Stage & Theatre
A BOOK by ME features-#30 A True American Liberator PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Deb Bowen   
Friday, 22 March 2013 13:36
A BOOK by ME: Holocaust Series

True stories written by children for children

Teaching History, Tolerance, Courage, Compassion, Kindness, Perseverance, Integrity, Cooperation and more.


This week A BOOK by ME series features
#30 A True American Liberator
The story of an American Liberator as told by
author/illustrator Amanda DeVilder of East Moline, Illinois

Amanda DeVilder &
Eugene Parmer
This week we highlight our young author and illustrator Amanda DeVilder of  East Moline, Illinois.
Hi!  My name is Amanda DeVilder!  I wrote and illustrated A True American Liberator when I was fifteen years old and a freshman at United Township High School in East Moline, Illinois.  In school, I participated in volleyball, basketball, track & field and student council.  I also enjoy reading and listening to music.

One thing I really want to do is travel.  In fact, I would really like to be a foreign exchange student.  I like history too and A BOOK by ME gave me a better understanding of the Holocaust.  You can't capture someone's feelings, thoughts, worries, or fears by reading a textbook.  But you can capture it when a person describes how they felt in their own words.

If someone told me they were thinking about being involved in this writing project, I would tell them, without hesitation, to go for it.  Only good things will come out of it.  Not only will you learn new things but you will pass on this information to young children who read your book.  Plus, you give the WWII veteran or Holocaust survivor recognition and honor they truly deserve.


Carol Eugene Parmer

92nd Signal Battalion

As a young boy, Eugene Parmer lived in Bettendorf, Iowa. Just before he joined the military he moved 40 miles north to the quiet town of Maquoketa, Iowa.  He joined the 92nd Signal Battalion who furnished communications for the United States Army. While serving in Europe during WWII, Eugene was ordered to join American soldiers liberating a concentration camp called Dachau. He was to investigate the camp's communication equipment and report to his officer.

When he arrived at Dachau, Eugene didn't want to park his weapons carrier at the main gate so he drove around the side of the camp. There he located railroad tracks with parked coal cars leading out of the camp.  Eugene's curiosity got the best of him so he climbed up the ladder. There was no coal in the cars. Eugene was not prepared for what he witnessed. Shock hit him hard. The train cars carried human bodies. Then he looked in the second car and there were more. He could not believe his eyes.  What he saw made him physically sick.

Eugene then approached the gate and shot the lock off with his revolver. Immediately, a prisoner who spoke English yelled "don't open the gate".  This man told other prisoners to stay back but then disappeared. The prisoners didn't listen and came towards Eugene and began to mob him.  He fell to the ground. The American soldier assumed they were after his rifle. But the Jewish prisoners did not want his rifle nor did they want to harm him. All they wanted was American flags lapel pin which was the Signal Corps insignia. All they wanted were the flags of their liberator.

The English speaking prisoner quickly returned with something to secure the gate. He wanted that gate shut! Eugene removed his flag pin and gave it to the man. The others backed away. The frightened soldier was relieved.

"Do you have some spare time?" asked the prisoner, "Follow me."

As they walked past buildings, Eugene saw more death. The horrors of this war were everywhere. Then the prisoner suggested Eugene get his rifle ready. What was going to happen?

They uncovered a German guard who hid when the camp was liberated. It wasn't safe for the guard to be surrounded by angry prisoners. There was another guard hiding in a 55 gallon container used to store human waste. When they tipped it over, the guard fell out. His life was also in danger. The German guards had been cruel. Now the prisoners wanted revenge.

Eugene needed to stay focused and asked the English speaking prisoner to show him the signal equipment and he did. Finally, his simple yet dangerous mission was accomplished. The young soldier returned to his regular duty.

Those horrible memories of war stayed with Eugene his whole life. Years later at an event recognizing veterans, Eugene listened to a grateful Holocaust survivor speak to the audience. While she spoke about her memories, Eugene felt sick all over again - just like he felt during his time at Dachau.

Eugene returned to and lives today in historical Maquoketa, Iowa.  When Eugene is asked what message he'd like to say to children, he replies:  "Children should see pictures and realize what can happen if we lost our freedom. I have no words to express my feelings towards these people. If I hadn't seen it, I don't know if I'd believe it. It happened."

Deb Bowen
Creator, A BOOK by ME
To learn more about A BOOK by ME...

Freud’s Last Session opens The Old Creamery Theatre’s 2013 Studio Stage season PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Shelley Klimes   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 13:33
Amana – Be a fly on the wall as legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud meets with famous author C.S. Lewis to discuss and debate love, sex, the existence of God and the very meaning of life in Freud’s Last Session, opening April 4 on The Old Creamery Theatre Studio Stage in Middle Amana.

Only a few weeks after their meeting, Freud died and Lewis, who in later years wrote “The Chronicles of Narnia,” was never to forget their historic meeting. A stimulating and memorable glimpse into two brilliant minds.

Tom Milligan, producing director of The Old Creamery Theatre will portray Dr. Sigmund Freud and Andy Brown, of McKenzie TN, will play the part of C. S. Lewis. Freud’s Last Session is directed by Rachael Lindhart of Iowa City and is rated Theatre R. The show runs through April 21.

Tickets are $27.50 for adults and $18 for students. Show times are Thursdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Call the box office at 800-35-AMANA (352-6262) or visit the website at Group rates are available. Reservations are recommended.

