Amana – “The Iowa Theatre Artists Company (ITAC) will open its Fall schedule with a production of A.R. Gurney’s The Dining Room on September 20. Performances will run through October 20 with a break in the run for Amana’s Oktoberfest and also a trip to Dysart for two fundraising performances for the Garrison and Dysart Lions Clubs.
Written in 1982, Gurney’s celebrated and award-winning play takes place in the dining room of a typical well-to-do household. This room provides the space where dozens of different characters meet to discuss a wide range of family matters through a series of inter-related scenes. From young boys to elderly grandfathers, from rebellious teen-age girls to Irish maids, Gurney covers topics that range from dancing school to dinner parties, from domestic service to dividing the estate between siblings, all with a sparkle of smart, witty and thought-provoking dialogue. Thomas P. Johnson (South Amana) directs the play and adds, “This comedy is a challenge for the actors and for the director as we portray dozens of characters in a multitude of scenes, all connected by what once was the pivotal meeting place for families – the dining room.” A cast of six has been assembled to take on the fifty-seven different roles and includes ITAC Artistic Director, Meg Merckens (South Amana), and ITAC veterans: Felipe Carrasco (Iowa City), Judith Gardner (St. Peter, MN), Robert Gardner (St. Peter, MN) and Ian Zahren (formerly of South Amana and now a resident of the Twin Cities). Newcomer to the company, Stacia McKee (Coralville), fills out the six-member cast.
The show runs September 20-29 and October 11-20. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sundays at 2:30 pm. Ticket prices are $22.50 for Adults and $10 for students (through college). A “Group Discount” (10 or more) is offered. ITAC will not have performances the weekend of October 4-6, Oktoberfest, in Amana. However, ITAC will hold a fundraiser with premier parking for the annual celebration in the Amana Colonies. This production will also travel to Dysart for two performances in October, Saturday the 12th at 7 pm and Sunday the 13th at 2 pm. Due to the limited number of performances in Amana, reservations are strongly encouraged for the intimate 99-seat theatre. Call 319-622-3222 for information and reservations. Details about the Amana and Dysart performances are available on the ITAC website: www.iowatheatreartists.org. The theatre is located at 4709 220th Trail in Amana, the former Barn Restaurant located across from the Amana Visitors Center and next to the Festhalle.”
(Source: ITAC Press Release)