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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 14, 2006

Award-Winning Play By UI Alumna Kramer Will Be Performed Sept. 28-Oct. 1

"David's RedHaired Death," an award-winning play by University of Iowa alumna Sherry Kramer, who returned to the UI this semester to teach in the Department of Theatre Arts, will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 28-30, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct 1, in Theatre B of the UI Theatre Building.

"David's RedHaired Death," winner of the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, is filled with imagery of red hair, fire and fairy tales. Jean and Marilyn are redheads in a world of mousy blondes and easily manipulated men, and they find in each other the self-recognition that they have searched for all their lives.

Unfortunately, their unique relationship is brought to a standstill when they come face to face with death. The women struggle to hold on to each other, but also to let go, in a modern fairy tale where the steed is a 1970 Pontiac Tempest, the knight is a redhead, and a story about McDonald's will make you fall in love.

Douglas J Keating of the Philadelphia Enquirer called the play "thoughtful meditation on loss" and "inventively structured, colorfully written and frequently lyrical." And Pamela Sommers of the Washington Post wrote that Kramer has "a way with verbal imagery. Woven through the script are wonderful references to fairy tales -- Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel ... The playwright is also adept at monologues chock-full of telling details."

Directed by UI faculty member Meredith Alexander, this production of "David's RedHaired Death" is an honors project for Department of Theatre Arts majors Stacy Jones and Leslie Koppenhaver. The production also includes original music composed by UI graduate students in the Center for New Music -- George Marie, Christopher Gainey and Timothy A. Davis.

Kramer received UI Master of Fine Arts degrees from both the Writers' Workshop and the Playwrights Workshop.

Her work has been seen at theaters across America and abroad, including the Yale Repertory Theater, Soho Rep, the Ensemble Studio Theater, New York's Second Stage, the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, the Theater of the First Amendment, Seattle's Annex Theater, Frontera at Hyde Park, Mixed Blood and the Signature Theater.

She is a recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts and McKnight Fellowships; the Weissberger Playwriting Award; a New York Drama League Award; the Marvin Taylor Award; and the L A Women in Theater New Play Award in addition to the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, presented by the Women and Theatre Program of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

Her other plays include "The Ruling Passion," "Napoleon's China," "Partial Objects," "The World at Absolute Zero," About Spontaneous Combustion," Nano and Nicki in Boca Raton," "The Release of a Live Performance," "The Law Makes Evening Fall" and a music/theater adaptation of Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita."

Tickets for "David's RedHaired Death" are $6 ($4 for UI students) and will be available at the door one hour before curtain time. For more information please visit

Potential audience members should be aware that this production includes cigarette smoking and material of an adult nature. For additional information, contact the department at 319-335-2700.

The Writers' Workshop, the Center for New Music and the Department of Theatre Arts are units of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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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