CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
UI seeks loans of chairs for upcoming theater production about AIDS
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Theatre Department is seeking to
borrow nearly 100 chairs from individuals and businesses, to be used in an
upcoming production of Steven Dietz's "Lonely Planet," a play about
AIDS. The performances will be Jan. 30 through Feb. 2 as part of University
Theatres Gallery series.
Chairs are a dominant symbolic image in the play. "The chairs come to
represent people stricken by the virus," explains director Chad Larabee,
a UI theater major. "We are inviting anyone who feels strongly about
the disease to loan a chair for this project."
All types of chairs are welcome, as long as they are not too large, Larabee
says. The chairs will not be altered by the production, but those who loan
the chairs may choose to paint, cover or otherwise change the chairs to make
them a memorial for a loved one. The only limitation is that they must remain
"The chairs can be a reminder, a sometimes simple and sometimes dramatic
reminder, of their past owners," Larabee says. "We wanted to involve
as many people as possible in this important play. Interest has been strong,
and some families are already working on their chairs."
Individuals or businesses interested in loaning a chair, or in receiving additional
information, may contact Larabee at 338-4488.
Owners' names will be listed in the lobby, if they wish, and if a chair is
loaned as a memorial, that person's name will also be listed.
"Lonely Planet" is made possible by a grant from the Michael Barto
Fund. Barto, a graduate of the UI Department of Theatre Arts, dedicated much
of his professional energy to the creation of theater about AIDS.
"Lonely Planet" performances will be at 8 p.m. Jan. 30 through Feb.
1, and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Feb. 2 in Theatre B of the UI Theatre Building.
Admissions will be $4 ($2 for UI students and senior citizens).