from Callboard [News from Iowa's University Theatres] - Fall 1990

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No Shame in New York

Playwright Shem Bitterman (MFA'85) was one of several Iowa alumni who appeared in the New York City version of lowa's No Shame Theatre last fall. The free-wheeling improvisation of No Shame was imported to New York s HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art by Todd Ristau, a graduate student in the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Other Iowa alums performing in the New York productions included Scott B. Smith (BA '89), Sandy Dietrich (BA'80, MFA .85), Brian Poteat (MFA '85), Sue Bennett (BA '86, MFA '89), and Deb Bremer (MFA '85). The New York No Shame worked much like the Iowa version, except that performances were limited and admission was $8. Todd Ristau was serving an internship at HOME and enjoved the success of No Shame before returning to the Playwrights Workshop last spring.

For those unfamiliar with No Shame Theatre, it is an open venue for performers and writers that has its origins in the back of Todd's old pick- up truck, as it was parked in the Theatre Building parking lot a few years ago. With only a motorcycle headlight for illumination, this first No Shame allowed for a free expression of theatre byanyonewith the courage to stand up on the back of the truck bed. Today it has moved indoors and it serves as a non-judgemental arena where anyone with an idea for a theatrical piece can come and try it out on an appreciative, and usually supportive, audience. The house is almost always full.

No Shame Theatre was recently featured on Iowa Public Television's Take One. The half-hour program included interviews with Todd and other No Shame Theatre regulars, as well as footage of a performance last spring.

No Shame in Iowa takes place on Friday nights at 11:00 pm and costs $1.00; it usually starts up again each semester after the second or third week of school. Call the Theatre Building office, 335-2700, for more information about No Shame's start date.

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