Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ITAC announces 2011 Season

Amana - The Iowa Theatre Artists Company will open its 4th Season on April 29 with Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class, a new one woman musical by Dan Goggin, the man behind the extraordinarily successful musical comedy, Nunsense and its series of sequels. This new spin-off by Goggin has been described as “A One Nun-sense Musical” and will feature popular area performer, Molly Hammer, best known for her portrayal of country legend Patsy Cline, in The Old Creamery Theatre’s record-breaking production of Always, Patsy Cline. “We are delighted to have Molly Hammer appearing in the first production of the ITAC 2011 season,” states Meg Merckens, one of ITAC’s co-producers. “The show is funny and has some great songs. It’s a perfect fit for her.”

In addition to Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class, ITAC will be producing three new shows, re-mounting their history show of communal Amana, entitled Remain True and producing a two week run of The Lady With All Answers, a popular production from the ITAC 2009 Season, before it heads north to the St Croix Festival Theatre in Wisconsin. There will also be guest theatre companies and artists using the ITAC stage for their productions throughout the year, including singer/actress Lynne Rothrock who will be bringing her Christmas Cabaret to Amana the second week of December.

“Finding just the right shows and then getting all of the ‘pieces of the puzzle’ to fit into one schedule can be quite a challenge,” explains Tom Johnson, ITAC co-producer. “But that made it even more exciting when it all finally came together. We can’t wait to share this season with our audience,” finished Merckens.

Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class
By Dan Goggin
April 29 – May 22

The season opener is a celebration of Nunsense nonsense and song. Sister Robert Anne ‘teaches’ you how to put together your own cabaret act. Featuring the very talented Molly Hammer who earned standing ovations in multiple seasons as Patsy Cline.

Remain True: Stories of Old Amana
Adapted by Tom Johnson and Meg Merckens
May 18 - July 2

The second season of our original telling of Amana’s story done in a way you’ll never forget. This one-hour, live presentation will enrich your Amana experience. It’s also being offered as “show & tour.” Bus groups can take a privately guided tour of historic sites following the show. Call the Amana Heritage Museum for group tour information at 319-622-3567. See website for weekly performance times or call the ITAC Box Office. (Show Only: $10 / Show & Tour: $15)

The Lady With All The Answers
By David Rambo
June 17 - 26

Back by popular demand before heading to the St. Croix Festival Theatre in Wisconsin, Meg Merckens returns as Ann Landers, the renowned advice columnist who 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, and sibling rivalries.

Woody Guthrie’s American Song
Songs & Writings by Woody Guthrie
Conceived & Adapted by Peter Glazer
August 12 - 28

An exuberant musical celebration, Woody Guthrie's American Song tells the life of the rambling folk singer through his words and music. This show has traveled the country to rave reviews. The New York Times said it "...manages to find both the high beauty and the earthly humor of Guthrie's love affair with America." From the Dust Bowl to California and east to New York City, it includes over two dozen songs, including This Land is Your Land, So Long It’s Been Good to Know Yuh, Hard Travelin’ and Bound For Glory.

The Kitchen Witches
By Caroline Smith
October 14 – November 6

Isobel Lomax and Dolly Biddle are cable-access cooking show hostesses who have been at odds with each other ever since Stephen Biddle Sr. dated one and married the other. When circumstances pair them up on a TV show called “The Kitchen Witches” the insults are flung harder than the food! Dolly’s long-suffering TV-producer son Stephen tries to keep them on track, a losing battle, as the show becomes a rating smash as Dolly and Isobel top both Martha Stewart and Jerry Springer!

A Southern Exposure
By Kelley Kingston-Strayer
November 11 - 27

Callie Belle Hurt has fallen in love and she wants her grandmother, Hattie, and her two doting and slightly dotty aunts, to know it. But Hattie decides “she ain't buyin' what Callie Belle is selling.” This funny and touching story is about love, sacrifice, and the everlasting bond between a grandmother and her granddaughter. Don’t miss the Iowa premiere of this new comedy featuring Cherryl Moon Thomason, Marty Norton and Meg Merckens.

Lynne Rothrock’s Christmas Cabaret
Lynne Rothrock & Friends
December 9 - 11

Lynne's Christmas show has become an annual tradition in Iowa, playing to sold-out houses at the ARA Gallery and the Museum of Art in Cedar Rapids, the Campbell Steele Gallery in Marion and Riverside Theatre in Iowa City. Join Lynne and special guests, Ron DeWitte, Cory Johnson and Meg Merckens in Amana for holiday music, comedy & more in her first Cabaret on the ITAC stage.

The ITAC Box Office will open March 21 and reservations and/or information can be obtained by calling: 319-622-3222. The Iowa Theatre Artists Company is also announcing a change in ticket pricing. A regular Adult ticket will be $20.00, five dollars lower than ticket prices in 2010.

“We know that times are hard right now and that dollars spent for entertainment are limited,” explains Johnson. “It’s always been our goal to make theatre accessible to as many as possible, so our hope is to get more people into the seats, which will make up for the shortfall of the lower ticket price.”

Merckens adds, “We’ve also got plans for some technical innovations which will help lower costs. But one thing is certain. A reduced admission price will not mean a reduction in our high artistic standards.”

Performances will continue to be offered Friday through Sundays. Further details are available on the ITAC website: www.iowatheatreartists.org

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