CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 22, 1999
The Nina Variations gives Chekhov characters
another chance to get it right
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University Theatres Second
Stage series will present "The Nina Variations," a comedy by prolific
contemporary playwright Steven Dietz, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday,
Nov. 4-6, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, in Theatre B of the University of
Iowa Theatre Building.
Dietz based his play on the "The Seagull"
by Anton Chekhov, giving two of the plays characters another chance
to get it right -- in fact, 42 more chances.
Director Carol MacVey, a faculty member in the UI
department of theatre arts, explains: "Dietz has used the two young characters,
Nina and Treplev, and shaped 42 short variations on what these two might have
said, could have said, or should have said at various junctures in their meetings.
Their talk revolves around the questions of what it means to be a playwright,
what it means to be an actor, and what it means to love."
"The Nina Variations" premiered in 1996
at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. The UI production uses a subsequent
revision, completed last year.
Dietz is one of Americas most prolific -- and
most produced -- playwrights, with more than 20 plays to his credit, including
"Lonely Planet," "Private Eyes," "Gods Country,"
"More Fun Than Bowling," "Dracula," "Still Life With
Iris," "Halcyon Days" and "Trust." His plays have
been produced by more than 200 regional and off-Broadway theaters.
His honors include the 1994 PEN Center USA West Award
in drama, a Drama-Logue Award, an Outer Critic's Circle Nomination and grants
from the Jerome Foundation, the Knight Foundation and the Kennedy Center Fund
for New American Plays.
The Second Stage production of "The Nina Variations"
features costume designs by Kathy Hemann and scenic and lighting design by
Tickets for "The Nina Variations" will be
$7 ($4 for UI students, seniors and youth) at the door, beginning one hour
before curtain time.
(NOTE TO EDITORS: We have a scanned photo of Steven
Dietz, which we can e-mail to you on request.)