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      ''Orpheus Descending' comes to ISU Theatre

      Press Release from ISU Theatre

      ISU Theatre stages a modern retelling of the ancient Greek Orpheus legend when it begins its 2010-11 season with the Tennessee Williams' drama Orpheus Descending beginning Oct. 1 at Iowa State University's Fisher Theatre.

      In the Greek myth, Orpheus could charm anyone with the power of his music. Tennessee Williams creates an Orpheus in Val Xavier, a wild-spirited young man with a guitar. Val wanders into a small, Southern town in the late 1940s where he discovers Lady Torrence, who longs to escape her dreary life.

      Director Brad Dell, assistant professor of music and theatre, said Williams features the same beauty and poetry in his language in Orpheus Descending as he did in some of his best-known plays, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire.

      "What makes Orpheus Descending different is that his other plays were about families, whereas this one is about an entire town," Dell explained. "There are still themes of isolation, loneliness and rejection that are found in other Tennessee Williams works, but it's taking place in a whole town."

      Dell also likes Orpheus Descending for its roles for women. "We have 10 female roles, and we see this town from the perspective of women," he said.

      Orpheus Descending stars Iowa State students Heather Smith as Lady Torrence and Scott Kettner as Val Xavier. Also with lead roles are Kelsey Kovacevich as Carol Cutrere, Tamara White as Vee Talbott and Margaux Mireault as Dolly Hamma. Clark Ford, associate professor of food science and human nutrition, plays Lady Torrence's husband, Jabe.

      Performances of Orpheus Descending are Oct. 1, 2, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. and Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. in Fisher Theater. Single tickets: Adults $15, Seniors $13, Students $8. Tickets are available through TicketMaster, the Iowa State Center Ticket Office in Ames or at the door before the performance. The production contains offensive language.

      HOME TOWN INFORMATION

      Heather Smith (Lady Torrence) is a junior in performing arts from AnkenyMargaux Mireault (Dolly Hamma) is a senior in performing arts from CliveMadison Welterlen (Beaulah Binnings) is a junior in performing arts from BooneKelsey Kovacevich (Carol Cutrere) is a sophomore in performing arts from Edgewood, WashingtonTamara White (Vee Talbott) is a senior in performing arts from Storm LakeConnor O TMBrien-Stoffa (Eva Temple) is a freshman in performing arts from OttumwaSamantha Rieff (Sister Temple) is a junior in performing arts from Plano, TexasKelsie Hardison (Woman) is a sophomore in pre-liberal studies from OnawaKathleen Hoil (Nurse Porter) is a sophomore in performing arts from DavenportScott Kettner (Val Xavier) is a junior in performing arts from Hubertus, WisconsinSarvesh Anavkar (Uncle Pleasant) is a senior in industrial engineering from MarionCharlie Ziemann (Pee Wee Binnings) is a senior in performing arts from Iowa FallsDan Fynaardt (Dog Hamma) is a senior in performing arts from PellaMatt Meldrem (David Cutrere) is a junior in performing arts from GrinnellMark Klooster (Sheriff Talbott) is a sophomore in performing arts from Mason CityClark Ford (Jabe Torrence) is an associate professor in Food Science and Human Nutrition from AmesTaylor Clemens (Mr. Dabinsky/First Man) is a sophomore in performing arts from ElkaderNick Neal (Second Man) is a freshman in performing arts from Urbandale

      Publicity photos available upon request.

      For more information, visit the ISU Theatre website: www.theatre.iastate.edu.

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