Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 11, 2003-"The Diviners," the moving story of an unusual young man with a gift for 'divining' water, will be presented April 30 and May 1-4 as part of the 2002-2003 Performing Arts season at Southeast Missouri State University.

The performance will take place at 8 p.m. April 30 and May 1-3, and at 2 p.m. May 4 in the Forrest H. Rose Theatre.

Set in Depression-era Zion, Ind., the play tells the story of Buddy Layman, who has been left slightly brain-damaged as the result of a near-drowning in which he lost his mother. He has a horrible fear of water, in spite of his unusual gift. An ex-preacher, C.C. Showers, who is traveling through town looking for work, befriends Layman and his family and tries to help Layman overcome his fear, with comic-- and ultimately tragic-- results.

Dr. Sharon Bebout-Carr, associate professor of theatre and dance, who is directing the current production featuring the acting talents of 11 Southeast students, calls the play "thought-provoking.

"It has so many different layers and points of impact," said Bebout-Carr.

She said it makes the point that good people with good intentions can create situations that are tragic.

"There isn't a 'bad guy' in this play," she said.

Written by Jim Leonard, Jr., "The Diviners" was the winner of the 1980 American College Theatre Playwriting Contest. Reviewing the New York premiere that same year, Mel Gussow wrote, "Mr. Leonard has a certain sensitivity for humorous details of 'Our Town' life, for teenagers trying to understand sex, for the frustrations of Bible-quoting ladies in a churchless community, and for well-meaning, helpless rustic people."

Tickets for the performance are $8 for the general public; $7 for faculty, staff and senior citizens; and $6 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the Performing Arts Box Office, located in the Rose Theatre on the corner of Normal and Pacific streets in Cape Girardeau. Group discounts also are available.

Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone orders also can be made with a credit card. To place orders or to obtain more information, call the Box Office at (573) 651-2265 or visit


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For more information contact the Director of the News Bureau, Ann Hayes, (573) 651-2552.