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Release: Aug. 18, 2000

Theatres' Mainstage offers discounted season subscriptions

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Season subscriptions are now available for the Mainstage productions of University Theatres, the production arm of the University of Iowa department of theatre arts in the new UI Division of Performing Arts. Three-play and five-play season packages offer discounts of 20 percent, compared to the prices of single tickets.

The productions in the Mainstage season will be: "Marat/Sade" by Peter Weiss, Oct. 12-29; the world premiere of "When the Angels of Heaven Saw the Daughters of Man" by Eric Ehn and artists of RAT, Nov. 2-12; the Midwest premiere of "Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls" by Naomi Iizuka, Feb. 1-11; "Strange Attractors" by Iowa Playwrights Workshop graduate student David Adjmi,
Feb. 22 through March 4; and Moliere's "The Learned Ladies," March 29 through April 8.

A free season brochure, with details about each production, is available from the Hancher Auditorium box office or the department of theatre arts, 319-335-2700.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Brochures may be requested by e-mail at <>.

People with special needs should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

"As one of the foremost academic theaters in the country, we're committed to presenting the best of the classics, as well as the latest works," says faculty member Eric Forsythe, director of theater for the department of theatre arts. "What sets this season apart is its sheer theatrical verve. It's a year of fireworks."

"Marat/Sade," one of the most influential plays of the 1960s, combines drama, comedy and music to explore the relationship between revolution and madness. The full title of "Marat/Sade" is "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade," for it is a most unusual play-within-a-play. In the bath hall of a French asylum the imprisoned Marquis de Sade leads mental patients and political prisoners in a theatrical retelling of the murder of the French revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat. The French gentry audience can only wonder: Will the violence and madness remain

contained on the stage? "Marat/Sade" captured both the New York Critics' Circle and Tony awards for best play of 1966.

Last winter the UI department of theatre arts hosted the RAT Conference, an ad-hoc gathering of out-of-the-mainstream theater companies and artists from around the globe -- artists who live on the edge, scramble together an existence, and take chances. One of the prime movers in developing the RAT idea was Erik Ehn, a visiting faculty member at the UI. Ehn will be joined by artists from the United States and the former Yugoslavia to create "When the Angels of Heaven," a theatrical meditation on the Genesis account of mankind's early history.

Iizuka came to the UI as a visiting faculty member last season. In her offbeat comedy "Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls," her characters search for connection and family in an exotic, unpredictable and chaotic world.

"Strange Attractors" was premiered last spring in the Iowa Playwrights Festival. Starting with the themes and structures of Ibsen's "A Doll's House," Adjmi's play morphs wildly into a zany, terrifying play on love sex, and morality in the 21st century.

Considered one of the greatest writers of comedies of all time, Moliere spent his career poking fun at anyone he felt had it coming, including doctors, lawyers, and the bourgeoisie. In this 17th century Parisian household, Moliere pits Philaminte, who insists that her two daughters be educated in the finer things in life, against Chrysale, her husband, who believes his daughters only need to know how to be good cooks, raise children, and take care of the household expenses. Of course, their two daughters have romantic ideas of their own.

Three-play packages are $36 ($18 for UI students, senior citizens and youth), and five-play packages are $60 ($28 for UI students, senior citizens and youth).

Individual tickets will go on sale Sept. 15 at the Hancher box office. Single ticket prices for each production will be $15 ($7 for UI students, senior citizens and youth).

For UI arts information, visit this new address -- -- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.