The University of Iowa
Hancher’s work is in keeping with the priorities of the University of Iowa in the areas of teaching, research, and public engagement as well as in the realms of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We believe the arts nourish our heads and our hearts, build understanding and community, and connect the past to the future.
No other area arts organization approaches the scope and impact of our work—work made possible by ticket buyers, grant makers, and generous donors.
Attracting exceptional, in-demand artists to Iowa
American Ballet Theatre. The Philadelphia Orchestra. Batsheva Dance Company. Hancher attracts the world’s most sought after artists with professionalism, creativity, and a collaborative spirit.
Batsheva Dance Company was one of the most stimulating and inspiring performances of my lifetime. I was shaken to the core. Witnessing the combination of sound and unique movement was thrilling. Thank you for bringing them to Iowa.
Engaging local artists of all ages
From introducing the arts during Family Fun Nights to inviting UI students and community members to perform with world class artists, Hancher inspires the artist in all of us.
Singing with Kristin Chenoweth was quite unforgettable and rather humbling. Getting to see a person who was so much larger than life (despite her stature) at work—making mistakes, working at the toss of a hat, still loving what she was doing with her team—was so great to watch. It reassured me that my love for what I do is true and real. I am forever grateful for such an experience.
Shelby, UI student
Celebrating and enhancing the artistic legacy of the University of Iowa
Legendary jazz bassist Rufus Reid reenergized the campus about Elizabeth Catlett—an alum, activist, and artist of the first order—through music celebrating and conversation contextualizing Catlett’s extraordinary life and work.
It was wonderful to read more about Elizabeth Catlett in the playbill and how Rufus Reid was so moved by her work that he composed very complicated scores for five pieces of her sculpture. Appreciation for his and her work has grown in me immensely.
Expanding the definition of our community
We connected the Soweto Gospel Choir with the Oakdale Prison Community Choir. We brought the young and the young at heart together to experience the wonder of the Cashore Marionettes. And international stars Banda Magda reminded us of the power of shared experiences with neighbors and new friends.
Loved the incredible band and the amazing lynchpin of it all, Magda, and her sparkling leadership. First attendance at a performance in the Club Hancher setting, and it will not be the last. Great fun for the four of us who ended up at the same table, aged 67, 30, and two young male college students.
Keeping enthusiasm high and prices low
Our favorite price is free—and we offer free performances, lectures, residency events, and community gatherings. And when it can’t be free, our donors help us keep the cost down and enable us to offer deep, deep discounts to students and youth.
I can't begin to find the words. Doris Kearns Goodwin was stellar, a brilliant, humorous, mesmerizing weaver of tales of truth. Hearing her at Hancher was like sitting with her over coffee. I was touched, brought to tears, and laughed out loud. Bravo! Bravo!
Remembering a wonderful season connecting artists and audiences
We’ve barely scratched the surface of all that was accomplished last season. New commissions, vibrant residency work, the continuation of Embracing Complexity’s look at Islamic art and Muslim artists, and much more. We could go on and on—but another season is already underway! Thank you for being part of the Hancher community.
We were moved by Rahim AlHaj and his music and stories. This was the kind of unique and intimate experience that makes Hancher so special—and Rahim said that Hancher was the best theater that he had ever played in! Thank you. Great choice for this year's schedule!
Serving UI students in the audience, on the stage, and on the staff
Hancher is honored to serve UI students—those who come as audience members, those who perform on our stage, and those who make our work possible as ushers, stagehands, box office cashiers, and more. We truly believe Hancher is for Hawkeyes!
I love that Hancher brings in such large, diverse crowds. In the theater, no one is above the other—everyone is there to watch the same show. The box office is definitely a family—everyone is so kind and funny and we all genuinely care about one another. I've never been more supported in my life.
Harley, UI Student/Hancher Box Office Cashier
My favorite box office interaction was when one of our deaf customers came up for Les Misérables and didn't know I speak American Sign Language (ASL). I asked if she was deaf in ASL and her face lit up. She was so happy that someone spoke her language and I felt like I really made a difference in her time at Hancher.
Sarah, UI Student/Hancher Box Office Associate
Thanks to donors, we are able to offer deeply discounted ticket prices to UI students and youth. For the Philadelphia Orchestra, for example:
275 college students attended for $20
135 college students attended for $5 via our Hancher is for Hawkeyes program
28 youths attended for $20
Total: 438 youths and students, representing 27% of the audience
Number of K-12 students who attended donor-supported school matinee performances:
Cashore Marionettes: 497
They Called Her Vivaldi: 1764
The Young King: 569
Total: 2830 K-12 students

The Hancher staff, 2019


Your contributions ensure Hancher can continue to serve our campus, community, and state.

We’re grateful—and we can’t wait to see you during the 2019-2020 season! 


Photo credits: Miriam Alarcón Avila, Justin Torner, Lindsey Chapman, Zak Neumann, Tim Schoon, Annie Liebowitz, Diego Mercado, Ros Kavanagh