Fresno State’s University Theatre will present “The Playboy of the Western World” May 1-9 (except May 4) with show times at 8 p.m. daily and a Sunday, May 3 matinee at 2 p.m. in the John Wright Theatre in the Speech Arts Building.

The production, directed by theatre arts professor Brad Myers and billed as an Irish Black comedy, tells the story of a mysterious young man who stumbles into a rural tavern in west Ireland and confesses to a horrible crime. Surprisingly, villagers react to the news by making him the local celebrity as townsmen admire his bravado, and the women vie for his affections. But soon after, the arrival of a second stranger jeopardizes his superstar status.

Written by John Millington Synge and described a masterpiece of Irish drama, the play’s 1907 premier in Dublin led to riots because of its use of sarcastic humor. Part romantic comedy, part farce and part thriller, the play also features a collection of eccentric rural characters, no small amount of whiskey and Synge’s potent lyricism.

“I most hope to transport audiences to another time and place; to delight audiences with a captivating story and robust characterizations,” Myers said.

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

Parking is free for shows after 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For the shows on May 5-7, $3 day 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

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