University of Iowa: Partnerships

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Rinde Eckert, student cast members, Hancher Staff, and representatives from funding organizations meet to discuss thoughts and reactions to the project.

Rinde Eckert, student cast members, Hancher Staff, and representatives from funding organizations meet to discuss thoughts and reactions to the project.

Artistic Partners

Rinde Eckert (www.rindeeckert.com) was the lead artist for the project. He served as playwright and director for Eye Piece, in addition to composing some music and playing a role in the play. Rinde’s approach to making art and collecting personal stories made him the ideal artist for the project. He is also an Iowa City native and a graduate of The University of Iowa. He has performed at Hancher many times and previously spent a week in residency with UI Theatre Arts.

Over nearly two and a half years, Rinde visited Iowa City eight times to collect stories from CMD patients and families, physicians, researchers, and students, all of which served as the basis for the play. He dedicated a considerable portion of time to researching eye diseases and garnering a deep understanding of vision loss from medical, social, and philosophical perspectives.

  • 25 graduate & undergraduate students (www.uiowa.edu/~theatre) in the UI Theatre Department performed in Eye Piece and provided production support.
  • Bryon Winn, Director of Theatre, Lighting and Sound Design in UI Theatre Department
  • Kate Edmunds, scenic art/production designer
  • Bill Barclay, sound designer
  • Nicolas Coffman, student musician
  • Katie Klocke, student musician
  • Olivia Rose Muzzy, student musician
  • Joe Panganiban, student musician
  • Kevin Kelley, Center for Media Production, documentary video producer

Campus Partners

  • Alan MacVey, Chair of Theatre Department & Director of Performing Arts (www.uiowa.edu/~theatre). The production of Eye Piece was integrated into the Theatre Department, which included faculty, staff and students contributing to the piece in many ways including sound, set, and costume design; stage and production managers; dramaturgy; actors; and stagehands.
  • Dr. Ed Stone, Professor of Ophthalmology, Center for Macular Degeneration (CMD) (www.carverlab.org). Ed Stone allowed Rinde to observe patient visits, evening meetings with his residents, and grand rounds at the CMD. This was critical material for the play, and also important interaction for the medical students.
    Stephen Kuusisto, Professor of English. Kuusisto is a poet, writer, and disability advocate with a dual faculty appointment in the English Department and CMD. He has been blind from birth and provided invaluable insight into his world.
  • Margaret Lemay-Lewis, College of Medicine Writing Program Coordinator (www.medicine.uiowa.edu/Osac/writing). A key way to engage medical students was through class sessions with Rinde and students in the Writing Program.
  • Craig Kletzing, Professor of Physics
  • Mike Mackey, Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Shaun Vecera, Professor of Cognitive Psychology
  • Charlotte Adams, Professor of Dance
  • Stephen Swanson, Professor of Music
  • Hilary Mosher, COM Writing Program; Internal Medicine Resident
  • Joe Schmidt, Director of External Relations; Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • Dr. Mark Wilkinson, Director of Vision Rehabilitation; Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Community Partners

  • Regenia Bailey, evaluation consultant. Bailey met regularly with Hancher staff and Eckert, developed evaluation materials, and assessed the results of project evaluation.
  • Lori Short, Lions Club
  • Patients of the Center for Macular Degeneration

Summary | Partnerships | Lessons Learned | Sustainability | Resource Materials | Contact Information >> View All Creative Campus Projects

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