Hancher Auditorium's 2009–10 performing arts menu is the first season organized in the absence of a headquarters facility—as a result, an "uncontained season" will be presented in 11 locations, including venues in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Chicago, and Riverside, as well as the University of Iowa campus and Iowa City.
"We have always thought of Hancher as much more than a building," says Charles Swanson, Hancher Auditorium executive director. "We have presented most of our events in Hancher Auditorium, of course, but we also sponsored events in other spaces and throughout the state."
The season opens with two Joffrey Ballet benefit events for Hancher and the UI School of Music, at the new Joffrey Towers in Chicago and in the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. Then Hancher migrates to Iowa City City High School, the Riverside Casino, the UI Pentacrest, the Iowa Memorial Union, the UI Theatre Building, the historic Englert Theatre, Iowa City West High School, the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, and St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Hancher's commitment to nurturing the arts through commissions and premieres continues in 2009–10, with Hancher-commissioned premieres by the Imani Winds and Stefon Harris, and UI alumnus Rinde Eckert's theatrical meditation on the loss of sight, in collaboration with the UI Hospitals and Clinics Center for Macular Degeneration.
When Hancher Auditorium was inundated by floodwaters in June 2008, the Hancher staff scrambled to salvage what they could from the 2008–09 season. Through the generous cooperation of schools, churches, and other organizations, they found new venues for many performances.
"Without question, Hancher Auditorium was a special place—a place of so many glowing memories for all of us," Swanson says. "But while we are without a facility of our own for several years, we will continue to do our best to fulfill our mission: to augment the educational programs of the University and to enrich the cultural life of the University and the state. We view it as both a challenge and an opportunity."
2009–10 Hancher Performing Arts Season
by Winston Barclay