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University of Iowa News Release

July 1, 2004

Gurney's 'What I Did Last Summer' Completes Iowa Summer Rep Bill

"Last Summer," A.R. Gurney's touching coming-of-age comedy, will complete the production line-up of Iowa Summer Rep when it opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 15, in E.C. Mabie Theatre of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

Additional performances by the UI's professional Actors Equity company will be at 8 p.m. July 16, 17, 23 and 24.

"'What I Did Last Summer' is a coming-of-age play -- it's autobiographical to a degree -- that Gurney fills with the love of what growing up means: the awkwardness, the joys, the frustrations, the humor," says director Eric Forsythe, the UI theater faculty member who is the artistic director of Iowa Summer Rep. "I find my own past, my own family, richly evoked. I love this play."

The play is set in 1945, when 14-year-old Charlie (Justin Pappas) awaits his father's return from World War II. When his mother takes him and his sister to their Lake Erie vacation home, Charlie accepts a job with the local outcast, Anna Trumbull (Rachael Lindhart), who the locals call the "Pig Woman."

This one-time member of the upper crust has become a bohemian artist with an offbeat perspective on the world, and Charlie's interactions with her take him on a warm-hearted adventure of self-discovery.

Other members of the cast are Derek Degeyter, Kristin Behrendt, Lena Ajans and Emily Happe.

The production features scene design by Leonard Curtis, costume design by Jenny R. Nutting, lighting design by James Albert and sound design by William Barbour.

In addition to "What I Did Last Summer," Iowa Summer Rep's festival of Gurney comedies is presenting:

--"The Dining Room," the Pulitzer Prize-nominated comedy set in the traditional gathering place of the American family.
--"Sylvia," the hit comedy in which the title character is a precocious talking dog, a role originated by Sarah Jessica Parker.

And, in addition to the full-staged production, Summer Rep will present a staged reading of Gurney's best-known and most widely-produced play, "Love Letters."

Again this season, Iowa Summer Rep evening performances will be accompanied by the popular "Dinner on the Patio" fare, with casual seating overlooking the Iowa River. Dinner reservations, which are strongly encouraged, can be made by calling 319-335-3105

Individual Summer Rep tickets are $20 ($10 for UI students and youth, and $15 for senior citizens). Tickets may be purchased in advance from the Hancher Auditorium box office. Any remaining tickets for each performance will be available to the Theatre Building box office one hour before curtain time. Parking in the Theatre Building and Hancher lots is free.

Summer Rep subscriptions, which include tickets to all three main productions, are $48 ($24 for UI students and youth, and $36 for senior citizens). Series subscriptions will remain available until "The Dining Room" closes with its July 11 performance.

Hancher Auditorium summer box office business 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. 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.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

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: <>.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

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