February 15, 2001
never seemed so sweet
performances shine in anything-goes theater
There are only three rules - each piece must be less than
five minutes; it must be original, and the performance must
not damage the theater or the audience.
What: No Shame Theatre.
When: 11 p.m. Fridays.
Where: Theatre B, Theatre Building on UI campus.
How much: $1.
Information: No Shame begins the second week
of the fall and spring semesters. Each semester's
final performance is a best-of lineup, as selected
by the No Shame board.
few rules help keep the shame out of No Shame theater, a
weekly, late-night, impromptu series at the University of
Iowa. Beginning at 10:30 p.m. each Friday, the first 15
plays submitted are accepted for performance that night.
At about the same time, a small crowd begins to gather in
the lobby of the Theatre Building, awaiting the start of
chaos 30 minutes later.
Okiishi, No Shame board member and a psychiatrist at University
Hospitals, said even though the event took place on campus,
everyone was invited to participate.
don't have to be a student," he said. "You don't even have
to be good."
Shame was started as a vehicle for playwrights to showcase
their work and for actors to practice their talents.
Rust performs with University of Iowa junior Aaron
Galbraith while Arlen Lawson watches from the audience
with script in hand.
$1 admission is used to pay for the use of the stage. Extra
money earned each season is used to honor two No Shame participants,
who also must be studying theater at UI, with a scholarship.
Campbell, board member and a junior in theater arts and
cinema, has been writing and performing at No Shame for
the past two years. He said the small audiences (a full
house is 144 people in Theatre B) provided feedback to the
actors and writers with their laughter or silence.
the ability to just take risks, whether you fail or succeed,"
Campbell said. "You can create this great stuff, and it's
Tuttle, junior in theater, discovered No Shame after transferring
to UI. He has been writing and performing monologues for
the past few weeks, and said it was an honor to share the
stage with such talented writers and actors.
been a lot of places, but the talent here is better than
anywhere I've seen," he said. "It's a creative venue like
City resident Chris Stangl performs in a sketch about
alcoholism during Friday’s No Shame Theatre at the
University of Iowa Theatre Building.
writer, every actor, has a chance to do something every
said the performances were entertaining, but some people
might be turned off by some of the outrageous things that
not necessarily for everyone's taste," he said. "Nudity
always is outrageous, and that sometimes happens."
member Aprille Clarke, UI graduate student, said people
often stereotyped No Shame as a forum for sexual jokes,
but much more was being showcased.
get your standard monologues and sketch comedy, but you
get a lot of innovative ideas people are trying out," she
said. "Everything is so cutting-edge. It kind of keeps you
young at heart."
Shame typically takes place in Theatre B, but other theaters
are used when Theatre B is occupied.
sophomore Erin King complains about the goblin that
lives in her belly to junior Aaron Galbraith during
a sketch at Friday’s No Shame Theatre.
was the case Feb. 9, when the crowd filed into the first
several rows of Mabie Theatre.
white lights were aimed at the wrinkled, red curtain, covering
the bottom two-thirds and spilling a large pool of light
onto the black, unswept stage floor. A small table and three
chairs were scattered around the stage, when someone began
rapidly flicking the lights down and back to full beam.
up-and-down motions of the lights continued as Campbell
and Clarke danced around the stage welcoming the audience
and shouting the rules for performance.
lights returned to full beam, and the night's lineup was
King, sophomore in French and pre-medicine, was one of the
performers on the list. It was the first time she had written
for the show, and her name was more than halfway down the
list. She said she was fidgeting in her chair, anticipating
her turn to perform the piece she had written after attending
an earlier night of No Shame.
City resident Chris Stangl performs one of his pieces
at Friday’s No Shame Theatre at the UI Theatre Building.
was really inspired to write something on my way back,"
King said. "I was in speech contests in high school, and
I really missed that."
her name was called, King jumped on the stage. She said
later that as the lights faded out she got that nervous
feeling in the pit of her stomach.
the lights went down, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath,"
she said. "It felt like 1,000 butterflies were in my stomach."
she started speaking, the butterflies left. Her first No
Shame performance was an accomplishment that will keep King
going back for more.
Hansen and UI graduate student Aprille Clarke perform
was the best feeling in the world to have accomplished something
I wanted to do so bad," she said. "To have earned their
appreciation felt really special for me."
said activities such as No Shame were what people needed
to wind down at the end of the school or work week.
something different to do in Iowa City, when everyone else
is talking about going to the bars," she said. "It's a great
way to end the week."
said there was a lot of truth in the tradition of No Shame,
making it a great form of entertainment for everyone.
always say it's cheap, raw and unpredictable, and that's
totally true," he said.
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