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University of Iowa News Release

July 30, 2004

Iowa Summer Rep's Gurney Festival Was A Hit

Iowa Summer Rep's recently completed festival of comedies by A.R. Gurney produced an unexpected outcome -- one of the most popular and successful of the company's 20-plus years of single-playwright festivals at the University of Iowa.

Iowa Summer Rep 2004 drew audiences of more than 4,700, highlighted by 96-percent of capacity for the production of "Sylvia" -- the territory that venues consider a "sell-out." And ticket revenues for the entire season set an all-time record.

"Who could have imagined that A.R. Gurney would prove as popular as Neil Simon or Tom Stoppard?" muses Eric Forsythe, the Department of Theatre Arts faculty member who is the artistic director of Iowa Summer Rep. "I've wanted to do a Gurney summer for many years, because I love the plays, but I was hesitant because, even though people know a couple of the plays, his is not exactly a household name.

"So it's been very gratifying to have people come up to me wherever I go to tell me how delighted they are with Summer Rep this year. They say 'Do it again!' The enthusiasm has been unprecedented."

Iowa Summer Rep is the professional Actors Equity company of the UI Department of Theatre Arts, which is a unit of the UI Division of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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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,

PHOTOS of Summer Rep are still available at