The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Original play by UI students melds violence and dancing

Dancing and bullfighting may seem an odd combination and even a little dangerous, but both will occur this weekend inthe University of Iowa Theater Building.

Audiences will be able to witness the combination this weekend at the performance of Rink of Red, a drama written by UI student and playwright Eva Adderley. Playgoers can attend the début at 8 p.m. Friday in Theater B. Performances will also occur at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Oct.7.

“It really is just a commentary on violence through bullfighting,” Rink of Red director Mark Smolyar said. “We’re able to see that it’s not just black and white — there’s always more than one angle to see things. There’s beauty and art, and tradition, not just violence.”

Smolyar — a first-time director in a Gallery Series, a play written, produced, directed, acted, etc., by UI students — said he recognized the complex nature of the script and the difficulty it presented.

The challenge and what he described as the wonderfully written work drew him in.

“[The script] was just beautiful, intriguing,” he said. “[Adderley] had created — even on the page — this interesting atmosphere. Reading it, it seemed like such challenge. It was intimidating in a very good way.”

During the auditions, actor Alyssa Perry, who was eventually cast in the show, also recognized the artistry of the script.

“In the call back, I auditioned with the first scene of the play,” she said. “The relationship between the two characters was so dynamic — I loved the tension and energy of it all.”

To most, staging a bullfight in a small theater without any actual bulls would seem an incredibly difficult task. As soon as Smolyar’s submission for the Gallery Series was approved, he began planning how his ideas would come to life.

“The show soon consumed my life,” he said.

Actors in the production soon became consumed by the show as well. Rehearsals for a Gallery production typically run 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. six nights a week. The performers, however, say they were happy to devote their time.

“I’m a senior this year, and I haven’t auditioned for anything before, so it’s cool to be involved with something like this,” said Korey Brown, who will play one of the show’s four main characters this weekend.

In addition to not having a single main frontman, Red of Rink lacks a villain or even a hero.

“The play really doesn’t have a main protagonist,” Smolyar said.

Instead, he said, the show focuses on four people in the bullfighting town of Bezier and their personal stories.

“We’re seeing this through such an objective lens that there isn’t really a bad guy," he said.

The actors kept the script has under lock and key during the rehearsal process, so no one outside of the cast and crew knew how the show is going to work without a clear protagonist or antagonist.

“They kept it pretty top secret — the script — they didn’t want anyone to know,” Brown said. “It gives it an air of mystery — lots of twists and turns.”

But going to such great lengths to protect the integrity of the script is one of the ways the actors said they show their devotion the production.

“It’s been great to be able to dive this deep into a script,” Smolyar said. “[Adderley] put so much poetry into the words but kept it realistic.”

Where: Theater Building Theater B

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