The Night of the Iguana Takes the Stage

"The Night of the Iguana" at Colorado State UniversityCSU Theatre Takes to the Tropics with Classic Tennessee Williams Tale

Starring Special Guest Jonathan Farwell as Nonno

Bringing high quality, affordable live theatre to the Front Range, the theatre program at Colorado State University presents the classic masterpiece by Tennessee Williams, The Night of the Iguana. Performances are nightly Thursdays through Sundays, running Feb. 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at the University Center of the Arts, 1400 Remington Street.

Tickets are $8 for CSU students and $18 for adults. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) Ticket Office in the UCA Griffin Lobby, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at Advance purchase is recommended to avoid at-the-door fees.

Continuing the free tickets initiative, CSU students get in free on Ticket Thursdays: Feb. 6 and 13. Courtesy of the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, members of the public get in free on Ticket Sundays: Feb. 9 and 16. Space is limited and tickets are available on a first come, first served basis at the Ticket Office at (970) 491-ARTS (2787).

The celebrated playwright of A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Glass Menagerie, created Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon, a Black Irish defrocked pastor, now tour guide, who arrives at a cheap cliff-side hotel near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with a group of women tourists. At the Costa Verde, managed by his friend and onetime lover, Maxine Faulk, Shannon struggles with delusions, depression, alcohol, and sexual attraction to an underage member of the tour party.

Amidst this chaos, Hannah Jelkes, a spinster, appears with her ailing grandfather Nonno, played by American film and television and Broadway actor Jonathan Farwell, who is composing his last poem. As Shannon tries to manage his tour party, who has turned against him for his unnatural relationship with the minor, he is “at the end of his rope,” just like the iguana kept tied by Maxine’s cabana boys.

“I’ve always loved this piece,” said Walt Jones, co-director of theatre and dance at CSU, and also stage-directing the production. “Williams creates these incredible story arcs through the intense interactions of people at the ends of their ropes and what they do in those situations that just draw you in to the emotion of the story.”

"The Night of the Iguana" at Colorado State UniversityAppearing as an Actor’s Equity professional, actor Jonathan Farwell (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Young and the Restless), will perform the role of Nonno.

“Having him in the production really raises the stakes for our student performers,” said Jones. “Jonathan is a consummate professional and has been a great resource for our students. He doesn’t leave a dry eye in the cast during rehearsals after his final scene.”

Jones goes on to explain the unique continuous-time element of the production.

“The whole show is capturing a period of about 48 hours, and we see it all, which can be challenging for the actors” he said. “There’s no jumping ahead to the next day – it’s continuous –but it plays a big part in how Williams portrays his characters and also allows the audience to understand the weight of the collapse that happens in the story.”

The 1966 Academy Award® winning film, based on the stage play, starred Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, and Sue Lyon.

About Jonathan Farwell

An American film and television and Broadway actor, he is best known for his soap opera role as George Rawlins on the CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless, and has also starred in Jake and the Fatman (1991), Watchers II (1990), The Haunting of Morella (1990), and Star Trek: The Next Generation (1988). Read more.

About Walt Jones

Walt Jones, who joined the CSU Theatre program in 2006, is a 1975 graduate of the Yale School of Drama. As a teacher of acting and directing, he has served on the faculty at Yale School of Drama, and University of California, San Diego. He has directed twice on Broadway, six plays off-Broadway, including the American premiere of Howard Barker’s No End of Blame at Manhattan Theatre Club, and over sixty plays in more than twenty regional theatres from Cambridge to Fairbanks and productions in Soviet Russia and in Tokyo. Read more.

The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society. During the 2013-2014 season, the UCA celebrates its fifth anniversary and features several celebratory events that highlight connecting our campus and community with impactful arts. For more information, visit