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Release: Aug. 27, 2002

University Theatres Season Subscriptions Now Available At UI

Subscriptions for the 2002-2003 Mainstage season of University Theatres at the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts are now available through the Hancher Auditorium box office.

The theater season is detailed in a UI Division of Performing Arts brochure that went into the mail to UI music, theater and dance patrons on Aug. 26. Copies of the brochure, which includes an order form for University Theatres, the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theatre, the UI Symphony and the Dance Company's Dance Gala, is available from the box office or from the division's marketing office at 319-335-3213 or

The Mainstage productions are:

— "Life is a Dream" by Pedro Calderon, Oct. 17-27;

—the premiere of "Klub Ka: A Blues Legend" by James V. Hatch, Nov. 14-24;

—Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," Feb. 13-23;

—"Uncontrollable Mystery," a trio of short plays by W.B. Yeats, Feb. 27 - March 9: and

—"A Flea in Her Ear" by Georges Feydeau, in a new translation by UI faculty member Eric Forsythe, April 10-19.

An imaginative romantic adventure from Spain's literary Golden Age, "Life is a Dream" will use live Flamenco music in its telling of a story about the confusion of reality and illusion.

UI alumnus James Hatch, an emeritus faculty member of New York's City College and an Obie Award winner, has been one of the leading scholars of African-American theater. His "Klub Ka" is a musical fantasy for adults: The production follows the odyssey of a teen-age girl to the Egyptian underworld in search of her muse. There she discovers Klub Ka, the home of all blues poets from Homer to the present ("ka" means soul in Egyptian). As she converses with the likes of Descartes and Keats she discovers how to confront her pain and express her joy in the powerful poetry and music of the blues.

When "A Streetcar Named Desire" was first staged in 1947 -- a decade after Williams graduated from the UI -- it created a firestorm of controversy and also won the Pulitzer Prize. Critics called it immoral, decadent, vulgar and sinful. Williams' steamy play follows the desperate and lost Blanche DuBois as she seeks one last chance to recover her life as a genteel lady in the home of her coarse brother-in-law, Stanley, and her sister Stella.

W.B. Yeats is known as one of the major English-language poets of the 20th century, but he also wrote more than 30 short plays. The trio of plays in "Uncontrollable Mystery" incorporate his vast knowledge of Irish folklore and Gaelic language, and showcase his unique ability to use fantasy, mysticism and the unknown as a way to examine and explain the human condition.

"A Flea in Her Ear" is classic farce of mix-ups and mayhem, given contemporary zest by Forsythe's translation. When a husband who is not "performing" is suspected of infidelity, his jealous wife turns to her best friend to help her get proof of the affair. Together they devise a plot (of course), based on a perfumed letter (naturally), to trap him at a hotel (where else?).

The University Theatres Mainstage season is available in discounted three-play and five-play packages. The all-season, five-play package is $65 ($30 for UI students, senior citizens and youth 17 and younger); and the three-play package is $39 ($18 for UI students, senior citizens and youth).

Mainstage events are all available at a discount as part of a Division of Performing Arts seven-event sampler package.

Single-ticket prices for Mainstage productions are $16. ($8 for UI Students, senior citizens and youth).

Hancher Auditorium box office business 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. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology. The brochure order forms may be submitted by mail, fax or in-person at the box office.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:<>. On-line orders of three or five University Theatres Mainstage plays will automatically be given the appropriate package discount.

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: <>.

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