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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 17, 2003

Hancher ICN Event Brings 'Mamma Mia!' Cast Into Iowa Classrooms

Nearly 500 Iowa students in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium and in classrooms across the state of Iowa interacted with cast members from the touring production of "Mamma Mia!" during a Dec. 12 event on the Iowa Communications Network (ICN).

A live audience of 150 students from Horace Mann Elementary in Iowa City and Johnson Elementary in Cedar Rapids was joined by students in ICN classrooms at Gilbert High School, Baxter High School, Middle Amana-Clear Creek Middle School, Moville's Woodbury Central High School, Waukee High School, Luverne Elementary School and Decorah High School.

The audience observed as three members of the "Mamma Mia!" cast taught 15 Iowa City West High School students the lyrics and choreography to the song ABBA song "Waterloo" on the stage. The production's wardrobe supervisor also displayed and discussed several of the show's disco-era costumes.

A question-and-answer session involved the live audience and students in each of the remote sites.

"Mamma Mia!" is the international hit musical featuring 20 of ABBA's best-known songs. "Mamma Mia!" was an instant hit in its London debut, where not a single ticket has gone unsold for the past five years. This summer, the show topped the 10-million mark in international attendance, and the U.S. tour which came to Hancher for eight performances is one of 11 productions packing in audiences around the globe.

The ICN is the nation's only publicly owned, statewide fiber-optic network, which connects schools, libraries and government agencies, giving Iowans in all parts of the state interactive access to Iowa's educational, legal and governmental resources. Hancher has been an ICN originating site for more than eight years.

Hancher's ICN events are supported by John and Ellen Buchanan, the Herb and Janice Wilson Education Fund, West Music Company, the Iowa Arts Council and Rockwell Collins.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu.