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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 21, 2008

Theatre Arts presents MFA Directors One-Act Play Festival Dec. 5-7

The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will present the MFA Directors One-Act Play Festival at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5 and 6, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, in Riverside Theatre, 213 N. Gilbert St. in Iowa City. Admission will be $5 at the door.

John Kaufmann will direct "A Man's a Man" by Bertolt Brecht and Anthony Nelson will direct Clifford Odets' "Waiting for Lefty."

"A Man's a Man" tells the absurd story of Galy Gay, who goes off in the morning to buy a fish and finds himself drafted into the army by sundown. One of the playwright's earliest works, the play was written between the First and Second World Wars. The hilarious but haunting play was heavily influenced by music hall performances, vaudeville and the physical comedy of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.

Kaufmann, a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, has directed and performed in productions in Seattle, Maine and Iowa, and he was featured in the Timothy Hines film of "The War of the Worlds."

"Waiting for Lefty" was very popular for the four years that the Depression-era Federal Theatre Project existed, being produced all over the country in venues of all kinds. The frankly political play deals with the American working class and how big business has attempted to stifle their independence and freedom.

Nelson recently directed by Iowa Summer Rep 2008 staged reading of David Lindsay-Abaire's "Kimberly Akimbo," and he is the co-artistic director of the UI Division of Performing Arts' Alley Cabaret in the Englert Theatre. This is his second One-Act Play Festival production.

The Department of Theatre Arts is a unit 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 and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then 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 (office), 310-430-1013 (cell),