One of the ‘Best American plays of the last 25 years’ takes centerstage at University Theatre

This is our Youth double cast poster

By Miguel A. Gastelum, Communication Specialist/Box Office Manager

Fresno State’s University Theatre will present “This Is Our Youth,” its second in-person production of the 2021-22 Mainstage season. 

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 2-6, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31 at the Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre on campus. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for Fresno State faculty, staff, alumni and military and $10 for all students. The production is intended only for mature audiences. Children under 12 are not permitted.

In meticulous, hilarious and agonizing detail, “This is Our Youth,” written by Kenneth Lonergan and directed by Brad Myers, follows 48 hours of three lost, young souls in the big city at the dawn of the Reagan era. Warren Straub, a dejected 19-year-old who steals $15,000 from his abusive, lingerie-tycoon father; Dennis Ziegler, the charismatic, domineering, drug-dealing friend who helps him put the money to good use; and Jessica Goldman, the anxiously insightful young woman Warren yearns for. 

Funny, painful and compassionate, “This is Our Youth” is a living snapshot of the moment between adolescence and adulthood.

The play was ranked one of “The 25 Best American Plays of the last 25 Years” by The New York Times. 

“‘This Is Our Youth’ finds eloquence in the verbal fumbling and listless non sequiturs of ambition-free, overgrown stoners,” said The New York Times’ Ben Brantley. “But Kenneth Lonergan is no mere tape recorder. Like the best “vernacular” playwrights, he translates what he hears into a heightened form of speech. His dialogue sounds truer to life than life itself, in capturing both the moral evasions and unintended revelations that emerge every time people open their mouths. A portrait of three blighted young things in Manhattan on a grass-and-cocaine-fueled bender, ‘This Is Our Youth’ was the play that made us start listening to Mr. Lonergan.” 

The production is double-cast and includes Kathryn Andres, Brianne Avina, Andrew Mickelson, Tyler Murphy, Wade Pierson and Carlos Sanchez.

Avina, Mickelson and Murphy perform Oct. 30, Nov. 2, Nov. 4 and Nov. 6. Andres, Pierson and Sanchez perform Oct. 29, Oct. 31, Nov. 3 and Nov. 5. 

Until further notice, proof of complete COVID vaccination or a negative result from a COVID test performed within 72 hours of the performance day is required to be admitted. The Department of Theatre and Dance will also require audience members to be fully masked while inside the theatre. Doors open 30 minutes before curtain. Latecomers will not be permitted, and there are no refunds or exchanges. The box office is open from noon to 4 p.m. on weekdays and one hour before each performance, and it accepts cash, check or credit card.

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

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

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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