The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will present the 2011 Iowa New Play Festival, the most ambitious new-play festival in collegiate theatre, with readings and staged productions Sunday–Saturday, May 1–7, in the UI Theatre Building.
The full productions of new scripts from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop will be presented at 5:30 and 9 p.m., May 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7. Tickets for evening productions—$5 for the general public and free for UI students with a valid UI ID—will be on sale one hour before each performance. Tickets also will be on sale from noon to 1:30 p.m., Friday, April 29, and Monday–Friday, May 2–6, at the Theatre Building box office.
- Sunday, May 1: Rogue’s Dance by Janet Schlapkohl, in David Thayer Theatre. What does it mean to be a deserter? Or to be deserted? Rogue’s Dance follows the journeys of the women left behind during the Irish Potato Famine and Mexican-American War, and the men who stole their hearts. This production uses text, live music, and dance to tell the stories of Maggie, Bridget, Patrick, James, Rosa, and Mamma, whose worlds collide and connect through events beyond their control and understanding.
- Monday, May 2: And Humbaba Came from His Strong House of Cedar by Jen Silverman, in Theatre B. The great mythic hero Gilgamesh and his trusty sidekick Enkidu set out for the cedar forest to destroy the monster Humbaba. As the three catapult through time, history repeats itself, and the three warriors are forced to wrestle with their dark desires for violence, power, and destruction.
- Wednesday, May 4: People of the Ditch by Kevin Artigue, in David Thayer Theatre. In a remote military prison in Afghanistan during the early years of the War on Terror, Pvt. Gabby Lopez faces treatment of prisoners that becomes increasingly violent, absurd, and terrifying. After becoming convinced a detainee under her watch is innocent, she is forced to transgress cultural boundaries, disobey orders, and confront her own complicity.
- Friday, May 6: Proficient by Jessica Foster, in Theatre B. In a world of No Child Left Behind and escalating government cuts to education, Proficient asks: Is what we are doing really serving our children?
- Saturday, May 7: Landless by Andrew P. Saito, in David Thayer Theatre. In southeastern Missouri, a road stretches between two centuries and two worlds. In 1838, a Cherokee family presses forward toward Indian Territory after being forced off their land in Georgia. A hundred years later, sharecroppers take all their possessions to the highway, protesting forced eviction from the cotton farms where they work. Slipping between these two worlds is Six, a young woman weighed down by grief. Her journey between the 19th and 20th centuries teaches her to move forward from her past and embrace life in the present.
A free event—Undergraduate Evening—will be held at 5:30 and 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 3, in the Cosmo Catalano Acting Studio (room 172 of Theatre Building). Free tickets are required to ensure seating.
All daytime readings and workshop productions are free, and the public is invited to attend in the Catalano Acting Studio.
- Monday, May 2, 3 p.m.: Jenga by Deborah Yarchun.
- Tuesday, May 3, 2:30 p.m.: Orange Julius by Basil Kreimendahl.
- Wednesday, May 4, 2:30 p.m.: Black intellectuals chew the flan waiting for death and/or tenure by Iris Goodwin.
- Thursday, May 5, 3 p.m.: christopher marlowe’s chloroform dreams by Kat Sherman.
- Friday, May 6, 2:30 p.m.: The Lord of the Underworld’s Home for Unwed Mothers by Louisa Hill.
Several events in the New Play Festival may include material of an adult nature. Potential audience members who wish to decide if it is appropriate for them should contact the department at 319-335-2700 for additional information.