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University of Iowa News Release

July 22, 2004

University Of Iowa And Englert Civic Theatre Reach Use Agreement

An agreement between the University of Iowa and the Englert Civic Theatre, Inc., will bring performances by the UI Division of Performing Arts into downtown Iowa City starting in December.

The UI will pay Englert Civic Theatres, Inc., $25,000 a year for five years as a fee for use of the Englert, plus production and service costs for each performance. This would provide access to the theater for as many as 40 dates during each year, including rehearsals and performances.

Each year, the UI and the Englert will jointly present a series of ticketed performances at the Englert Theatre, with tickets available through the Englert's box office. Performances will be by students and faculty of the three academic units of the Division of Performing Arts: the School of Music, the Dance Department and the Department of Theatre Arts.

The first Division of Performing Arts event in the Englert will be a production of Giancarlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," presented by the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater, December 10-12.

A series of performances by faculty and students of the Division of Performing Arts during spring 2005 will be announced later.

With a seating capacity of 750, an air-conditioned hall, and a stage suitable for music, dance and theater, the Englert provides a facility that is not duplicated among current performance spaces on the UI campus. The stage also has a full, three-story fly loft above and dressing room space underneath, making the Englert suitable for staged productions of dance and theater.

"This is a win-win situation," said David Nelson, director of the UI Division of Performing Arts. "This definitely meets a need of the Division of Performing Arts, giving us access to a unique performance space, and at the same time it benefits the Englert and the Iowa City community."

"The Englert is perfect for us," Nelson, noted, "because it represents a kind of space we do not have on campus -- an intimate hall that is ideal for chamber music, and also offers the production facilities for theater, musical theater and dance. And the downtown location is an important benefit, since it is easily accessible to a large potential audience."

"Our spaces on campus are overextended," Nelson added "I would like to emphasize that the use of the Englert will give more faculty and students in the division the opportunity to perform before the public in a quality venue."

Eric Kerchner, executive director of the Englert, commented: "This agreement gives an early foundation of programming in the Englert. The university performances will provide a nice diversity of programs for the community to enjoy. This series of performances will also compliment other performances offered by the Englert," he said.

The Englert Civic Theatre, Inc. is a nonprofit, community organization working to restore and renovate the historic Englert Theatre building with the long-term goal of creating a multi-use, live performance venue in Iowa City.

Built in 1912, and rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1926, the Englert Theatre was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. The building has also been designated as an Official Project of "Save America's Treasures," a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and has attracted funding from the Vision Iowa program.

For more information on the Englert, visit its web site at

The Division of Performing Arts is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and includes the university's Arts Share program as well as the School of Music, the Dance Department and the Department of Theatre Arts.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

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

FOR THE ENGLERT CONTACT: Eric Kerchner, 319-936-0463,

FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,