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University of Iowa News Release

June 30, 2003

Iowa Summer Rep's Stoppard Festival Reads 'Inspector Hound'

"Tom-Foolery: Three Comedies by Tom Stoppard," the 20th-anniversary season of Iowa Summer Rep's unique single-playwright festivals, will offer a special one-night bon-bon with a reading of "The Real Inspector Hound" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 23 in the David Thayer Theatre of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

Iowa Summer Rep is the professional Actors' Equity company of the UI department of theatre arts.

"The Real Inspector Hound" will be a nod to the first Iowa Summer Rep festival of Stoppard's plays in 1985, when this one-act from 1968 was a featured production in tandem with the one-act "Dirty Linen."

The play-within-a-play of "The Real Inspector Hound" has two theater critics watching and commenting on a stage thriller -- enabling Stoppard to intertwine and parody both a familiar theatrical genre and the critics who analyze it, while indulging in his trademark wit and wordplay.

The reading will be directed by William Barbour, a recent graduate of the UI Master of Fine Arts program in directing.

Stoppard began as a journalist and theater critic in the late 1950s, but the production of his first full-length play, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," in 1967 catapulted him into the ranks of England's most famous comic playwrights. "The Real Inspector Hound" echoes the play-within-a-play structure of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern," except that in the one-act, Stoppard is the writer of both plays.

His learned silliness is now seen as part of a "classic" tradition that includes the Goon Show, "A Hard Day's Night" and Monty Python's Flying Circus.

"Shakespeare in Love," the 1999 Oscar winner, is one of several film scripts he has written, or on which he has collaborated, including Terry Gilliam's "Brazil," the adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's "Billy Bathgate," "The Russia House" and Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

Iowa Summer Rep is America's only professional company that makes each summer of festival of plays by a single contemporary playwright. Along with the reading," "Tom-Foolery" features Stoppard's "Rough Crossing," "Travesties" and "The Real Thing."

Tickets to the reading of "The Real Inspector Hound" are $5 from the Hancher box office. Any remaining tickets for each performance will be available one hour before curtain time at the Theatre Building box office.

Hancher Auditorium summer box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays.

From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319-353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website: http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher.

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: hancherboxoffice@uiowa.edu.

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.

The Department of Theatre Arts is a unit of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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

CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu Iowa Summer Rep Artistic Director Eric Forsythe eric-forsythe@uiowa.edu.

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa/photos.html .