USD Theatre’s ‘Coyote on a Fence’ debates capital punishment

The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre presents Bruce Graham's drama "Coyote on a Fence," March 21- 25 in the Arena Theatre of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. 

"Coyote on a Fence" centers on two death row inmates who approach their time in prison in vastly divergent ways.

Bobby Reyburn, played by Brian Muldoon of Sioux Falls committed a racially motivated crime and John Brennan, played by Iah Kinley of Crown Point, IN, was convicted of killing a drug dealer. The two prisoners are in adjoining cells on death row and while Bobby freely admits his guilt and is ready to die, John insists on his innocence and fights to live.

Bobby is the product of a dysfunctional upbringing and limited mental ability; John is educated and uses his talents as a writer to both delay his impending execution and to help his fellow prisoners through his writings in the "Death Row Advocate." 

The convicts are more dimensional than their crimes and the legal system make them out to be, just as the New York Times reporter Sam Fried, played by Marcus Langseth of South Sioux City, NE, has contradictory reasons for wanting to do a story on death row or why Shawna, played by Erin Gallion of Salina, KS, the seemingly pleasant prison guard volunteers to work executions.

"Coyote on a Fence," which contains strong language, is at 7:30 p.m. on March 21-24 and at 2 p.m. on March 25 in the Arena Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets ($15 Adults, $9 K-12 and non-USD students, and $4 USD students with ID) can be reserved between noon and 5 p.m. starting March 16 by calling the USD Theatre Box Office at (605) 677-5400 or online at

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