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Release: Immediate


GALLERY PLAY IS AIDS MEMORIAL JAN. 30 - FEB. 2 -- The University Theatres Gallery series will present Stephen Dietz's "Lonely Planet," a recent play depicting the impact of AIDS, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 30 through Feb. 1, and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

The dominant symbolism of the two-person play will be nearly 100 chairs, loaned by individuals and businesses. "The chairs come to represent people striken by the virus," explains director Chad Larabee, a UI theater major. Some chairs have been prepared as memorials to particular friends and family members.

Larabee stresses that although the play is about AIDS, the production is an empowering story about friendship, love and "leaving some traces" in life -- an illustration of how a person's spirit is kept alive by friends and loved ones.

"This play questions what stakes we as individuals have in an ever-expanding world," he says. "Dietz explains that we carry the history of loved ones in our memories and our hearts."

Admission to "Lonely Planet" will be $4 ($2 for UI students and senior citizens) at the door. Tickets will go on sale one hour before curtain time.

"Lonely Planet" is made possible by a grant from the Michael Barto Fund. Barto was a UI theater graduate who dedicated much of his career to the creation of theater about AIDS.

During the run of the show a silent auction will be held for an artwork created for "Lonely Planet" by artist Michael Blake. Proceeds will benefit the Iowa Community AIDS Partnership (ICAP). At intermission the Iowa Center for AIDS Research and Education (ICARE), which receives donations from ICAP, will provide information about the disease and ICARE programs.

For additional information, call the department of theatre arts at 319-335-2700.