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Release: March 16, 2001

Museum of Art will present a satirical theater piece by Maggie Conroy March 30

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will present "The Short History of a Colonial Dame," a theater piece written and performed by Maggie Conroy, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 30 in the museum. The performance is free and open to the public.

"The Short History of a Colonial Dame" is a satirical piece that encompasses important topics and issues in life, including the role death plays.

"‘‘Short History of a Colonial Dame’ is an on-going journal," Conroy said. "I keep piling information on, adding and subtracting. The objects in the piece take on a symbolic life of their own, especially the pictures and frames at the end."

The intimate concert performance takes place on a 4’ x 6’ Oriental rug. Conroy uses props throughout the piece that create a symbolic map through history. Among these are the pictures of her family that appear at the end. An old "How to speak French" record was the stimulus for the entire work, and Conroy works it into the piece as well.

Conroy’s travels and experience with the rituals of New England’s upper crust also appear as topics in the play.

"I was born in New Jersey, but then I kept moving, following my father in his work. I grew up in Brazil, Columbia, Montreal, London, Australia. This is a memoir of my life and travels."

The piece is also about the death of Conroy’s father and how she deals with her loss.

"I was 21 when my father died," Conroy said. "It was an enormous, crushing blow, but you have to continue on."

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for events at the UI Museum of Art during the 2000-2001 season, through the University of Iowa Foundation. Programs and exhibitions at the Museum of Art are supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.