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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 6, 2004

Theatre Scholar Kim Marra Gives 'Saturday Scholars' Presentation Oct. 9

Theater historian Kim Marra, a faculty member of the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts, will discuss "Broadway Starmaking at the Turn of the Last Century," a free "Saturday Scholars" event at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9 in Room 40 of Schaeffer Hall on the UI Pentacrest.

The presentation is the third installment of the 2004 "Saturday Scholars" series, presented by the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The modern Broadway theatre developed around the turn of the 20th century, with the rise of powerful male producers or impresarios who modeled themselves after Civil War generals and big business titans.

The most influential of these impresarios rose to power chiefly by making female stars whose names became linked to theirs in legendary partnerships.

Marra's lecture will examine the careers of three such duos: Augustin Daly and Ada Rehan, David Belasco and Mrs. Leslie Carter, and Charles Frohman and Maude Adams.

Marra will explore the cultural, social and economic complexities of these relationships that transcend the stereotype of the "casting couch," showing how the behavior of these duos behind the scenes as well as on stage has much to reveal about American culture in this period and about the lasting legacy of their model of female starmaking.

"Saturday Scholars" was developed by Linda Maxson, dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to give members of the public a chance to hear about the latest teaching and research innovations by faculty members in the college.

Marra's presentation will last 30-40 minutes, followed by time for questions. Refreshments are served.

Additional free "Saturday Scholars" programs will be:
-- Oct. 23: "Marketing Culture: Native Amazonians in the Public Sphere" by Laura Graham from the department of anthropology; and
-- Oct. 30: "Immigrants' America: Then and Now" by Shelton Stromquist from the department of history.

Additional information on "Saturday Scholars" programs is available at:

The Department of Theatre Arts is a unit of the Division of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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 are available at or