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The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will present the 2012 Iowa New Play Festival, the most ambitious new-play festival in collegiate theater, with readings and productions from Monday, April 30, through Saturday, May 5, in the UI Theatre Building.
The full productions of new scripts from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop will be presented at 5:30 and 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
— All That Shines by Basil Kreimendahl on Tuesday in the David Thayer Theatre. This play portrays the precarious position of an urban area somewhere between decay and renewal.
— The Man in the Sukkah by Deborah Yarchun on Wednesday in Theatre B. Set on a former plantation in rural South Carolina, where the woods have more ghosts than trees, The Man in the Sukkah combines elements of Southern Gothic with secular Judaism in an exploration of intergenerational trauma. As Elaine and Harris struggle to become parents to Aviva, their disturbed 14-year old foster-daughter, their own dark histories begin to echo and manifest into the present. With Aviva at stake, Elaine, Harris and the strange drifter who’s just reentered Elaine’s life are forced to confront a perilous question: will the past replay itself in a series of new cruelties or can they transform it into a ritual of healing?
— Ondine by Katharine Sherman on Friday in Thayer Theatre. This play asks, what is the relationship between matter and form? Body and soul? How do states of consciousness transfigure the form and matter of reality?
— Collective Amnesia: A Study of Episodic Memory by Janet Schlapkohl on Saturday in Theatre B. Set in a neuroanatomy laboratory at the turn of the 21st century, this play is what the playwright calls “An Exposure of approximately 110 minutes to determine how Individual Memory impacts Collective Amnesia.”
Tickets for all the evening productions—$5 for the general public and free for UI students with a valid UI ID—will be on sale one hour before each of the performances. Tickets will also be on sale from noon to 1:30 p.m. and Monday through Friday of the festival at the Theatre Building box office.
A free evening event will be a workshop performance of The Zine of Grrrl by Louisa Hill at 5:30 and 9 p.m. Thursday, May 3, in the Catalano Acting Studio. Free tickets are required to ensure seating. When a Jehovah’s Witness stumbles into a Riot Grrrl meeting, beliefs are challenged on all sides through a confrontation of convictions and cassette tape conversion.
All the daytime readings and workshop productions are free, and the public is invited to attend in the Cosmo Catalano Acting Studio Room 172, of the Theatre Building. Check out the full schedule here.
Several events in the New Play Festival may include material of an adult nature. Potential audience members who wish to decide if it is appropriate for them should contact the department at 319-335-2700 for additional information.
The New Play Festival requires the deployment of all the Department of Theatre Arts' resources—acting, directing, dramaturgy, design, stage management and technical resources—to orchestrate an intense and event-packed festival that offers student playwrights the productions and feedback that are essential for their development. At the same time, the festival offers audiences an opportunity to participate in the creation of significant new American theater at the ground level and get a sneak peak at the theater of tomorrow.
The Iowa Playwrights Workshop—the UI MFA Program in Playwriting—is an intensive three-year program dedicated to educating playwrights for the professional theatre. The objective of the program is to train talented playwrights and collaborative theatre artists who will lead the American theater in the creation of new works and the training of future generations of playwrights.
The Iowa New Play Festival began in the 1960s as Critics Week and developed into the more public Iowa Playwrights Festival. The festival's name was changed to the Iowa New Play Festival to stress that the production of new plays was of educational value not only to the playwrights, but to all students in the department.
Over the years, the festival has produced scripts by numerous young playwrights who have gone on to distinguished careers in theater, and many of the plays developed through the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and presented in the festival have gone on to successful professional productions, have been honored with theatrical awards or have been invited to theater festivals.
The Department of Theatre Arts is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information or special accommodations to atten , contact the department at 319-335-2700.