Niyi Coker, professor of theatre at UMSL, is director of "Intimate Apparel," a university production being staged at the Touhill through Feb. 4. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Down but not out is the recurring theme of “Intimate Apparel,” the current production at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, according to its director Niyi Coker, professor of African/African American Studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

“It’s is a soft play but it gets you in the pit of your stomach,” Coker, an E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor, told The St. Louis American in a recent article.

“Intimate Apparel” was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. It tells the story of Esther, an African American seamstress living in New York City in 1905, and her lightning-fast marriage to a man who has not been completely upfront with her.

“This play also shows that love is a beautiful thing – and it truly does conquer all,” Coker said in the The St. Louis American.

“Intimate Apparel” runs from Feb. 1 through Feb. 4, at the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center. All performances are at 7:30 p.m.

Nabeehah Azeez, a junior majoring in criminology and criminal justice, and Jason Little, a senior majoring in communications, portray Esther and George.

The Touhill is located on UMSL’s North Campus, 1 University Blvd. in St. Louis County (63121). Tickets are $5 for UMSL students, $10 for general admission. Call 314-516-4949 or visit for more information.

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez