Hancher to present ‘STOMP’ for Golden Anniversary season

On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Broadway production of ‘STOMP’ will be performing at Hancher on its North American tour for Hancher’s Golden 50th Anniversary season.


Created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas © Steve McNicholas

Stella Shipman, Arts Reporter

Brooms sweeping across a stage, steel barrels of all sizes being drummed in rhythmic harmony, boots meeting the ground with power and passion, and fierce choreography are in store for audiences attending Hancher in Iowa City this Saturday.

On Jan. 21, Hancher will be presenting ‘STOMP,’ a percussion-based production established on Broadway in 1994.

‘STOMP’ is a unique musical production that features the use of found objects as instruments. These objects include materials found around a cityscape setting, like trash can lids, shopping carts, matchboxes, Zippo lighters, brooms, and buckets.

Using a combination of sounds produced from these objects and the choreographed movements of their own bodies, the cast members of ‘STOMP’ create performances that electrify audiences without speaking a single word.

Hancher is one of the numerous locations in which the production of ‘STOMP’ will be performing for its North American tour, an endeavor commemorating the final bow of ‘STOMP’ on Broadway.

On Jan. 8, ‘STOMP’ performed on Broadway for its final time, bringing a 29-year run to a close. This makes ‘STOMP’s appearance at Hancher this weekend even more of a unique performance.

Rob Cline, Hancher director of marketing and communications, booked ‘STOMP’ for Hancher’s Golden 50th Anniversary season. The season’s lineup is dedicated to showcasing diversity and bringing back fan favorites.

The production of ‘STOMP’ fits with the lineup because it is both a “joyous, exciting piece of the cultural landscape” as well as a fan favorite, Cline said.

2023 is the sixth year that Hancher will host ‘STOMP’. It was previously presented in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 2000. Cline said every performance was enjoyed immensely by audiences of all ages. This is the first year in which ‘STOMP’ will be performing in Hancher’s new auditorium.

‘STOMP’ has become an integral part of the performing arts scene in New York City and has fostered a unique appreciation for the musicality of everyday objects abundant in cityscapes. Its impact on the cultural landscape of New York City has ensured its eternal relevance.

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“One of the things that makes something like ‘STOMP’ appealing to present is that you can think about the ways in which a show created quite a long time ago still feels relevant and fresh and exciting to each generation of viewers who experience it,” Cline said.

Jasmine Joyner, cast member of ‘STOMP’ since 2017, has performed on Broadway with the production and now continues to perform with them on tour. Joyner said she knew that she wanted to become a professional dancer after college, describing herself as “a mover, and through dance I understand music and understand rhythms.”

Joyner’s favorite found object to work with is shopping carts — a versatile tool of sound that can be used as percussion or contain other percussive materials, like boxes and big water bottles. She loves incorporating movement by performing incredible stunts with the shopping carts.

She hopes that ‘STOMP’ inspires audiences to realize that no matter who they are or where they come from, they are capable of anything.

“We want people to leave knowing that whatever you put your mind to you can do,” Joyner said. “Anyone can stomp, honestly. Anyone can move.”