Wednesday, August 3, 2011

ITAC Presents Show about Woody Guthrie

Amana - The Iowa Theatre Artists Company (ITAC) will present the Iowa premiere of the musical based on the life of Woody Guthrie, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, opening Friday, August 12 at 7:30 pm. The story of Woody Guthrie as told through an ensemble of local professional actors, musicians, and singers along with a myriad of his famous folk songs, will run for three weekends through August 28. The twelve performances include Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 1:30 pm. This schedule is slightly different from the regular ITAC schedule with a Saturday matinee replacing the Friday matinee for this production. Reservations are strongly encouraged. A Special Opening Night Ticket price is offered at $18, with regular ticket prices being $20 for Adults and $10 for Students for the remainder of the run. There is also a "Theatre Lovers Club" offered at the opening Sunday matinee performance only. Single Ticket buyers are able to become part of a special "Group Price" for the 1:30 pm performance on Sunday, August 14. Please call the ITAC Box Office (319-622-3222) for details.

Woody Guthrie’s American Song boasts seven musical performers who will sing, play guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin while also serving as the narrators of Guthrie’s story. The story begins in his home state of Oklahoma, continues with his travels to escape the hardships of the Dust Bowl Days, his life in California and his eventual journey east to New York City. Guthrie’s songs reveal much about life in America during the 1930’s, ‘40’s and ‘50’s with many of his best-known songs included in the show: This Land Is Your Land, So Long It's Been Good To Know Yuh, Pastures Of Plenty, Hard Travelin', and Bound For Glory. Woody Guthrie once wrote in his autobiography entitled Bound for Glory (1943), “My eyes has been my camera taking pictures of the world and my songs has been my messages that I tried to scatter across the back sides and along the steps of the fire escapes and on the window sills and through the dark halls...”

The ensemble of local professional actors/singers/musicians includes: Meg Merckens (South Amana), Paul Roberts (Sharon Center), Randy Sandersfeld (Amana), Joy Ward (Tiffin), Ryan Westwood (Bettendorf), Karenza Yoder (Wellman) and Mark Wilson (Hills) who also serves as Music Director.

Known for airing his beliefs and convictions through his music, Woody Guthrie once said, "There's several ways of saying what's on your mind. And in states and counties where it ain't any too healthy to talk too loud, speak your mind, or even to vote like you want to, folks have found other ways of getting the word around. One of the mainest ways is by singing. Drop the word 'folk' and just call it real old honest to God American singing. No matter who makes it up, no matter who sings it and who don't, if it talks the lingo of the people, it's a cinch to catch on, and will be sung here and yonder for a long time after you've cashed in your chips. If the fight gets hot, the songs get hotter. If the going gets tough, the songs get tougher." Woody Guthrie’s songs have certainly stood the test of time and are still sung today by young and old alike across this nation that he loved.

For more information and reservations, call: 319-622-3222 or email:

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