The University of Iowa
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Andre Perry
Pollstar - Tuesday, June 4, 2024
The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) unfurled the indie flag in the Big Easy this week during NIVA ’24, the third annual gathering of the independent live concert, comedy, promoter and festival industry held Monday through Wednesday in New Orleans.
Come From Away
KCRG - Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Iowa Radio Reading Information Service, or IRIS, is a free radio reading service that reads local print newspapers aloud to thousands of print-disabled listeners in the state. It’s run largely by volunteers, and also offers a unique service that aims to provide equal access to the arts. On Thursday, IRIS Executive Director Maryfrances Evans provided live Audio Description to several blind audience members at Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City.
Paul Amrani Headshot
The Gazette - Thursday, April 25, 2024
The razzle-dazzle of Riverdance on Iowa City’s former Hancher stage tapped into Paul Amrani’s heart and soul at age 3. Now he’s 24, and returning home to share the razzle-dazzle of “Chicago” on the new Hancher stage, during four performances May 3-5. He definitely remembers seeing Riverdance at that young age, although he’s not sure if his memories of the dance numbers are from seeing it live or from watching the VHS tape his folks bought that night.
Paul Amrani Headshot
University of Iowa Department of Dance - Thursday, April 25, 2024
As a kid growing up in artsy Iowa City with musician parents, Paul Amrani was steeped in the music and performing arts scene in Iowa City from a very young age. In fact, it was a performance of Riverdance at (pre-flood) Hancher Auditorium that convinced 3-year-old Paul that he wanted to be a professional dancer. His parents worried that he might fidget or get bored, that he might not make it through the whole show. “But I was on the edge of my little seat the entire show,” Paul remembers. “On the way home I asked my parents to help me become a dancer.” His parents agreed, signing him up for dance classes in the UI Youth Ballet Program, and later through Nolte Academy. He went on to study at summer intensives with the Kansas City Ballet and Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL, and spent two years in the professional program at the Houston Ballet Academy.
The Daily Iowan - Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Nearly two years after debuting at the Cincinnati Opera, “Fierce” is coming to Iowa City’s Hancher Auditorium. The 21st-century opera follows the trials and triumphs of four teenage girls as they discover their identities and purposes in the world. “Fierce” is running from April 26-27 at Hancher Auditorium. Commissioned composer William Menefield and librettist Sheila Williams originated the opera at the Cincinnati Opera in 2022. The piece was created to mimic young women’s experiences coming of age in contemporary society.
Brie Bevans headshot
University of Iowa School of Music - Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Brie Bevans will take to the Hancher stage as Morgan, one of the four principal characters (also referred to as “muses”) in Fierce. Her character takes her name from the Celtic goddess known for her ability to shape-shift―a powerful young woman who should not be trifled with. Bevans is a fifth-year undergraduate in the UI School of Music studying vocal performance and music education. She has been involved in many shows including H.M.S. Pinafore (the UI’s spring opera production in 2022), Beauty and the Beast, and Freaky Friday. Brie also sings in the UI’s Black Pop Music Ensemble and performs lead vocals for her band, Joint Custody, which performs locally at venues in Iowa City.
University of Iowa Theatre Arts - Monday, April 22, 2024
If you’ve ever attended a theatre production, have you wondered who keeps track of the props or who communicates with the costume department? Who makes sure the performers are in the right place at the right time, and the technical aspects of the production are running smoothly? This is the job of a stage manager; they have the challenging job of keeping track of everything and everyone backstage.
University of Iowa Department of Dance - Monday, April 22, 2024
Cami Rezabek is a fourth-year BFA student in the Department of Dance with minors in English and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, the undergrad research assistant for the UIDC, and the student-choreographer for Fierce, a new 21st-century opera that follows four teenage girls through a journey of discovery as they write their college admissions essays. Fierce makes its Iowa debut on the Hancher stage April 26-27, 2024. Rezabek is originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her mother, Carol, is a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, and an alum of the University of Iowa with BFA degrees in Dance and Theatre Arts—so naturally, Cami began dance lessons by the time she was 3 years old. And the UI was a natural fit, too, when it came time for college.
Madelin Yankell Headshot
Vesta―named after the Roman goddess of the Earth―is one of the four principal characters in Fierce, a new opera that follows four young girls (also referred to as “muses”) as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives. The opera—making its Iowa premiere—reflects the collaborative spirit of Performing Arts At Iowa and will be co-produced by the School of Music, the Performing Arts Production Unit, and Hancher Auditorium. Vesta, played by Madeline Yankell, is the youngest of the muses. She is naive, bubbly, and sometimes she takes refuge from life in a fantasy world full of otters. Yankell is a graduate student in music education who recently defended her MA thesis on movement and choral singing. She has previously performed in La Traviata and Dialogues des Carmelites.
Performing Arts at Iowa - Thursday, April 18, 2024
The Iowa premiere of Fierce marks a major moment in Hancher’s current season. Students from the School of Music, the Department of Dance and Department of Theatre Arts are coming together to produce this empowering new opera that celebrates young women. Fierce is a 21st-century opera that follows four teenage girls—Vesta, Nyomi, Morgan, and Rumer—on their journey toward identity and purpose as they write their college essays in a high school writers’ workshop. The young women face an array of concerns including popularity, social media, parental expectations, self-determination, and personal loss. But these girls are fierce! They are determined, tenacious, and strong. Together they find community, self-empowerment, and the confidence to embrace the next chapter of their life. “I love the story,” says Meenakshi Chinmai, a second-year Theatre Arts MFA candidate in stage management and international student from India who is the assistant stage manager for Fierce. “It’s great to work so closely with four young women who are close to my age, on a story that is so relatable and fun.”