CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 28, 2000
EDITORS NOTE: Director Judith Lyons is reachable through the Department
of Theatre Arts office, 319-335-2700.
Humans, lizards teach each other about life, love in Albee's 'Seascape'
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- What happens when a couple's quiet picnic on the beach
is interrupted by the arrival of a pair of giant, talking sea lizards, perhaps
the mutant products of some evolutionary leap? Well, they begin to bridge
the interspecies gap through a far-ranging discussion -- laced with humor,
warmth and insight -- about the meaning of life and love. At least that's
what happens in Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Seascape,"
the final production of Iowa Summer Rep 2000.
"Seascape," directed by University of Iowa Theatre Arts alumna
and Iowa Summer Rep veteran Judith Lyons, will open at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July
11, in the David Thayer Theatre of the UI Theatre Building. Additional performances
will be at 8 p.m. July 12-16 and 18-22, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 23.
When "Seascape" opened in New York in 1975, a review in the New
York Times proclaimed, "Hats off, and up in the air!" describing
the play as "a major dramatic event."
" 'Seascape' is surprisingly funny, despite its serious themes,"
Lyons says. "It is a fantastical encounter between lizard and man; it
is an experience in evolution; it is an examination of prejudice; it is an
assessment of marriage; it is the clash of reason and emotion; it stares at
death. But it does so with gentle humor and visual delight."
Lyons explains that this production is set on a beach, on the edge of the
world. "In the year 2000 we sit poised on the edge of a new millennium,
and despite the advances in our scientific knowledge, we are still asking
the same questions about our lives. More often than not it is some event,
some challenge or terror, that forces us to explain and define who we are.
Just such an event for Charlie and Nancy is the arrival of English-speaking
lizards. The play ends with the possibilities for the future: 'All right.
Other artistic contributors to the Iowa Summer Rep production of "Seascape"
are costume designer Loyce Arthur, set designer Leonard Curtis, lighting designer
Troy Hornung and sound designer Mark Bruckner.
Beginning in the late 1950s, Albee established a reputation for creating
dramatic tension while simultaneously voicing serious social criticism. In
addition to "Seascape" he won the Pulitzer Prize for "Three
Tall Women" and "A Delicate Balance." His three Pulitzers rank
second only to Eugene O'Neill's four. Tony Awards for Broadway productions
went to "A Delicate Balance" and also to "Who's Afraid of Virginia
In 1996, Albee received a Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award, and
in 1997 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. At the Kennedy Center Honors
ceremony in 1996, Albee was praised for his impact on American drama: "Edward
Albee burst into the American theatrical scene in the late 1950s with a variety
of plays that detailed the agonies and disillusionment of that decade and
the transition from the placid Eisenhower years to the turbulent 1960s. Albee's
plays, with their intensity, their grappling with modern themes, and their
experiments in form, startled critics and audiences alike while changing the
landscape of American drama."
"To me, Edward Albee means power and wit combined in breathtaking ways,"
says UI Department of Theatre Arts faculty member Eric Forsythe, artistic
director of Iowa Summer Rep. "He audaciously jumps into your living room
or into your beach party and shakes things up. I can't imagine a more exhilarating
For many seasons Iowa Summer Rep has pursued a unique focus in American
summer theater with its single-playwright, festivals, and last season Iowa
Summer Rep also became an Actor's Equity Company, elevating its status as
a professional theater company.
Tickets for the Iowa Summer Rep 2000 production of "Seascape"
are $17 ($13 for senior citizens, and $9 for students). Tickets may be purchased
in advance from the Hancher Auditorium box office. Any remaining tickets for
each performance will be available one hour before curtain time at the Theatre
Building box office.
Hancher box office summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. From
the local calling area, dial 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER.
Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American
Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills,
and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information
and brochures may be requested by e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should
dial 335-1158. This line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment
who use that technology.
Iowa Summer Rep ticketholders may complete their theatrical outing with
a choice of picnic-box dinners at Eddie's Landing, overlooking the Iowa River.
Reservations are required: Call 319-335-3105. Orders must be received before
5 p.m. one day in advance.
Reservation forms are available at the Hancher box office or the Department
of Theatre Arts. Reservations may also be placed on the World Wide Web at
Picnics are available for 8 p.m. performances only, and will be available
for pick-up at 6 p.m.
For UI arts information, visit <www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr> on the World
Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <email@example.com>.