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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 18, 2007

University Theatres presents 'Thanks for the Memories' Nov. 1-4

The University Theatres Gallery Series will present the world premiere of "Thanks for the Memories," a science-fiction drama written by undergraduate playwright Eli Wilkinson and directed by graduate student Greg Machlin, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 1-3, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

Machlin describes the show as "'Children of Men' meets 'Memento.'" The year is 2016, and after a major terrorist attack a group of people find that their memories of the last six days have been erased. As they attempt to learn what has happened, a dark secret emerges.

"Thanks for the Memories" originated as a radio serial on UI student station KRUI (89.7 FM) last year. Machlin, who performed in the serial, found it to be "complex, emotionally mature, and suspenseful."

"You don't see very much sci-fi theatre, but when you do, it's usually quite good," Machlin said. "Some people think sci-fi has to have robots or aliens in it, but this is just a rigorously realistic work that happens to be mostly set nine years in the future."

The production makes extensive use of video. Because one of the characters is a filmmaker, the other characters in the play learn about their missing history through what he has recorded. And since the attacks have taken place on a worldwide scale, the video is also used to widen the scope and expand the world of the play.

The artistic team includes set designer Ellen Harris, sound designer Janet Bentley, costumes by Alyssa Russell, and photography director/video editor Corey Kline. Wilkinson, who designed lights for "The Dance" in last year's Iowa New Play festival, is filling that role for his own play.

The Gallery Series presents primarily plays written and directed by students in the UI Department of Theatre Arts. The Department of Theatre Arts is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Tickets are $6 for non-students and $4 for UI students, seniors and youth, at the door.

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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 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),