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Collaboration of theatre and politics at UNI

November 2, 2011

Karen Mitchell, professor, communication studies, 319-273-2640,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host a week-long residency beginning Nov. 7 for two theatre companies, New York City's The TEAM (Theatre of the Emerging American Moment) and Portland Oregon's Sojourn Theatre, who are examining the caucus process in Iowa.  They will collaborate to create "Town Hall," a performance that combines fictional narratives drawn from research demonstrating the world of public discourse, public policy, local governance and civic dialogue.

 The TEAM's Rachel Chavkin and Sojourn Theatre's Michael Rohd are co-leading the project. Working with a team of UNI students, company members will develop the script for "Town Hall" from interviews with students and community members. During the week of Nov. 7, the company will conduct performance workshops, open to campus and the Cedar Valley community. Company members will return to Iowa Jan. 3 for the Iowa Caucus to share their research in a performance open to the public.

The purpose of the project is to discover how civic discourse has changed since the start of the republic, and its impacted by the development of print, broadcast and Internet media. Interviews in Iowa will focus on the caucus process and its effect on civic engagement.

For additional information, contact Karen Mitchell, professor in communication studies, at 319-273-2640 or