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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 15, 2008

Iowa Summer Rep selects playwright, holds auditions for 2008 festival

Iowa Summer Rep, the professional company of the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts, has selected Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (photo,left), as its 2008 playwright, and will hold public auditions for its 2008 company on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 23 and 24.

Summer Rep Artistic Director Eric Forsythe, a UI theater faculty member, comments, "Mention David Lindsay-Abaire's name to theatre people and they get really excited: What crazy-fun plays with unique, quirky characters and situations, and unexpected shifts of plot. These are love stories for today, from Niagara Falls to down the Rabbit Hole of memory and longing. How far will people go for the loves of their lives? In David Lindsay-Abaire's world, everyone seems ready to go over the falls in a barrel. Now that's love!"

General auditions will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, in Room 172 of the UI Theatre Building, with callbacks 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24. Callbacks will be posted Saturday evening on the Theatre Building callboard.

Auditioners should prepare either one two-minute contemporary monologue or one four-minute contemporary scene with a partner. They may also be asked to perform cold readings from the festival shows.

Auditioners should also bring a resume and headshot/photo to the auditions. Perusal copies of the scripts may be borrowed from the main office of the Theatre Building.

Sign-up sheets for the audition are posted on the callboards in the north hallway of the Theatre Building. Out-of-town auditioners should contact David McGraw at 319-335-3906 or to sign up for an audition slot.

Actors of all ages and levels of experience are encouraged to audition. No connection with the UI or the Department of Theatre Arts is required, and color-blind casting is followed.

Iowa Summer Rep is an Actors Equity company, but membership in the union is not required for participation in the company. Because it is an U/RTA company, actors in the company can earn points toward their Actors Equity card.

Lindsay-Abaire won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for "Rabbit Hole," which starred Cynthia Nixon, Tyne Daly and John Slattery; and his "Fuddy Meers," which starred Sarah Jessica Parker in its Tony Award-nominated New York production, has been widely staged. He has said, ""My plays tend to be peopled with outsiders in search of clarity."

He cites an unlikely combination of influences that ranges from Edward Albee to the Marx Brothers and Abbott and Costello, and critic John Simon invented the term "Abairant" to describe a style that walks a fine line between dark drama and loony comedy.

Lindsay-Abaire has writing credits on the screenplays for "Robots" and "Inkheart," and the scripts for the stage musicals of "High Fidelity" and "Shrek."

The Department of Theatre Arts is part of the UI Division of Performing Arts in the 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 CONTACTS: SRO Artists, 608-664-8160,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),