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University of Iowa News Release

March 14, 2003

UI Production Depicts Lives Of Appalachian Women

The University Theatres Gallery series will present "Belles: Women of Appalachia," a new collaborative production that anthologizes the work of several writers, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 27-29, in the David Thayer Theatre of the UI Theatre Building.

"Belles" presents stories, poems and documents about the women of Appalachia in this production directed by faculty member John Cameron. The script was developed with cast members Tina Sherwood, Brian Pollack, Terra Gillespie, Stephanie Richards and Tom Mamminga

"In general, the women of Appalachia face a very hard and challenging existence," Cameron observes. "It toughens them. It makes them strong, but it also gives them a deepened understanding of faith, trust, love and heartbreak."

"There is also mystery and mysticism in the mountains. 'Belles' attempts to give some of these elements a life on the stage," he explains. "It looks at the extreme contradiction and struggle that is life in Appalachian America. I think people will find it moving and maybe a little surprising."

Artistic contributors to "Belles: Women of Appalachia" include lighting designer Bryon Winn, and scenic and costume designer Robert Hamel.

Admission will be $5 ($3 for UI students) at the door.

The department of theatre arts is a unit of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,