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Release: April 26, 2002

University Theatres delays opening of 'The Making of Americans' until May 2

The opening of “The Making of Americans,” this season’s Partnership in the Arts project in the University of Iowa department of theatre arts, has been postponed until Thursday, May 2. The production will have four performances, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 2-4, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the David Thayer Theatre of the UI Theatre Building.

The production on the University Theatres Mainstage season was originally scheduled to open
April 25.

Eric Forsythe, director of theatre for the department of theatre arts, explained, “The goal of this production from the beginning has been to integrate 21st-century technologies with live performance in ways nobody has ever tried before. This kind of research is both exciting and risky. With respect to our audience, we invite you to return May 2-5 to witness the fulfillment of this ambitious project.”

Partnership in the Arts projects, which create collaborations between guest artists and UI students, faculty and staff, have typically been productions involving challenges that would be difficult or impossible to undertake in conventional, commercial theaters. The Gertrude Stein Repertory Theatre from New York is the department’s partner in the “The Making of Americans” project.

Adapted from the “Martha Hersland” chapter in Gertrude Stein’s trailblazing “The Making of Americans,” which exploded traditional concepts of the novel, the production includes live performers in Iowa City and New York linked through videoconferencing, live and pre-recorded video, projections on a variety of mobile screens and on the actors, digital “puppeteering,” and 3D computerized events both pre-programmed and triggered by the performers. Often, human and digital characters are technologically merged, making the “actors” a combination of physical and virtual elements.

“The Making of Americans” is the culmination of five years of work developing new software, exploring the application of TV-production techniques to live theater, and using the 3D virtual worlds of computer games to create virtual environments and objects that can be manipulated in real time for the stage.

Hancher Auditorium Box Office is contacting April 25-May 1 ticket-holders directly, but anyone holding tickets for any of the April 26 through May 1 performances is encouraged to contact the Hancher Box Office as soon as possible at 319-335-1160 or 1-800-HANCHER.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

The UI department of theatre arts is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.