of 1970s New York City.

“The play explores the negative associations surrounding male blackness, as well as the impact these racial stereotypes have on black women from childhood to adulthood, as they face abuse, cyclical violence, and colorism,” Ellis said. “Colorism is the issue of placing higher status on those with a lighter complexion over those of darker skin tones. Within the African American community, this is rooted in the slave era and continues to persist and manifest itself today through interracial heritage and culture.”

“Yellowman” contains mature themes, brief violence and strong language.

Tickets are $17 for adults; $15 for Fresno State faculty, staff, alumni and military; and $10 for students. Group rates, as well as season subscriptions are available. Box office hours are noon-4 p.m. on weekdays and one hour before each performance.

Parking is free for shows on Friday through Sunday night. For shows on Tueday through Thursday night, parking permits are required and may be purchased at dispensers in parking lots on campus.

For more information, contact the box office at 559.278.2216 or universitytheatre@csufresno.edu.