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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 10, 2005

‘Metamorphoses’ At UI Brings Myths To Life, Moistly, Feb. 24-March 13

University Theatres Mainstage series will present Mary Zimmerman's "Metamophoses," winner of the Tony and Drama Desk awards, opening a three-week run at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in the David Thayer Theatre of the University of Iowa Theatre Building. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. Feb. 25 and 26, and March 3-5 and 10-12; and at 3 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 27, and March 6 and 13.

"Metamorphoses" stages the great transformation myths of the Roman epic poet Ovid, augmented with other sources, including poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Other mythic characters -- King Midas, Orpheus and Eurydice, and Cupid and Psyche -- make appearances, on a set dominated by pool of water as large as some hotel swimming pools.

Director John Cameron, a faculty member in the UI Department of Theatre Arts, explains, "It's a beautiful, elegant play that at times almost seems like a dance. Using water as a metaphor to explore the life experience from birth to death and beyond, it is deeply moving, shocking and very often really funny.

"I think the set design is one of the most stunning I have ever worked with, and should be seen to be believed. In what appears to be a very simple expression, Bryon Winn has managed to find the homes of the gods and man, and everything in between. At the same time it has been an incredible challenge to stage in this highly unusual environment. I think the audience will be amazed.

"The play is sexually provocative in many ways. It examines the relationships between men and women from multiple angles, some of them exquisite, an others truly grotesque."

New York critic Roy Sorrels called the play, "delightful, enthralling, enchanting, humorous, moving, magical theatrical glory."

Los Angeles critic Laura Hitchcock wrote, "A father's greed changes a girl into a golden statue, a boy's self-obsession transposes his humanity into a blooming narcissus -- myths old before Ovid recorded them in the reign of Augustus Caesar circa 13 B.C. In Mary Zimmerman's fresh, beautiful, piercingly apt 'Metamorphoses,' the 10 myths on which she's chosen to focus are as relevant as tomorrow."

And critic Matthew Murray explained, "You don't need to know a thing about Greek mythology to understand 'Metamorphoses'. . . What you do need to know is how creative, clever and moving the show is, and that, in adapting Ovid's Metamorphoses for the stage . . . Mary Zimmerman has created a work of stunning beauty and emotion that simply should not be missed."

The UI production of "Metamophoses" features contributions by Bryon Winn, set and lighting designer; Loyce Arthur, costume designer; and Carlos Xavier Rodriguez, composer.

The production includes material of an adult nature. Potential audience members who are concerned about whether it is appropriate for them should contact the Department of Theatre Arts, 319-335-2700, for additional information.

Tickets are $17; UI student, senior citizen & youth $8. Tickets may be purchased in advance from the Hancher Auditorium box office. Any remaining tickets for each performance will be available one hour before curtain time at the Theatre Building box office.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. 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:

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,

PHOTOS are available at

OTHER INFORMATION: The director is reachable at