Amana – The Iowa Theatre Artists Company (ITAC) of Amana will offer five theatrical productions beginning in August and running through December. Although ITAC will continue as a producing theatre in 2015, the upcoming fall productions will be the final performances on the stage housed in the ITAC Performing Arts Center, located at 4709 220th Trail. The season will open with an original script written by Thomas P. Johnson, The Old Guy, a comedy that debuted in the Fall of 2013 and has been extended into the new season for two weeks. A variety of original and classic theatrical productions will round out the season. There are also three musical guest events that are scheduled in late July and December.
ITAC co-producers and co-founders, Tom Johnson and Meg Merckens, have placed the arts center building up for sale. Built in 1984, the building served as the Amana Barn Restaurant for twenty years before closing its doors at the end of 2003. The building sat vacant for five years before Johnson and Merckens purchased it and renovated it into a 99-seat theatre on the upper level with a dance and concert hall located on the lower level. “It feels like a great time for us to sell this wonderful building with the hope that the new owner(s) will see the potential of this exciting space for whatever project they might have in mind,” states Johnson, who also helped found The Old Creamery Theatre in Garrison in 1971.
Johnson and Merckens worked together in the theatre business in Eastern Iowa for over thirty years before starting the Iowa Theatre Artists Company in 2008. Merckens recalls that the initial plan for their enterprise was a five-year commitment.
2014 will mark ITAC’s 7th season. She explains “Tom and I are looking forward to scaling our theatrical endeavors back a notch and producing one or two special projects each year rather than a full-length season. The idea for the future is to look for fun and creative venues to present our work rather than have just one “home” theatre.” Johnson wraps up, “We selected our upcoming season with great care and excitement, knowing that this is going to be a very special year for us. We hope to go out with the same enthusiasm and passion for live theatre that first brought us into this business.”
For more information and reservations, call: 319-622-3222. ITACʼs regular performance schedule: Friday: 7:30 pm; Saturday: 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm; Sunday: 2:30 pm. Theatre ticket prices are: Adults: $22.50; Seniors: $20; Students (through college): $10. A Group Rate is available. All Musical Guest Events are: $15 Adults and $10 Students. Information is available on the ITAC website: www.iowatheatreartists.org
The Iowa Theatre Artists Company is a small, professional theatre company located at 4709 220th Trail in Amana, Iowa. It is a member of Actorsʼ Equity Association, the organization of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
2014 ITAC Season
The Old Guy, an original comedy written by Thomas P.Johnson
A broke and out-of-work mechanic learns that he is “only as old as he feels” once he puts the problems of others ahead of his own.
The Old Guy will perform in Amana from August 22-31.
This production will also travel to Dysart for two fundraising performances for the Garrison and Dysart Lions Clubs on Saturday, September 6 at 7 pm & Sunday, September 7 at 2 pm.
Lost Boy Found, adapted by Thomas P. Johnson
A chamber theatre production that revisits a mysterious and historic, century-old Iowa County kidnapping. Tom Johnson, solved this real-life crime story using modern technology, but recently discovered information, never before revealed on stage, adds yet another shocking twist to this riveting true story.
September 12 – 28
Tobyʼs Corntussle News by Neil Schaffner
Neil and Caroline Schaffner entertained Eastern Iowa in the 1930ʼs andʼ40ʼs with radio broadcasts of the “Corntussle News.” The ITAC Ensemble is privileged to be one of the first to adapt the best and the funniest of the “Toby and Susie” sketches from the archives of the Schaffner Players. Good old-fashioned Iowa fun!
October 10 – 19
Morningʼs At Seven by Paul Osborn
A sweetly funny portrait of the four aging Gibb sisters, long-time neighbors, who find their lives turned upside down when an oddball nephew finally brings home his fiancée of twelve years to meet his parents. Family secrets and long simmering jealousies come to light but ultimately give way to the true ties that bind a family together.
October 24 – November 9
Assorted Nuts! An ITAC Original
Mix together a large helping of music with more than a splash of comedy and you have a recipe for a delightfully nutty concoction that is perfect for groups and holiday get-togethers. Internationally famous singer/musician, Kerry Christensen joins up with local comic favorites, Meg Merckens and Deborah Kennedy for this Must-See Event!
November 21 – December 7 (Sat, Dec. 6 – Celtic Christmas will be on stage)
Musical Guest Events:
Music of our Family ~ Stories of our Times
“Music we grew up with” from the 1920ʼs through the ʻ70ʼs performed by The Mockingbyrds (Joe & Deb Byrd, Carlis Faurot & Michael Crist)
July 26 at 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm; July 27 at 2:30 pm.
Celtic Christmas by IrishJam
A rollicking holiday celebration of Celtic music with a wee bit of spirited storytelling!
December 6 at 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm
The Great Bluegrass Herons Christmas Concert
This beloved ensemble and friends celebrate Christmas with much-loved acoustic classics and toe-tapping bluegrass favorites. A Six Year Tradition on the ITAC stage!
December 12 at 7:30 pm; December 13 at 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Source: ITAC Press Release