University Theater presents ‘RIFF RAFF’ Jan. 26 to 29

YSU students Anthony Genovese, Breylon Stubbs and Cheney Morgan star in Laurence Fishburne’s RIFF RAFF, presented by University Theater Jan. 26 through 29 in Bliss Hall at YSU.

YSU students Anthony Genovese, Breylon Stubbs and Cheney Morgan star in Laurence Fishburne’s RIFF RAFF, presented by University Theater Jan. 26 through 29 in Bliss Hall at YSU.

University Theater’s Blackbox Productions stages Laurence Fishburne’s drama, RIFF RAFF Jan. 26 through 29 in Bliss Hall’s Spotlight Arena Theater on the campus of Youngstown State University.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances start at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee performance at 3 p.m.

The play, the first by noted film actor Laurence Fishburne, contains obscene language, images of violence and dealing in drugs. The performance is intended for mature audiences only. Children will not be admitted.

RIFF RAFF has had a critically successful run of performances in Los Angeles and New York. It is the story of two low-rent hustlers who try to outscore a local drug dealer and find themselves hiding out in an apartment waiting for the right time to make good their escape.

Frank Castronovo, chairperson and professor of the Department of Theater and Dance said it is always a concern when producing a show containing strong language, or disturbing images.

“While we have no wish to offend anyone, we cannot entirely avoid such work,” he said. “We are a university, first and foremost, and a requirement of our training mission is to present critically-acclaimed works that are at the forefront of contemporary American drama. Like it or not, profanity is a part of modern American vernacular, and as theater mirrors life, we cannot be truthful in certain types of modern dramatic representation without its use. We hope our patrons understand.  University Theater produces a wide variety of dramatic work, and we will always make an effort to advise audiences when we occasionally present a play with possibly offending content.”

Tickets are available by calling the University Theater Box Office at 330-941-3105. Ticket price for the general public is $5 with $3 discount tickets available for students, senior citizens and Penguin Club members. There are no reserved seats in Spotlight Arena Theater; patrons are encouraged to purchase their tickets early. Parking is available in the Wick Avenue parking deck for a nominal fee.