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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 27, 2008

Alley Cabaret will present live late-night theater at the Englert

The University of Iowa Division of Performing Arts and the Englert Theatre will collaborate to present "The Alley Cabaret: Live late-night theatre at the Englert," a new blend of late-night entertainment for the downtown Iowa City scene that will run through the fall semester.

Bringing a contemporary twist to a raw and experimental art form that has been around for decades, the Alley Cabaret series will feature an eclectic mix of alternative theater, comedy, dance, music and interdisciplinary collaborations by innovative artists from on and off campus.

The Department of Dance, the Department of Theatre Arts and the School of Music comprise the UI Division of Performing Arts, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The performances will start at midnight, with $5 general admission tickets on sale at 11:30 p.m. and the doors opening at 11:40 p.m. Performances, mostly on Thursday and Friday evenings, will feature urban and contemporary dance from the Cabaret Dancers, comprised of students from the dance department, as well as music and theater presented by UI students and guests.

Each evening will be built around a specific piece, concept or performing group, with the Cabaret Dancers and recorded music presented by a DJ. The schedule for the fall semester will be:

--Friday, Sept. 5: "Rock Paper Scissors," an alternative vocal trio from Fairfield.
--Thursday and Friday, Sept. 18 and 19: "The Zoo Story" By Edward Albee.
--Thursday and Friday, Oct. 2 and 3: "The Deal" by Lewis Black.
--Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24 and 25: An evening with the Cabaret Dancers.
--Thursday and Friday, Nov. 13 and 14: "Line one," an interactive theater piece.
--Thursday and Friday, Nov. 20 and 21: cabaret variety show.

Further information on the individual events will be posted at the Englert Web page,

Artistic directors of Alley Cabaret are UI graduate students in theater Anthony Nelson and Brandon Bruce. The musical director of the series is Ben Bentler, an undergraduate piano major in the School of Music. The choreographers are Elizabeth Bergman, a graduate student in dance, and Annett Schaedlich-Hendrix, adjunct professor in dance teaching hip-hop and jazz. Ethan Henry, a graduate student in acting, will be the DJ.

Alan MacVey, director of the Division of Performing Arts, explained the origin of the Alley Cabaret: "The idea for this cabaret sprung from a conversation I had with Beth Bewley-Randall, the executive director of the Englert Theatre.

"We were looking around for a way to work together on something special. Beth had the space and the staff, the division had -- well we had the arts: theater, dance and music. I tried out the idea of the cabaret on some of our students and they were very excited to tap into a new audience at a new time in a new place. And Beth's staff was just as happy to clear their stage and bring in food and make something new happen downtown.

"Vice President Phil Jones and others at the university were enthusiastic about getting a late night nonalcoholic theater downtown. So the Alley Cabaret was born. I'm looking forward to it."

Alley Cabaret performances are recommended for mature audiences. Nonalcoholic beverages and snacks will be available.

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 CONTACTS: Judith Moessner, Division of Performing Arts, 319-335-3213,; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell),