Kinnick, The Play at Hancher

April 22, 2006

The University of Iowa Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Iowa City’s resident professional theatre company, Riverside Theatre, are partnering to create a new theatrical production to be performed at Hancher Auditorium. Kinnick, a play that will add another layer of excitement to the start of the 2006 college season for the nationally ranked Iowa Hawkeyes and the celebration of the completion of the two-year, multi-million dollar renovation of the stadium named in honor of arguably the UI’s most famous student-athlete.

Kinnick will run Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 2 at 5 p.m., and Sept. 3 at 2 p.m. The Saturday performance will feature an optional pre-performance tailgate at Hancher , which will begin after the football game. Tickets will go on sale May 1 and will be available for purchase at the Hancher Auditorium box office, (319) 335-1160 or 1-800-HANCHER. Tickets will also be available on-line at www. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children/students.

Nile Kinnick was the University of Iowa’s most decorated student-athlete and the only Hawkeye to win college football’s most prestigious award, the Heisman Trophy. He was also considered to be an accomplished student and charismatic leader who gained national attention – first as the “Cornbelt Comet” and then as an almost symbolic “All American Boy.”

On Sept. 1, 2 and 3, Riverside Theatre and the UI will present the new, multi-media, play – Kinnick— that documents his achievements and illuminates the turbulent historical period, 1939-1943, during which he both thrived and died.

Iowa native and UI graduate Jackson Doran has been cast in the title role. Doran has been a long time favorite with Riverside audiences, having appeared in numerous productions with the company over a 10-year period. He now resides in Chicago.

The production of Kinnick imagines a live, old-time radio broadcast honoring him just after his death. It juxtaposes scenes recreated from Kinnick’s own diaries and letters with extravagant commentaries from sportscasters and gossip columnists of the time interspersed with singing jingles and advertisements as well as images and popular music from the period.

The original script is by Riverside Theatre co-founder, Bruce Wheaton.

Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read the story about Kinnick written by Deanna Truman-Cook that appeared in the April 22 edition of the Iowa City Press-Citizen.