‘Winners’ weaves love story

By Darlene Jasso


Nearly 50 theatre arts majors and minors auditioned for the fall play, “Winners,” which opens 8 p.m. Sept. 27 in Elizabeth Huth Coates Theatre, but only four got roles.

The roles for Joe and Mag, two high school kids that are in love, went to Eric Montoya and Sondra Alonso, respectively. Shaun Ross and Victoria Perez will serve as narrators.

In this play by Irish playwright Brian Friel, Joe and Mag are reminiscing about their times together with the help of the two narrators of the show. The narrators come in and out of the play. They tell the audience about Joe and Mag’s families and backstory, and the audience gets to see them celebrate their experiences together.

The director of the play, Leo Gene Peters, is a 2002 graduate of UIW’s Department of Theatre Arts. He grew up in San Antonio and attended UIW after graduating from St. Anthony’s Catholic High School, which is part of the Brainpower Connection.

After graduating from UIW, Peters said he wanted to travel, leave the United States and keep studying, so he decided to see what New Zealand was like. He got his master’s degree in directing in theatre at Victoria University in Wellington.

“I did that for a couple of years and just sort of fell in love with Wellington,” Peters said. He ended up staying in New Zealand for 11 years. He runs a theatre company called A Slightly Isolated Dog.

Dr. Robert Ball, professor and department chair, suggested Peters should come back to UIW and direct a show.

“I thought it was a good idea,” Peters said. “I hadn’t read this play until they told me I was going to do it. It’s a good show and has a lot of funny stuff in it.”

Joe and Mag  “experience that real burning love that you only experience when you’re like 17,” Peters said. “It’s a momentary thing. When it happens, it is so hard and strong.  Just an exciting and intense time. And then that love fades,” Peters said.

“I don’t wanna give too much about it, but the play only takes place in a morning, on top of this hill where the two main characters are studying and dreaming about their lives together.”

“Winners” was chosen a few years back for presentation this year.

“They have a committee of people who select the plays for the upcoming semesters,” Peters said. “Based off of curriculum, based off of choosing a variety of shows so that they aren’t doing the same things, and people aren’t watching the same things.”

“ ‘Winners’ is not a frequently done play,” Peters said. “Back in Ireland it would have been probably, but not so much here. It is a very universal kind of story though.”



“Winners” will be presented 8 p.m. Sept. 27-28 and Oct. 3-4 and 2 p.m. Sept. 29 and Oct. 5 in Elizabeth Huth Coates Theatre.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for non-UIW students with I.D., and $6 for groups of 10 or more.

UIW students, faculty and staff can attend free with I.D., but may purchase a second ticket for a guest at the $8 discounted rate.

For more information, call the theatre department at 829-3810.

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