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Release: May 28,1999

Iowa Playwrights Workshop faculty member Clubb and alumnus Hancock win 1999 Obies

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An appointment this spring as the resident playwriting faculty member in the University of Iowa department of theatre arts was apparently not enough excitement for Dare Clubb. He celebrated by winning an Obie Award, off-Broadway theater's top honor, for the New York production of his retelling of "Oedipus."

At the recent award ceremony in New York, three playwrights were honored: Clubb, Christopher Durang and W. David Hancock, a graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Hancock, who won an earlier Obie for his performance installation "The Convention of Cartography," was honored this year for "The Race of the Ark Tattoo" at Performance Space 122.

Clubb, a visiting UI faculty member this spring, will join the regular faculty of the department of theatre arts this fall.

Reviewing the production of "Oedipus" that Clubb directed for the Blue Light Theater Company, Village Voice critic Alisa Solomon wrote, "The challenge of Clubb's 'Oedipus' is not that it lasts four hours, but that it thrusts us into a serious and deeply discomfiting investigation not only of what constitutes moral behavior, but of whether it's even possible. . . . Language itself is a subject in Clubb's play. Naming and confessing and cursing and vowing -- all inexorably call action into being. Clubb shows how cruel or even thoughtless words can slaughter and maim. And his bold, sprawling play shows, too, how words can create a universe of bleak beauty and depth."

Clubb earned a bachelor's degree from Amherst College, and graduate theater degrees from Yale University. He has taught at Princeton University, the New School for Social Research, the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Playwrights Horizons in New York and the Breadloaf School of English at Middlebury College.

He has been playwright-in-residence at the Juilliard Theater Center, and he was the dramaturg for the world premiere of Athol Fugard's "Master Harold . . . and the Boys" and the U.S. premiere of Fugard's "A Lesson from Aloes."

His previous scripts include "Passed Out in Wisdom," produced by the Juilliard Theater Center and "Flash Floods," produced by Yale Repertory Theater.

Read Solomon's full Village Voice review of "Oedipus" on the World Wide Web at: <>. Read about Hancock's play at:
<>, <> and <>.