A frightening family vacation


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Families may encounter a number of setbacks while on vacation, from missed flights to bad motels.

Rarely, though, do vacationers face off with monsters, mysterious strangers, and acts of violence.

This worst-case scenario will be depicted in the University of Iowa Theater Department’s Gallery Production Water Bound. An original play by UI M.F.A. playwright Sam Lahne, Water Bound will open at 8 p.m. today in Theater B and run through Nov. 2.

Ariel Francoeur, a second year M.F.A. directing student, has directed shows in many parts of the country, including Maine, New York, Kentucky, and Iowa. She has worked with Lahne on Water Bound for about a year, a collaboration she said has been “fantastic.”

“He is always willing to make logistical changes needed for this production, and his willingness inspires me to do the best I can to make his vision a reality,” she said.

Francoeur said the cast members have worked well together, becoming a tightly knit family. She said they have faced challenges, such as scenes being completely transformed up to five times during rehearsals.

Sophomore actor Taylor Stuart said the script has been adapted and improved throughout rehearsals.

“It’s interesting how we as actors are given the license to play and shape the roles and that we can inspire Sam, our playwright, to make changes to the script,” Stuart said.

From loud bangs and eerie lighting to suspenseful scenes, Francoeur said, the cast and crew have worked together to make Water Bound suitable for the Halloween season.

“I am awed by how powerful collaboration can be,” she said. “…I hope the audience leaves with the awareness of the power of imagination, the power that theater still has to tell stories in a unique way.”

Despite some horror-movie elements, Stuart said, there is heart at the center of this dysfunctional family drama.

“Water Bound is frightening, it’s funny, it’s fantastical, and at times, forlorn, but when it really comes down to it, this is a play about family,” she said.


Gallery Production Water Bound
Where: UI Theater Building Theater B
When: 8 p.m. today through Saturday, 2 p.m. Nov. 2
Admission: Free to students, $5 general public

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