ITAC - Iowa's newest professional theatre, the Iowa Theatre Artists Company has announced their 2009 season. Like the Old Creamery Theatre, ITAC is located in Amana, which could very well make it the only city of its size in the country to have two professional theaters less than two miles from each other. ITAC moved into the former Barn Restaurant (next to the Amana Visitors Center and Festhalle) on October 21, 2008. The newly constructed 117-seat theatre, offering an intimate stage experience, is located on the second story of the building and has street level access from the west side double-door entryway.
The Lady with All the Answers
By David Rambo
April 16 - May 10
"Dear Ann Landers"…For decades, renowned advice columnist Ann Landers answered countless letters from lovelorn teens, confused couples and a multitude of others in need of advice. No topic was off-limits, including nude housekeeping, sex in a motorcycle helmet, the proper way to hang toilet paper, sibling rivalries, addiction, religion and wandering spouses. Late on a 1975 night in Landers' Chicago apartment, an ironic twist of events confronts her with a looming deadline for a column dealing with a new kind of heartbreak: her own. As she shares her struggles to complete the column with us, we learn as much about ourselves as we do about the wise, funny, no-nonsense woman whose daily dialogue with America helped shape the social and sexual landscapes of the last half-century. The L.A. Times called it "…folksy, funny, straightforward and validating…” Meg Merckens brings this …”wise, funny, no-nonsense woman” to life in this season opener. (Mature content)
Underneath the Lintel
By Glen Berger
A puzzling mystery begins when an assistant acquisitions librarian finds a late book in the overnight slot and becomes determined to track down the offender… especially since the book is 113 years overdue. A clue scribbled in the margin of the book and an unclaimed dry-cleaning ticket intensifies the librarian’s need to solve the mystery of who borrowed the book. As his endeavors continue, he finds himself on a journey that unlocks ancient mysteries and moves him to new revelations, taking him on an adventure that spans the globe and the ages. Patrick O’Brien, most recently seen in the 2008 ITAC production of “Dates With A Nut” performs the role of the librarian in this quirky, thought-provoking one-man show.
By Marshall Karp
May 28 - June 21, 2009
Jerry Sloan is a successful writer of advertising jingles married to Alice, an equally successful lawyer. Living with the happy couple is the not-so-happy Abe Dreyfus, Jerry's curmudgeon of a father-in-law. Abe's presence turns the young couple’s lives slightly upside down, but it is not until Jerry's mother Mildred is added to the household mix, that the recipe for disaster boils over. Strong-willed Mildred and the equally strong-willed Abe form a mutual animosity society that provides plenty of complications as well as lots of laughter. Meg Merckens and Patrick O’Brien team up in this wonderful comedy to play two cantankerous senior citizens forced to move into the home of her son and his daughter, with one hilarious confrontation after another.
Smoke on the Mountain
Written by Connie Ray
Conceived by Alan Bailey
Musical Arrangements by Mike Craver and Mark Hardwick
August 27 - 30, Sept 1 – 6:
This popular musical comedy from last season will return for a limited engagement with all members of the ITAC original cast returning to their roles! The year is 1938. It's Saturday night in Mount Pleasant, NC, and the Reverend Oglethorpe has invited the Sanders Family Singers to provide an upliftin' evening of singin' and witnessin'. But sit back and hold onto your pew when this musical family presents more than two dozen wonderful hymns and their own unique brand of "Sanders' style" storytellin' for an evening of fellowship in a category all its own! Don’t miss out on the fun. Smoke On The Mountain will perform in the new theatre for ten performances only before heading out on the road for a short swing around Iowa.
By Susan Cooper and Hume Cronyn
Sept 17 - 27, and Oct 8 - 18 (Oktoberfest in Amana is scheduled for Oct. 2,3 & 4)
A tribute to the preservation of Appalachian heritage, "Foxfire" is the story of Annie Nations, a woman fighting to save her mountain farm from a brash real estate developer who wants to turn her land into a vacation resort. Her son, a country singer, comes to see Annie with the news that his wife has run off and his two children need her. Annie's battle to decide her future takes her through some heartfelt, touchingly funny and magical flashbacks of her life on the farm with her husband Hector. This story is a staunch tribute to the tenacity of mountain dwellers, and a celebration of a woman's will to maintain her home and family. The cast includes Meg Merckens as Annie Nations and Rob Gardner as Annie’s husband, Hector.
From the Homefront
By Thomas P. Johnson
October 22-November 15
Blue Star Mother and Victory Garden are companion one-act plays that make up From The Homefront. Combined, they tell the story of two couples, living next door to each other in a small midwestern town, and the challenges they face on the home front during World War II. Blue Star Mother, the story of Maggie and Charlotte, reveals how a mother copes with not seeing or hearing from her sons, away at war, for nearly three years. Victory Garden is the story of their two husbands, Roy and Harv, and the dramatically different way in which they survive the same set of circumstances. This funny, poignant, and some times sad story shows the world of 1944 while saying a lot about America at war today.
All Wrapped Up for Christmas
November 19-December 13
ITAC’s first annual Christmas show is still in development. However, the cast of talented actors and musicians will present tales both traditional and new, accompanied by songs and live music. The whole evening will be “All Wrapped Up in the spirit of Christmas.” The show is bound to be an engaging combination of excellent comedy and fine music. What more can one ask for in a “feel good” show for that most “feel good” season of all.
In addition to the productions in the new 117-seat theatre, ITAC will be offering regular live music performances featuring both guest performers and a house band. For more information, visit their website.