Landmark of 20th-century American literature to be presented at WWU

9781619491922_p0_v1_s260x420A piece of Americana will be presented by the theatre department at William Woods University, when students perform “Spoon River Anthology” April 23-26.

“Spoon River Anthology” by Edgar Lee Masters, is based on a collection of short free-form poems that collectively narrate the epitaphs of the residents of a fictional small, Midwestern town, Spoon River, during the turn of the 20th century.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. April 23, 24 and 25, with a matinee at 2 p.m. April 26, all in Cutlip Auditorium.

In this collection of post-mortem autobiographical “epitaphs,” the former citizens of the town tell the truth about their lives with the spoon-river-anthologyhonesty no fear of consequences enables. More than 100 separate characters are woven together portraying their accomplishments, loves, secrets and regrets.

First published in book form in 1915, the Anthology was the crowning achievement of Masters’ career as a poet, and a work that would become a landmark of 20th-century American literature.

Masters raises the dead “sleeping on the hill” in their village cemetery to tell the truth about their lives, and their testimony topples the American myth of the moral superiority of small-town life. Spoon River, as undeniably corrupt and cruel as the big city, is home to murderers, drunkards, crooked bankers, lechers, bitter wives, abusive husbands, failed dreamers and a few good souls.

16895914-standardThe cast, all WWU students, consists of Kassaundra Davidson, Melissa D. Williams, Sarah Williams, Brandi Traylor, Jessie Trapp and Cassie O’Connell as ensemble women. Ensemble men, are T.J. Green, Jonathan Meyer, Zachary Likens, Brandon Gibson and TJ Pyatt.

The production will be directed and designed by Joe Potter, assistant professor and artistic director, with costume design by Jane Friedman.

Tickets for “Spoon River Anthology” are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, $7 for WWU students, faculty and staff and $6 for senior citizens (62+). Call 573-592-4267 or go to to purchase tickets.