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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 24, 2010

Bernard Shaw's 'Misalliance' opens 2010-11 Mainstage season at the UI

Bernard Shaw's comedy classic "Misalliance," directed by Eric Forsythe, will open the 2010-11 Mainstage series of the University of Iowa Theatres at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, in the E.C. Mabie Theatre of the UI Theatre Building. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 and 14-16, and at 2 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 10 and 17.

Love is in the air and wordplay is the weapon of choice in Shaw's comedy about the dangerous joys of sex, love, marriage and children in Edwardian England. Underwear magnate John Tarleton is having a bad day: His vivacious and headstrong daughter Hypatia is having second thoughts about getting married, a death-defying Polish trapeze artist has suddenly appeared in his house and a former employee is trying to kill him -- and isn't that an airplane in the garden?

Dramaturg Jennifer Page-White wrote, "Shaw considered himself primarily a social reformer, and likewise, his theatre consistently reflects a joyful debunking of imprisoning social conventions. His most thrilling characters are those that willfully shake off the burden of social expectations and assert their vitality on their own terms.

"'Misalliance' features exactly such characters as these, gleefully shattering social assumptions about marriage, class, and parent-child relationships while they try to form successful alliances… True to the title, we are repeatedly shown what does not make a good alliance, and each wrong solution is held up to ridicule."

Forsythe, a faculty member in the UI Department of Theatre Arts, adds, "The pleasure of working with Shaw is certainly the sparkling words and surprising ideas, the energetic reversals of expectations; but for me, the most fun is meeting such robust people who yearn for something more -- from themselves, from their partners, from their world.

"Shaw challenges us to think that a fundamental and informed optimism, difficult though it may be, is the way forward for all of us."

Shaw, a Socialist Irishman who co-founded the London School of Economics and was a noted music and literary critic, wrote more than 60 plays, many of which are still frequently produced. He is the only person ever to be awarded both a Nobel Prize (he rejected the monetary award) and an Oscar (for his work on the film adaptation of "Pygmalian").

The UI Mainstage production of "Misalliance" features scenic design by Eric Stone, lighting design by Paul Collins, costume design by Amanda Helland and fight choreography by Paul Kalina.

Tickets for the performances are $17; UI students $5 with a valid UI ID; senior citizens $12; youth $10 from the Hancher Box Office.

The Hancher Box Office, in the Old Capitol Centre, is open for phone (319-335-1160 or 800-HANCHER) or walk-up business from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Tickets may be ordered online at Any remaining tickets will be available for sale one hour before show time at the UI Theatre Building.

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

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: Exhibitions are searchable at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Eric Forsythe, UI Theatres,; Winston Barclay, University News Services, 319-430-1013,