Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Grateful Nation Reading Nov. 15 & 16

Friends coming home from WWII. Photo courtesy of Rick Williams.
Iowa City – Rick Williams and Ron Clark, natives of Columbus Junction, Iowa, will premier A Grateful Nation at Riverside Theatre, a new play about how World War II affected their town, parents, community, and lives.

The script-in-hand performance will run for 2 shows only at Riverside Theatre, 213 N. Gilbert Street on Saturday, November 15, 7:30PM and Sunday, November 16 at 2:00pm. Ron Clark is also directing the play. More information at or 319-338-7672

Tickets: $20 adults, $15 Riverdog Season Pass holders. Veterans, military personnel and their immediate family receive a 20% discount off of regular adult-priced tickets as part of Riverside’s Blue Star Theatre Program.

A Grateful Nation is sponsored by River Products Company, Inc.

About the Play

A Grateful Nation recreates what life was like in small Midwestern towns during the World War II years using stories from interviews, old letters, family lore, and wartime editions of The Columbus Gazette. Projections of local wartime photos will be shown throughout the play, giving faces and context to the stories with period music completing the mood.

The events and anecdotes in the play are centered on stories and people from Columbus Junction, Iowa - a town about 35 miles southeast of Iowa City where authors Rick Williams and Ron Clark grew up. "Though the majority of the stories we tell are about people in our town," says Clark, "anyone from any town could do the research and uncover similar tales." Adds Williams, "It would be a stretch to say these stories are universal, but they are certainly national. Every American living in the early 1940s was affected by the events of the war--and so were those of us who came after them."

Professional actors reading from the script will play multiple characters. The cast includes Jody Hovland, Sean DeMers, Jack Sharkey and Katherine Slaven. Drew Bielinski will complete the show with lighting and projection design.

About the Playwrights

Ron Clark and Rick Williams were childhood classmates in Columbus Junction, Iowa. Both eventually migrated to Iowa City where they have lived for more than 30 years. Family obligations and work commitments limited their time together, however about a year ago Williams and Clark were inspired to collaborate on A Grateful Nation.

Writing for theater is nothing new for Clark. He and his wife, Jody Hovland, are two of the co-founders of Riverside Theatre. Ron has authored three previous plays, including two about small town Iowa life.

Rick Williams is a newcomer to playwriting but is a historian with a journalism background, working as a newspaper reporter before becoming an ACT test editor, where he spent 29 years before retiring.


Sat 11/15, 7:30pm
Sun 11/16, 2:00pm


There will be post-performance talkbacks after both shows with the writers and actors.

Source: Riverside Theatre Press Release

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