January 14, 2004
An Open Letter to Possible No Shame Leaders,
We at the University of Iowa have had the pleasure of hosting No Shame Theatre since it was born here in the back of a pick up truck. For almost two decades undergraduates, graduate students, and people from town have had the opportunity to write, perform, experiment, get instant feedback and create a community that borders on both brilliance and foolery. Its presence in our theatre – long ago we brought it in from the cold – is one of our department’s greatest strengths.
No Shame brings people to the theatre who have never even thought about attending a play. They line up every Friday night and fill our lobby with energy and high expectations. Some of them just watch, but a lot of them surprise themselves and end up performing. What theatre department could ask for more? In fact we get more – some of these audience members discover they like live performance and return to see the plays we produce and take our classes.
No Shame Theatre gives everyone an equal chance to succeed or fall on his or her respective face. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve studied drama, know how to act, have written novels or never put pen to paper. You too can be a star (or a fool) for five minutes. Sometimes the most experienced people discover they have a lot to learn, and novices come away feeling like stars. No Shame tells the truth every time.
No Shame charges audience members $2.00 apiece. We charge No Shame $100 a week. Everyone comes out ahead. We ask nothing of No Shame except that they respect they theatre and leave it in as good condition as they found it. We put no limits on what they can present, but ask that they post a sign at the door saying material could be offensive to certain people. Other than that they are on their own.
We enjoy the vitality, creativity and spirit of No Shame Theatre. I recommend it to any institution looking to attract a new crowd and discover unexpected talent.
Chair, Theatre Arts
University of Iowa