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UI Department of Theatre Arts announces 2019–2020 Mainstage Season

By June 19, 2019 No Comments

The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts is pleased to announce its 2019–2020 Mainstage season, including a co-production with the University of Iowa School of Music. Tickets will go on sale Monday, August 26 through the Hancher Box Office.


By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Sarah Lacy Hamilton

David Thayer Theatre

October 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19 at 8:00 p.m.

October 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat centers on a group of friends at their go-to bar in Reading, Pennsylvania. In the year 2000, layoffs and lockouts threaten their factory floor jobs, thrusting them into a bitter fight for survival. Produced across the country to critical and popular acclaim, Sweat considers the effects of America’s economic decline and deindustrialization alongside a heart-wrenching examination of friendship, race, class, and trust within this community of family and friends.

This production contains strong language, simulated drug and alcohol use, and depicted violence.

Sweat is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.


By Virginia Woolf

Adapted by Sarah Ruhl

Directed by Erica Vannon

E.C. Mabie Theatre

November 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at 8:00 p.m.

November 10 at 2:00 p.m.

Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando is a poetic dance of identity across centuries. Highlighting the fluidity of attraction and the mutability of gender, this dreamy adaptation from the original 1928 novel by Virginia Woolf is considered “the longest love letter in the history of English letters” from Woolf to her great love, Vita Sackville-West. One of the American theater’s most beloved playwrights couples her sweeping storytelling with the original, lyrical narration by one of England’s greatest authors to tell an epic story of love.


Hit the Wall

By Ike Holter

Directed by Bo Frazier

E.C. Mabie Theatre

January 31, February 1, 6, 7, 8 at 8:00 p.m.

February 2 at 2:00 p.m.

On a typical hot and humid New York City night in the summer of ‘69, a diverse group of queer outcasts gathers at The Stonewall Inn. However, on this night, when the police show up for a routine raid, all are thrust into the frontlines of history. A riot ensues that would launch the LGBTQ+ movement in America. With an original rock n’ roll score, emotional poetic language, and gritty choreography, Hit the Wall pays homage to these revolutionaries who came together 50 years ago to fight for their freedom.

This production contains extreme violence, nudity, intimacy, sexual content, adult language, and adult themes.

Three Sisters

By Anton Chekhov

A New Version by Sarah Ruhl

based on a literal translation by Elise Thoron

with Natalya Paramonova and Kristin Johnsen-Neshati

Directed by Lila Rachel Becker

David Thayer Theatre

March 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 at 8:00 p.m.

March 8 at 2:00 p.m.

“You say: life is beautiful. 

But what if it only seems that way.”

In a country house in Russia at the end of the 19th century, three sisters long to return to the Moscow of their youth. Meanwhile, their sister-in-law wages domestic war. Soldiers in a battalion stationed in town long for the sisters. And across Russia, a cataclysm is brewing. Sarah Ruhl brings fresh urgency to Chekhov’s tragicomic masterpiece in her lyrical translation.


Three Sisters (Ruhl) is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company.

The Light in the Piazza

Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel

Book by Craig Lucas

Adapted from the Novella by Elizabeth Spencer

Directed by Bill Theisen

Conducted by David E. Becker

A co-production with the UI School of Music

Coralville Center for the Performing Arts

April 15, 16, 17, 18 at 7:30 p.m.

April 19 at 2:00 p.m.

The Light in the Piazza takes place in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson, the wife of an American businessman, is touring the Tuscan countryside with her daughter, Clara. While sightseeing, Clara—a beautiful, surprisingly childish young woman—meets Fabrizio Naccarelli, a handsome Florentine. This brief episode sparks an immediate and intense romance between Clara and Fabrizio. Margaret, extremely protective of her daughter, attempts to keep Clara and Fabrizio apart. As The Light In the Piazza unfolds, a secret is reveled: in addition to the cultural differences between the young lovers, Clara is not quite all that she appears. Unable to suppress the truth about her daughter, Margaret is forced to reconsider not only Clara’s future, but her own hopes as well.

The Light in the Piazza is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals:



Tickets will go on sale Monday, August 26 through the Hancher Box Office.

This schedule is subject to change. The most up-to-date information is always available at

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Hancher Box Office in advance at 319.335.1158.


The Department of Theatre Arts is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The mission of the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts: Sustain a world class theatre arts program where we develop new work and new artists through a creative, collaborative process. With respect for the great global traditions, we push the boundaries of theatre, using sophisticated tools and technologies. Provide space for diversity and to foster social responsibility and change. Nurture student artists and their work, prepare graduates for professional opportunities, support faculty as professional artists and scholars, and engage, delight, and challenge audiences. For more information on upcoming productions, please visit us online at or You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram and find us on Facebook!

For more information contact:
Kristan Hellige, Marketing Specialist
The University of Iowa

Division of Performing Arts, Theatre & Dance
93 E. Burlington Street, 1400P VOX
Iowa City, Iowa 52242