The Iowa City Community Theatre is pleased and proud to announce our 65th Season, 2020-2021.
A Season For Everyone!
(final performance dates to be announced later)
book by Janet Schlapkohl, original music by Michael Penick
adapted from John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera
directed by Jody Hovland
In 1728, playwright John Gay introduced the world to highwayman Macheath, and his merry, motley band of cutthroats, in his play, The Beggar’s Opera. Gay’s Opera combines comedy and political satire to portray the lives of a group of thieves and prostitutes in 18th-century London, and caricatures government, fashionable society, and marriage, with parallels made between the moral degeneracy of the protagonists and contemporary highborn society. In 1928, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill adapted the play into The Threepenny Opera, which ICCT produced twenty years ago. And now, local playwright Janet Schlapkohl gives us her own unique twist on the dark comedy with Beggars.
Presented in collaboration with Combined Efforts Theatre, the show will feature a cast of about 25, of all ages and abilities.
A Lesson Before Dying
by Romulus Linney, based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines
directed by Beverly E. Mead
Jefferson, a young black man living in backwoods Louisiana in 1948, is condemned to death for a murder he didn’t commit. During the trial, in a lame attempt to save Jefferson’s life, his lawyer called him “no more a human being than a hog”. In prison, awaiting his sentence, Jefferson begins to act like a hog, insisting that he will be dragged like that to his death in the electric chair. His godmother enlists the aid of schoolteacher Grant Wiggins, who is struggling to quit his poor parish school and leave the South, to teach Jefferson to live – and die – like a man. Romulus Linney’s adaptation of Ernest J. Gaines’ celebrated novel (a 1997 Oprah Winfrey Book Club selection) is engrossing, moving, and finally devastating.
The cast is 5 men (2 white, 3 black), 2 women (both black), ages 18 to 80.
book by James Goldman, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
directed by Josh Sazon
music direction by Wes Habley
The time is 1971, and theatrical impresario Dmitri Weissman hosts a reunion of ex-Follies performers in his crumbling theatre, setting the stage for a parade of brilliant pastiche numbers, including “Losing My Mind”, “I’m Still Here”, and “Broadway Baby”. Amid the reminiscing, two middle-aged couples confront some unpleasant truths about their past and present, coming face-to-face with the future.
The cast is 8 men, 11 women, plus an ensemble of varying size, ages 18 to 80.
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
by Christopher Durang
directed by Barry A. Schreier
Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home in Bucks County, PA, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. Suddenly, their movie-star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike. Old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats to sell the house. Also on the scene are sassy maid Cassandra, who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress named Nina, whose prettiness somewhat worries the imperious Masha. Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play.
The cast is 2 men, 4 women, ages 20s to 50s.
The Children’s Hour
by Lillian Hellman
directed by Jennifer Beall
A serious and adult play about two women who run a school for girls. After a malicious youngster starts a rumor about the two women, the rumor soon turns to scandal. As the young girl comes to understand the power she wields, she sticks by her story, which precipitates tragedy for the women. It is later discovered that the gossip was pure invention, but it is too late. Irreparable damage has been done.
The cast is 2 men, 12 women, including 7 girls, age 12-16.
Little Shop of Horrors
book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken
directed by Adeara Jean Maurice
music direction by Leslie Hyland
Meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names Audrey II, after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down-and-out Krelborn, as long as he keeps feeding it blood. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out-of-this-world origins and intent towards global domination!
The named cast is 4 men, 4 women, plus an ensemble of 6-10.