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Release: Immediate

Hancher Auditorium 1996-97 season set ticket sales record

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The 1996-97 performing arts season presented by the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium established a new record for ticket sales. 1996-97 ticket receipts of $2,542,786 easily broke the old Hancher record of just over $2.2 million, set in the 1991-92 season.

The number of tickets sold during the 1996-97 season barely missed the 100,000 mark, finishing with 99,787.

Among the most popular events of the season were "Stomp," Baxter Black and Riders in the Sky, "Les Miserables," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," the Joffrey Ballet "Nutcracker," "The Kiss of the Spiderwoman," the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra performance of Wynton Marsalis' "Blood on the Fields," Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Bobby McFerrin.

Hancher director Wallace Chappell is pleased by both the quality of the season's events and the new ticket-sales record, but he emphasizes that the growing support of contributors has also been a key to Hancher's 1996-97 success and will play an even greater role is Hancher's future.

"Even though we are delighted with a good year at the box office, and with the steady support of Hancher ticket buyers, we are still very dependent on private support of the auditorium -- both from individuals and from businesses small and large," Chappell says. "With the sea change that's taking place in the funding of the arts from the public sector, all not-for-profit arts institutions in America continue to be vulnerable."