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Release: March 2, 2001

The Acting Company performs musical version of Shakespeare's 'Comedy of Errors' at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Acting Company, America’s foremost classical theater touring company, will perform Trevor Nunn’s musical version of Shakespeare’s "The Comedy of Errors" at
8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20 and 21, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

During its visit to the UI, the Acting Company will also present a March 21 matinee for school groups as part of Hancher’s Stage Door educational series, and a company member will present a March 22-23 acting workshop for drama students of Kate Hamm at Iowa City West High School.

This version of "The Comedy of Errors," is set roughly in the 1970s. It features music by Guy Woolfenden and lyrics by Trevor Nunn -- the director of "Les Miserables" and the lyricist of "Memory" from his production of "Cats" -- and was staged by acclaimed director John Rando.
The Acting Company cast includes Gregory Jackson, an alumnus of the UI Department of Theatre Arts from Council Bluffs.

"The Comedy of Errors" begins when Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio arrive at Ephesus, one more stop on their quest to find their long-lost twin brothers. They do not yet know that their siblings do, indeed, live at this city -- and to complicate things further, they have the same names as their brothers.

Suddenly, Antipholus of Syracuse finds himself faced with his brother’s wife, friends and servant, who believe him to be the other Antipholus! As the twins’ lives begin to cross on- and
off-stage, the confusion and laughter swiftly mount, adding up to one of Shakespeare’s most zany and riotous comedies.

Nunn is director of England’s Royal National Theatre, where his productions include "Arcadia," "Not About Nightingales," "Oklahoma!," "The Merchant of Venice" and "Albert Speer." In 1968 he became the youngest ever artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and he directed the original productions of the international hits "Les Miserables," "Chess" and "Cats."

Woolfenden has written more than 150 scores for the Royal Shakespeare Company and has worked with a variety of other major European theater companies, and he has arranged the music for the Kirov Ballet.

Rando’s production of Neil Simon’s "The Dinner Party" opened on Broadway in October after runs at The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His future projects include "A Thousand Clowns" starring Tom Selleck, slated for spring 2001 on Broadway.

The Acting Company, was founded in 1972 by current producing director Margot Harley and the late John Houseman, to bring top-notch productions of classic and contemporary plays to all parts of the United States, while providing opportunities for gifted and highly-trained young actors.

During nearly three decades of touring, the Acting Company has traveled more than 500,000 miles through 48 states and nine other countries, performing a repertoire of 77 plays for more than two million people.

A roster of the Acting Company’s 263 acting alumni reads like a "Who’s Who" of American theater including Frances Conroy, Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone and David Ogden Stiers.

In recognition of its consistent level of excellence, the Acting Company has won several Obie Awards, Audelco Awards, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and two Tony Award nominations.

Angela Lansbury described the Acting Company as "the hope of the American theater," and a Miami Herald review asserted, "The Acting Company is one of this country’s most exciting, creative and impressive theater companies."

The Sheraton Iowa City Hotel is the corporate sponsor of the Acting Company performances through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets for "The Comedy of Errors" are $30, $27 and $24 from the Hancher box office.
Zone 1 tickets for UI students are $24, and zone 2 and 3 tickets are $10. Senior citizens qualify for a 20 percent discount on all tickets, and tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

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. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services 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.

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