Directed by co-writer Tim Clue, the family-friendly show features an original musical score by Bruce Roper of the popular Chicago folk trio Sons of the Never Wrong.
Critics embraced the comedy after its May 13, 2006, opening. Extensions led to an open-ended run at the 200-seat Royal George cabaret space. The title has been seen in regional productions in the past several years (in Iowa, Michigan and a licensed staging in Missouri). The Royal George run was the major flagship production of the work, overseen by its authors.
Next up is a 16-week run at Old Log Theatre in suburban Minneapolis. It represents the script's second licensed production, after American Heartland Theatre in Kansas City.
If and when the script is formally published, it's expected to have a wide life. In the meantime, the authors themselves continue to be in discussions with regional theatres about future stagings.
* "Leaving Iowa is a about a journalist who returns home to Winterset, Iowa, to find the perfect spot to scatter his late father's ashes," according to producers. "Along the way, he relives the summer vacations that he spent traveling with his family on their annual road trips in their station wagon. Filled with charm, this touching play celebrates the love of family and the open highway. Told in flashback, Leaving Iowa speaks to everyone who has ever endured a family car vacation to an uninteresting historical site when they would have preferred to be in the Wisconsin Dells."
The Chicago cast includes Marc Nelson, Matt Kozlowski, Cindy Tegtmeyer, Otis Fine, Angela Bullard and Brad Armacost.
For more information, visit www.leavingiowa.com.
Leaving Iowa was developed in a suburban Chicagoland theatre before it was noticed by Jeff Daniels' Purple Rose Theatre Company, an organization solely focused on supporting Midwestern plays and playwrights. It premiered at the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, MI, Jan. 22, 2004. Directed by Anthony Caselli, it featured John Lepard as Don, Grant Krause as Dad, Elizabeth Ann Townsend as Mom, Teri Clark as Sister, and Jim Porterfield as the male chorus.