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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 20, 2007

UI Theatre Arts Alumna Returns Feb. 28 For Bijou Screening Of Screen Debut

Tanna Frederick, a University of Iowa theatre arts and political science alumna from Mason City, will return to the UI for a free Bijou Theater screening of "Hollywood Dreams," her first movie starring role, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28. No tickets are required -- first come first seated.

Frederick will introduce the screening, which is part of the Bijou's grand re-opening following the renovation of the Iowa Memorial Union, and she will take questions afterwards.

"Hollywood Dreams" -- which was premiered at Los Angeles AFI Fest in November -- follows the journey of a young woman from a small Iowa town who arrives in Los Angeles obsessed with a life-long dream of achieving fame and stardom. After a series of difficult and sometimes comic struggles -- including a failed audition for the "part of a lifetime" in a local play -- she literally bumps into a self-styled "major producer/manager" who takes her under his wing.

As her fate seems to have suddenly changed and her goal appears finally within reach, her romantic involvement with an exciting, complex up-and-coming young actor challenges conventional ideas of success.

The film was written and directed by well-known independent filmmaker Henry Jaglom, who said he has been "astonished" by Frederick's talent.

"What acting is all about is listening and being present and that is what Tanna has moment by moment on film," Jaglom said. "She is moving and funny and her instincts are great. She doesn't lie to the camera, so she is a director's dream. . . . She's a gold mine."

And when Jaglom finds a female talent that impresses him, it means something. "There is a special magic in movies when a director finds the perfect actress to express his dramatic vision. Ingmar Bergman had Liv Ullmann. John Cassavetes had Gina Rowlands. Woody Allen had Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow," noted an article in the Connecticut Post. "The director sparks the performer and the performer inspires the director.

"No modern director has shown more interest in women on the screen than Henry Jaglom, whose films since the early 1970s have charted the war (and peace) of the sexes, the mystery of the feminine spirit and the myriad of ways that women differ from men. Jaglom has worked with a wide variety of actresses over the years, from Tuesday Weld to Martha Plimpton and from Andrea Marcovicci to Viveca Lindfors. The director has found a new muse in the form of actress Tanna Frederick."

A review of the film in the Hollywood Reporter observed, "In 'Hollywood Dreams,' screenwriter-director Henry Jaglom has great fun with all the clichés about making it in show business, clichés bequeathed to us by 'A Star Is Born,' 'All About Eve,' 'What Price Hollywood?' and the like: Girl fresh off the bus from Iowa -- check. Accidental meeting with talent manager/producer -- check. Romance with fast-rising young male actor that complicates everyone's life -- check. All that matters is stardom -- double check. Yes, few clichés are missing, but Jaglom loves to turn them on their heads and shake vigorously to see what falls out.

"You won't believe what does fall out. I mean that literally -- you won't believe it. But that doesn't mean these new twists and takes on Hollywood myths aren't guilty pleasures."

The review in the L.A. Weekly proclaimed, "'Hollywood Dreams' buzzes with the quirky rhythms of newcomer Tanna Frederick's go-for-broke zaniness."

Frederick has already completed her second starring role for Jaglom, "Irene in Time," which is scheduled for release this year.

In addition to her studies at the UI - where she was Homecoming Queen and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1999 -- Frederick performed in Iowa City's Genesis Dance Theatre, and she did advanced scene study with Iowa Summer Rep veteran director Mary Beth Easley in New York. Easley had directed Frederick in the 1997 UI production of "Why We Have a Body."

She performed her one-woman comedy, "Questioning Jabe" in the 1998 Iowa New Play Festival, performed a major role in a 1999 UI production of Genet's "The Maids" and was featured in "Jack and Jill" at Iowa City's Riverside Theatre.

The Department of Theatre Arts is a unit of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, of which the Political Science Department is also a part.

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; cell: 310-430-1013;