April 16, 2006
Photo: Theater artist David Gonzalez. Click here for a high-resolution version of the image.
David Gonzalez's 'The Frog Bride' Continues 'Spot' Adventures, April 22-May 6
Theater artist David Gonzalez will conclude a three-week residency in Iowa with a performance of "The Frog Bride" -- a one-person show that combines music by Prokofiev, art by Kandinsky and a Russian fairytale, propelled by hip-hop grooves -- at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 6 in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.
Through "Spot: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure," organized by Hancher, Gonzalez will reside, socialize and perform in Perry (April 22-24), Spencer (April 26-28), Marshalltown (April 30-May 2), and Iowa City (beginning May 3), culminating in the Hancher performance.
The family event on May 6 will be preceded by a picnic at 12:30 p.m. on the Hancher Green, included in the ticket price.
A full schedule of residency activities in each community is accessible on the Web at http://www.spotkids.com. The events in Perry and Marshalltown will include programs designed for the Hispanic populations in those communities.
"Spot: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure" makes integral use of this interactive Web site. Children can become Spot Kids by registering at the Web site. Spot activities and information for parents are also available on the Web page, with special activities focusing on Gonzalez and the art of storytelling.
Gonzalez, a storyteller/musician/poet/actor/therapist, was nominated for a 2006 Drama Desk Award for "Unique Theatrical Experience" for his production of "The Frog Bride" at New York's New Victory Theater.
His productions have won rave reviews on Broadway, at the Smithsonian Institution's Discovery Theater and Lincoln Center, and in tours throughout the country. In 1998 he was honored with the Helen Hayes Performing Artist of the Year Award, and he has also won the Macy's New Play Prize for Young Audiences.
Gonzalez' poetry has been featured at Lincoln Center's Out-of-Doors Festival, on Bill Moyers' documentary "Fooling with Words" on PBS, and on NPR's "All Things Considered."
He received his doctorate in music therapy from New York University's School of Education. His dissertation, "Mythopoeic Music Therapy," focused on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to examine the possibilities of uniting creative expression and active imagination within the therapy experience. He taught at NYU for 10 years and has conducted numerous seminars, workshops and lectures at colleges and universities.
As a guitarist he is a long-time accompanist to pioneering jazz vocalist Lisa Sokolov, appearing with her at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Vision Festival, and the Knitting Factory.
Spot project residencies began in 2005 as a result of an $800,000 grant to Hancher from the Wallace Foundation, through its "Leadership and Excellence in Arts Participation" (LEAP) program. The grant enables Hancher to enhance arts participation through the use of innovative technology and direct interaction with performing artists over a period of four years.
Two artists are involved each year -- romper rocker Dan Zanes and the ODC/San Francisco dance company the first year, and Tomas Kubinek and San Jose Taiko last year -- with residencies leading up to a Hancher performance.
The Wallace Foundation grant, which is the largest programming grant in the auditorium's history, builds on Hancher's experience partnering with Pella, Decorah and Burlington in the Iowa Network Project, also made possible by Wallace funding. That $300,000 grant was the largest previous grant received by the auditorium.
The LEAP grant is being combined with resources committed by several UI programs and offices: Academic Technologies, University Relations, the Division of Student Services, the Graduate College and the office of the Vice President for Research.
During the course of the project, the University of Iowa Foundation is establishing a $200,000 endowment that will enable Hancher to continue its audience development efforts with the technology and expertise developed through the project.
Peggy Scholz is the Iowa City performance sponsor for "The Frog Bride," through the University of Iowa Foundation, and the picnic is supported by the Hy-Vee Food Store on Waterfront Dr.
Tickets for the June 18 Hancher picnic and performance are $25/23/22; UI student and senior citizen $25/23/22; youth $12.50/11.50/11.
Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. 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.hancher.uiowa.edu.
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