An edgy and dark contemporary comedy comes to the stage at the University of Rochester with the International Theatre Programís production of Pterodactyls, playwright Nicky Silverís exploration of love and dysfunction.

Tackling such issues as AIDS, alcoholism, incest, and denial, the play records the decline and demise of the Duncan family. The parents are drunks with unhealthy thoughts about their children; the hypochondriac daughter has forgotten not only her past abuse, but even the fact that she has a brother; her fiancť has an amorous relationship going with both siblings; and the son sets tragedy in motion with his return home. Though critically acclaimed as a brilliant piece of comic writing, the play is disturbing and not suitable for young audience members.

Directed by Nigel Maister, Pterodactyls opens at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, and then runs at 8 p.m. on Feb. 27 and 28 and March 3, 4, 5, and 6, with a matinee at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 29. Performances are in Todd Theatre on the River Campus.

Maister, artistic director of the International Theatre Program, was born in South Africa and educated at the University of Cape Town and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He has acted and directed productions in the United States, Europe, and South Africa, and received numerous awards.

Aaron Black, whose previous Rochester credits include last seasonís Hamlet, is the set and lighting designer for Pterodactyls. Music and sound design is by Obadiah Eaves, a National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group grant recipient whose work has been heard on Nickelodeon and HBO Family Channel in addition to numerous International Theatre Program productions. Costumes are by Carol Bailey, whose work in scenery and costume design and sculpture has been seen and exhibited both in the United States and abroad.

Tickets are $10 for the general public; $8 for University of Rochester faculty and staff; and $6 for senior citizens and students. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at (585) 275-4088 or online at For more information, please contact the International Theatre Program at (585) 275-4959.

Note to Editors: A picture from the production of Pterodactyls can be e-mailed to you; please contact Helene Snihur at or (585) 275-7800.