New comedy, ‘The Old Guy’ opens at ITAC on Friday

A new comedy, “The Old Guy” by Thomas P. Johnson, of South Amana, will make its world premiere at the Iowa Theatre Artists Company in Amana on Friday.

The production will run through Nov. 24, leading into the holiday offerings at ITAC, which include two Christmas Concerts and a Christmas Cabaret scheduled for the end of November and into December.

Johnson brought in long-time friend and professional actor, Steve Shaffer as part of the project. Shaffer, a Cedar Rapids native and current resident of St. Louis Park, Minn., first worked with Johnson at The Old Creamery Theatre Company in Garrison in 1974. Shaffer plays the title role of “The Old Guy” and is joined by ITAC veteran performers, Meg Merckens, of South Amana, and Marshall Nielsen, of Cedar Falls, along with 11-year old Elijah Jefferson, of Amana, making his stage debut in the role of “the Kid.”

The story centers around a reclusive, out-of-work auto mechanic who rediscovers his own worth and purpose when he comes to the aid of a young student who hopes to take “a trip of a lifetime.” With the challenges of a bothersome neighbor and a less-than-honest businessman in the mix, and the barrier of age discrimination to overcome, the “Old Guy” must discover what only he can do to help his young friend realize his dream while in the process, creating a dream of his own.

Performances are at 7:30 Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations are strongly encouraged in the intimate seating of the 99-seat theatre. Ticket prices are $22.50 for adults and $10 for students. More information about ITAC and its production of “The Old Guy” can be found at The theatre is located on the upper level of what was once the Amana Barn Restaurant.