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Release: June 15, 2001

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Iowa Summer Rep Artistic Director Eric Forsythe, the director of "Risk Everything," may be reached at <>. Ticket sales have been brisk, so please call the box office for the latest ticket-availability information.)

Iowa Summer Rep 2001 is on a winning streak with George F. Walker’s ‘Risk Everything’

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Summer Rep festival of comedies by Canada’s most popular English-language playwright, George F. Walker, will open its second production, "Risk Everything," at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 28 in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building. Other performances will be at 8 p.m. June 29-30 and July 3, 11, 15 and 17-22; and 2 p.m. July 8.

"Risk Everything" is part of Walker’s "Suburban Motel" sextet of comedies that are set in the same seedy motel room.

In this zany section, Carol is a gambling addict and compulsive liar prepared to risk -- literally -- everything, including the lives of her friends and family who get sucked into the maelstrom. Carol has won a bet at the track, but unfortunately she "borrowed" the funds for the wager from a gangster, and now she is trying to figure out how to avoid paying back both the "loan" and the winnings that provoke unrealistic dreams of a better life.

Her new boyfriend, Michael, who is filming a porn movie next door, seems normal in comparison with the characters and complications of Carol’s chaotic and dangerous world.

Another "Suburban Motel" script, "Problem Child," which features some of the characters who also inhabit "Risk Everything," notably Carol’s daughter Denise and son-in law RJ Reynolds, will be given an Iowa Summer Rep reading on July 15.

"’Risk Everything’ is short, sharp and sweet," says director Eric Forsythe, the UI department of theatre arts faculty member who is the artistic director of Iowa Summer Rep. "We’ve got a ‘dream’ cast. What a treat to work on. I think our audiences will just eat it up."

The production features costume design by Vicki Grube, set design by Alison Ford, sound design by Ethan J. Bade, and lighting design by Bryon Winn.

Forsythe says of the entire UI summer festival: "George F. Walker is not a household name in the United States, unlike many of the playwrights we’ve worked with over the years. He’s as celebrated in Canada as Neil Simon is here, and just as prolific. He’s simply a great playwright I’m proud to produce -- and, oh, so funny."

Walker’s darkly comic stage plays have been translated into more than a half-dozen languages, and he has also been the writer of popular Canadian TV series and movies. Among his many honors in Canada are the Governor General’s Awards for Drama for "Nothing Sacred" and "Criminals in Love," the Chalmers Canadian Play Award six times, and three Outstanding Play Awards in the DORA Awards. Walker has been resident playwright of the New York Shakespeare Festival, and his "Nothing Sacred" was a Los Angeles Times "Play of the Year."

A Chicago Sun-Times review declared, "No other living playwright pushes the boundaries of comedy as far, with often stunning results." A Village Voice review described his work as "black comedy with a depth of character that ravishes," and a review in the Washington Post said Walker creates a world "where humor and horror waltz drunkenly around in each other’s arms."

The production of "Risk Everything" contains material of an adult nature. Potential audience members who are concerned about whether it is appropriate for them should contact the department of theatre arts at (319) 335-2700 for additional information.

For many seasons Iowa Summer Rep has pursued a unique focus in American summer theater with its single-playwright festivals, but two seasons ago Iowa Summer Rep also became an Actor’s Equity Company, elevating its status as a professional theater company.

Tickets for "Risk Everything" are $17 ($13 for senior citizens and $9 for UI students and audience members 17 and younger. Tickets may be purchased in advance from the Hancher Auditorium box office. Any remaining tickets for each performance will be available one hour before curtain time at the Theatre Building box office.

Tickets are also available at a substantial discount as part of an Iowa Summer Rep subscription package. A package, which includes tickets to all three Walker productions, are $40 ($31 for senior citizens, and $22 for UI students and youth).

The other plays in the Iowa Summer Rep 2001 festival of George F. Walker comedies are "Escape from Happiness" and "Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline."

Iowa Summer Rep theatergoers may enhance their theatrical outing with a choice of picnic dinners at the outdoor Comedy Cafe, overlooking the Iowa River. Reservations are strongly recommended by calling 319-335-3105, and orders are due before 5 p.m. one day in advance.

Hancher summer box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. 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. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

The department of theatre arts is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts. For UI arts information, visit <> on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.