Jan. 22, 2009
University Theatres celebrates return to Theatre Building with 'As You Like It'
The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will celebrate its return to the Theatre Building with a University Theatres Mainstage production of Shakespeare's sunny romantic comedy "As You Like It," opening at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in the David Thayer Theatre. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. Feb. 6-7 and 11-15, and at 2 p.m. Feb. 8 and 15.
The play includes some of Shakespeare's most famous lines -- including "All the world's a stage," "too much of a good thing," "for ever and a day" and "sweet are the uses of adversity" -- and comic devices that are familiar to Shakespeare's audiences: gender-bending disguises, mistaken identities, games of make-believe and the contrast between the simplicity and hardships of the natural world and the intrigue, deceit and artifice of human society.
Director Carol MacVey, a faculty member in the Department of Theatre Arts, has refracted the play for this production through the prism of fairy tale, making the Forest of Arden resemble the enchanted forests of familiar tales, where anything is possible.
"Once I started to look at the play through the lens of the fairy tale, it really opened my eyes to all of these possibilities in the script," she says. "Both in Shakespeare and in fairy tales, human nature always finds a way; you can't stop people from falling in love."
But that does not imply that her take is naïve or childlike: "In Shakespeare, you cannot pretend that love isn't painful," she observes. "When you are out of the presence of the one you love, you sigh, and you cry. In Shakespeare's comedies, once you fall in love the chances are you're going to make a fool of yourself. These characters are all ready to die for these delusions."
Other artistic contributors to the "As You Like It" production include Adam Boyer, lighting designer; Rebecca Bodurtha, costume designer; R. Eric Stone, scenic designer; Lynn Bowman, choreographer; Andrew Stewart, sound designer; Paul Morel, music director; and Christina Scarfuto and Kate Stopa, dramaturgs.
The Department of Theatre Arts was flushed from the Theatre Building by the June floods. It has now become the first of the exiled UI arts departments to re-inhabit its primary facility, although some parts of the building are still not in use. In addition to spaces in the Theatre Building, classrooms, rehearsal rooms and offices are located in temporary structures and the Studio Arts building is still used for storage and the costume shop.
Tickets for "As You Like It" are $17 ($12 for senior citizens and $8 for UI students and youth). Tickets can be ordered online at http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu/tickets.html. Any remaining tickets for each performance will be available one hour before show time at the Theatre Building box office.
The Hancher box office is open for phone or walk-up business in Suite 107 in the South Building of the Lindquist Center, at the corner of Madison and Burlington Streets, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Parking is available in the metered lot by the UI Main Library on Madison Street, or in the Old Capitol Town Center parking ramp at the corner of Clinton and Burlington streets.
From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html 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