CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 27, 2000
UI theatre arts department presents festival of one-acts by new directing
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa department of theatre arts will
present a two-week New Directors Festival with performances at 8 p.m. Nov.
9-11 and Nov. 16-18 in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.
Each week the festival will present a different pair of one-act plays selected
by new directing students in the department.
The Nov. 9-11 performances will feature Charles Mees "The Constitutional
Convention: A Sequel" directed by Liza Williams, and "Hopscotch"
by Israel Horovitz, directed by Andrew Golla.
The Nov. 16-18 performances will feature Caryl Churchills "Hearts
Decline" directed by Kristin Horton, and "Michis Blood"
by Franz Xavier Kroetz, directed by Jeremy Wilhelm.
Eric Forsythe, the departments director of theatre and head of the
directing program says, "The New Directors Festival showcases the work
of a fresh new crop of directing talent -- Master of Fine Arts directing students
are brought in every three years. The directors are required to direct a short
play during their first year that is seen by the public. It is a way of introducing
them to the department through their work."
"The Constitutional Convention" is a comic montage of ideas and
images that explore contemporary American problems that the constitution never
anticipated. Director Williams says, "This is a humorous exploration
of the extremes of the social behavior and how we are constrained by rules
we impose on ourselves." Williams has a background in design, and she
led the scenic, lighting and costume design for the production. Sound design
is by Christopher Eschenbach.
In "Hopscotch" the meeting of two strangers in a park on a sunny
autumn day moves from hopscotch and conversation to territory more provocative.
"This is a compelling story written by a master storyteller, presenting
a fantastic challenge for the actors," director Golla says.
"Hearts Desire" is part of a recent collection of plays
by Caryl Churchill entitled "Blue Heart." In "Hearts
Desire" a family waits for the return of their long-absent daughter from
Australia. An experiment in theatrical structure, the play repeatedly stops
and starts the action, occasionally going back to the beginning then fast-forwarding
to pick up the scene midway, each time taking the story in a different direction.
Director Horton says, "Its a very nervous play about a very nervous
family; the play structure itself is the manifestation of the familys
struggle to wait for an arrival and deal with anticipation and disappointment.
All the complexities of a two-hour play are compressed into 30 minutes."
A West German playwright active in the1970s, Kroetz created theatrical worlds
that embodied the disjointed speech and actions of a lower class. In "Michis
Blood" two characters struggle to communicate amidst acts of violent
sex and abortion. Wilhem says, "With the legalization of RU-486 and the
possibility of a conservative Supreme Court in the near future, this play
is a timely reminder that unheard voices do not benefit from social, economic
or technological advancement."
Admission to each evening of the New Directors Festival will be $5 ($3 for
UI students, senior citizens and youth) at the door.
These productions include material of an adult nature. Potential audience
members who are concerned about whether the productions are appropriate for
them should contact the UI department of theatre arts, 319-335-2700, for additional
For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
-- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.