Iowa Alumni Magazine | August 2010 | Reviews

Friends of Hancher

Thanks to community support and partnerships, the UI's famed arts venue surpasses expectations.

With the temporary upheaval of Hancher Auditorium's flood-induced plight, how fitting that one of the stars of the upcoming season should be anything but conventional.

On November 5, Tomás Kubinek, who describes himself as a "Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible," will present the world premiere of a unique artistic collaboration with Hancher Auditorium and Cedar Rapids-based Orchestra Iowa.

The collaborative efforts that underpin the Kubinek production are typical of Hancher's entire season, which draws upon many university, community, and statewide partnerships. The performance of "Professor Kubinek Meets the Symphony" will take place in the auditorium of Iowa City's West High School, just one of the 18 different venues that Hancher staff have lined up to ensure that shows go on despite the current lack of a permanent building.

The irrepressible Kubinek, who first partnered with Hancher in 2006 on a statewide outreach program, has earned international acclaim for his madcap mix of theater, old-time music hall, and physical comedy.

"Tomás is a dear friend of Hancher, and we admire his comic brilliance and his ability to connect with people of all ages," says executive director Chuck Swanson*, 75BBA, 76MBA. "We're excited to be producing his latest piece of work, which Tomás will likely perform all over the world—and carry with it the name of the University of Iowa."

Swanson predicts that this year's entire lineup— featuring artists including Papa Grows Funk, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops—will earn Hancher even more admirers.

For full details of the "Can't Contain Us!" 2010- 11 season, visit