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University of Iowa News Release


June 18, 2008

Iowa Summer Rep will recognize community flood efforts with free preview

Iowa Summer Rep, relocated from the flooded University of Iowa Theatre Building to Iowa City West High School, will recognize the courageous efforts by Iowa communities in the face of the disaster with a free preview of the first production, David Lindsay-Abaire's adult comedy "Wonder of the World," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, in the West High Auditorium.

"A free performance of "Wonder of the World" is Iowa Summer Rep's gift to Iowa City, Coralville and the other flood-ravaged communities in Iowa," said Alan MacVey, chair of the UI Department of Theatre Arts and director of the Division of Performing Arts. "After weeks of watching, sandbagging, moving and worrying, the entire community is invited to attend a free preview performance of David Lindsay-Abaire's wonderful comedy. Let's all laugh together and celebrate Iowa's remarkable sense of community."

West High Auditorium seats 800, and the audience will be admitted on a first come-first served basis.

"Wonder of the World" is the story of Cass Harris, who has a list of 267 things she's determined to do in her lifetime (including learn Swedish, find her soul mate and compete on "The Newlywed Game") -- if only she wasn't stuck in a claustrophobic marriage.

When she discovers a twisted little secret in her husband's sweater drawer, she seizes the opportunity to throw herself back into life and, inspired by a Marilyn Monroe movie, heads to Niagara Falls.

On her hilarious adventure of self-discovery Cass is quickly checking items off her list as she crosses paths with a lovelorn alcoholic, a marriage therapist who moonlights as a clown, a salty sea captain, a pair of fumbling private detectives and a strange caper involving a gargantuan jar of peanut butter. What will happen as she's pushed perilously close to the water's edge?

Lindsay-Abaire won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for the summer's second production, "Rabbit Hole," which originally starred Cynthia Nixon, Tyne Daly and John Slattery. "Fuddy Meers," which starred Sarah Jessica Parker in its Tony-nominated New York production, will also be staged by Iowa Summer Rep. Lindsay-Abaire 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.

"Wonder of the World" includes material that is not appropriate for small children. Potential audience members who are concerned about whether the play is appropriate for them should contact the Department of Theatre Arts, 319-335-2700, for additional information.

Iowa Summer Rep is an U/RTA (University/Resident Theatre Association) company employing Equity actors and stage managers, as well as students who earn points toward their Actors Equity card.

Iowa Summer Rep 2008 is supported by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

The Department of Theatre Arts is part of the Division of Performing Arts in 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 CONTACTS: Eric Forsythe, Iowa Summer Rep,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell),