Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


March 23, 2011

Hancher presents Universes performing 'Ameriville' at UI's Mabie Theatre April 1

universesHancher will present Universes Theatre Company and the ensemble's original work "Ameriville" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 1, at Mabie Theatre on the University of Iowa campus. Universes is made up of four multitalented performers and writers who fuse contemporary themes with poetry and historical theater.

"Ameriville" is a powerful play about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, which is both a microcosm of and metaphor for the entire United States. The group lived in New Orleans while developing "Ameriville," aiming to make the work historically and culturally accurate. Especially poignant after the Iowa flood of 2008, the play is a commentary on social, economic, political and racial tensions brought to light by a disastrous flood. It paints a bleak, yet hopeful picture of a nation struggling to find a way out of destruction.

Dedicated to "changing the face of American theater," Universes uses poetry, song, spoken word and movement mixed with jazz, blues and hip-hop to convey challenging messages in their works. Filled with street-smart humor, Universes' works often recount real encounters of urban city life, addressing underlying political issues through first-hand stories. The group has toured extensively in the United States and abroad, taking part in a select tour to Europe in 2008 as part of the U.S. Department of State's "Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad" program.

Universes members Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz, Gamal Chasten and William Ruiz (A.K.A. "Ninja") will participate in a variety of residency activities in several UI colleges and departments, including the Department of Theatre Arts, College of Engineering and School of Social Work.

The performance is supported by the Hancher partners and gifts to Hancher Circle through the UI Foundation.

Tickets are $35; college students $10; senior citizens $31.50; and youth $17.50 from the Hancher Box Office.

The Hancher Box Office, located on the first floor of the south end of the Old Capitol Town Center near the parking ramp, is open for phone (319-335-1160 or 800-HANCHER) or walk-up business from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Tickets may be ordered online at Any remaining tickets will be available for sale one hour before show time at Mabie Theatre.

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 News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rob Cline, Hancher, 319-335-3827,; Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-384-0037,; Writer: Erin Donohue