Fantastical world teaches lessons about origins in 'Still Life'

Saturday 10.02

  • 2:30pm :: Still Life With Iris by Steven Dietz
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In the magical land of Nocturno, workers spend every night making all things seen during the day.

And memories don't exist in people's minds. Instead, they are kept in their coats, called "Past Coats."

This mysterious setting is the backdrop for "Still Life with Iris," Kansas University Theatre for Young People's first production of the 2004-2005 season. The show, written by Steven Dietz, plays to the public Saturday at Crafton-Preyer Theatre and continues with school-only performances through Oct. 6. The production is part of TYP's 50th anniversary celebration.

A young girl named Iris lives happily with her mother in Nocturno until its rulers, the Great Goods, decide Iris is so delightful that they want her for themselves.

"To ease the pain of separation, they take her Past Coat, leaving Iris with no memory of her home or family," explains TYP director Jeanne Klein, who's directing the production. "All that remains of Iris's past is a single button from her coat."

Using the button as a clue, Iris joins with friends and frees herself from the Great Goods. She returns to Nocturno, having found her past -- and her home.

"The message that I get from the script is not forgetting your past or where you come from," says KU senior Erika Crane, who portrays Iris in the show. "Definitely your past is where your central beliefs come from. We just have to remember to take a hold of them and not let them go because they are so important."

Costumes for "Still Life" have been designed by Overland Park native Brandt Huseby, a 1992 KU alumnus, who has been working in the television and film industry in Los Angeles since leaving KU.

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