The Iowa Theatre Artists Company announces 2013 fall season

AMANA – As the successful summer production, “Oma Tales Stories My Grandmother Told Me” comes to a close, the Iowa Theatre Artists Company will begin to gear up for two shows this fall, “The Dining Room,” by A.R. Gurney, and a regional premiere of “The Old Guy,” written by ITAC co-founder Thomas P. Johnson. In addition to these two stage productions, ITAC will also present three different Christmas concerts running from Thanksgiving weekend through Dec. 14.

The first fall production, “The Dining Room,” features six actors portraying the joys, sorrows, love and laughter of dozens of characters as they explore the changing times and life-changing moments around that once-vital but now vanishing center of American life the dining room table. Robert Gardner and Judy Gardner (St. Peter, Minn.), Stacia McKee (Coralville), Meg Merckens (South Amana) and Ian Zahren (Minneapolis, Minn.) are members of the versatile ensemble that will perform in this play. “The Dining Room” runs Sept. 20-29 and Oct. 11-20. There will be no performances the week of Oktoberfest in Amana, Oct. 4 – 6. “The Dining Room” will also travel to Dysart for two performances at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 13 as a fundraiser for the Garrison and Dysart Lions Clubs. Performances in Amana are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Please note the matine performance time is one hour later than in past seasons.

Nov. 1-24, a new comedy, “The Old Guy” written by Thomas P. Johnson, will take the stage for the first time with audience favorite, Steve Shaffer (Eden Prairie, Minn.) in the title role. The story follows a broke and out-of-work mechanic who learns he is “only as old as he feels” once he puts the problems of others ahead of his own. Shaffer joins ITAC’s Artistic Director Meg Merckens and company regular Marshall Nielsen in the cast of this very funny new play. Performance days and times match those of “The Dining Room.”

Musical events are also an important part of the ITAC schedule this year.

“A Celtic Christmas ~ Irish Music and Tales of the Season” returns for a second year at ITAC with musical group, IrishJam offering two performances at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30. The following week, Dec. 6-8, the Great Bluegrass Herons return for their fourth annual “Great Bluegrass Herons Acoustic Christmas Concert.” The bluegrass performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

“Lynne Rothrock’s Christmas Cabaret” takes the ITAC stage for a third year, featuring humorous sketches and a wide variety of music filled with Christmas cheer. Two performances only in Amana: 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14.

Reservations are strongly encouraged for all of the concerts and stage productions at ITAC’s intimate 99-seat theater housed in what was once the Amana Barn Restaurant. For more information, to reserve tickets or to receive a 2013 schedule, call 319-622-3222, or visit: iowatheatreartists.org for performance times, dates and ticket prices. The Iowa Theatre Artists Company is a small, nonprofit, professional theater company located on the main street of Amana.