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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 17, 2004

Palestinian Playwright Auon Presents New Production At UI Sept. 21-22

The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will present "Maajnoon Saitara," a workshop production by visiting Palestinian playwright Iman Aoun, at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 21-22, in the David Thayer Theatre of the UI Theatre Building.

Aoun created "Maajnoon Saitara" with a group of Iowa student actors, based on improvisations and stories drawn from the lives of the cast members.

The play explores the problems inherent in relationships in which one partner manipulates or exercises control over the other. Audience members will be invited not only to view the play but to share their experiences and ideas with the group.

Aoun is artistic director of the Ashtar Theatre in Ramallah. She is a visiting artist in residence this month at the Department of Theatre Arts, where she participated in the kick-off of the UI Year of the Arts and Humanities.

Ashtar, founded in Palestine in 1991, produces experimental work as well as plays from the international repertoire. It also offers a training program for actors, teachers and community members. The company's works have been presented in theater festivals and tours in the Middle East.

Aoun has been especially active in presenting what is known as "Forum Theatre," originally developed by Augusto Boal as part of his "Theatre of the Oppressed." Audiences are offered the opportunity to explore alongside actors issues related to social, cultural and personal conflict.

Learn more at http://www.ashtar-theatre.org.

Admission will be $2 at the door. Tickets will be on sale one hour before curtain time.

UI President David Skorton's determination to increase public awareness and support of the rich tradition of arts and humanities on campus and throughout Iowa led him to declare academic year 2004-2005 the Year of Arts and Humanities, a time to celebrate that rich tradition and forge cultural linkages between the academic community and communities around the state. The Year of the Arts and Humanities is supported by the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Graduate College.

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.