The Old Creamery Theatre Company is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1971 in Garrison, Iowa. The company is celebrating 42 years of bringing live, professional theatre to the people of Iowa and the Midwest.

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT to Premiere at TLP PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Tina Stretton   
Monday, 18 March 2013 15:14
Mount Carroll--Executive Director James Beaudry and Timber Lake Playhouse, will present the first regional production of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT as part of TLP’s upcoming summer season. Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, SPAMALOT retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, their quest for the Holy Grail and features a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French people. Did we mention the bevy of beautiful show girls? The show that “raises silliness to an artform” (The Sunday Times), will open August 1, 2013 and run through August 11th.

The show has been a huge hit in a long run on Broadway and on three national tours, but it had it’s pre-Broadway premiere in Chicago, where its entire run was sold out before it began in late 2004. Beaudry confirmed that TLP was offered the rights to produce the show a full year ago, but had to keep mum about it until now. “Sean Cercone, director of professional licensing for Theatrical Rights Worldwide, contacted us and several other theatre companies in April 2012. We had a four-day window to make a decision and secure the rights, or the show would be unavailable because another national tour was going back out,” Beaudry said.

“So we made it happen. But the only catch was that we couldn't advertise the show until March 2013. When we announced the rest of the season last July, we were as creative as possible about selling the show without saying anything specific about it.” According to Beaudry, “It was quickly brought to our attention by some eager, Google-savvy subscribers, however, that the licensing company had our production listed on their website. We weren’t allowed to advertise, but we were allowed to encourage people to go on their own quest to find the information we weren’t allowed to tell. It quickly became the worst kept secret in the history of our company!”

The show that the New York Times calls a “no-holds-barred smash hit,” will star John Chase of Mount Morris as King Arthur. He has previously been seen at TLP in Working, Sunset Boulevard and Oklahoma!. Sharriese Hamilton (Working, ...Spelling Bee) takes on the Tony Award winning role of The Lady of the Lake, Brandon Jess Ford (All Shook Up, Sunset Boulevard, Boeing Boeing) returns to play Sir Lancelot, and James Beaudry returns to the TLP stage in the role of Brave Sir Robin. Rounding out the cast are newcomers Brandyn Day (Baldwin Wallace University) as Sir Galahad, Cody Jolly (Webster University) as The Historian, Elliot Marach (Millikin University) as Sir Bedevere and Matthew Webb (Savannah College of Art and Design) as Patsy. The new resident company of TLP fills out the ensemble.

The 52nd Season at Timber Lake Playhouse opens June 6, 2013 and includes A Chorus Line, Tuesdays With Morrie, The Music Man, Unnecessary Farce, Spamalot and ‘S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical. Subscriptions for all six shows are only $110. The Magic Owl Children’s theatre will also present The Hobbit and Seussical. More information is available at

Monty Python’s Spamalot performs August 1-11. Performances are at 7:30pm, Tuesday through Saturdays and there are 2pm matinees on Sunday and Wednesday. There is also a Saturday matinee performance on opening weekends at 3pm. Season subscribers and groups may reserve tickets immediately during regular business hours, 11am - 4pm Monday through Friday at 815-244-2035, or any time at Single tickets will go on sale May 20th.

Timber Lake Playhouse presents
Monty Python's SPAMALOT
Book & Lyrics by ERIC IDLE
A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
From the original screenplay by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Original Broadway Production produced by Boyett Ostar Productions,The Shubert Organization, Arielle Tepper Madover, Stephanie McClelland/Lawrence Horowitz,Elan V McAllister/Allan S. Gordon, Independent Producers Network, Roy Furman, GRS Associates, Jam Theatricals, TGA Entertainment, Live Nation
Directed by Derek Bertelsen
This program is partially supported by a grant for the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


Theatre Cedar Rapids Now Accepting Submissions for 2013 Underground New Play Festival PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Mike Wilhelm   
Monday, 18 March 2013 15:09
March 18, 2013 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - Theatre Cedar Rapids Accepting Submissions for 2013 Underground New Play Festival.

Continuing an annual tradition, TCR will hold the Underground New Play Festival during the fall of 2013. The Festival is currently accepting submissions of new plays written by playwrights residing in Iowa, or who have strong Iowa connections. TCR is looking for a wide variety of original plays which have never been produced or published.

Submissions can be ten-minute pieces, one-acts, or full-length plays. We welcome a wide variety of genres, from comedies to dramas to musicals, and pieces can appeal to a family audience, a strictly adult audience, or may be pieces geared specifically to a child audience.

Both established and experienced playwrights, as well as those new to the craft, are welcome to submit work. In addition to adult playwrights and directors, youth in grades 6-12 are encouraged to submit plays and apply to direct.

A blind copy of each play submitted will be read by a selection committee chaired by TCR's artistic director Leslie Charipar. Each piece selected by the committee will be produced by volunteer directors (also chosen by the committee) in the Grandon Studio theatre at TCR. Each Underground New Play Festival has been unique. Audiences are challenged by seeing new material and having an opportunity to participate in talkbacks with each piece's playwright, director and cast. Playwrights have the opportunity to see their work performed, and often rework material based on actor and director feedback. Those new to directing have opportunities to work with a cast and crew in producing a piece in a supportive workshop environment, and every Festival sees both new and returning actors onstage. The Festival is a true workshop experience for all participants.

Key dates for the 2013 Underground New Play Festival:

* May 6, 2013: Deadline for play submissions and director applications.
* May 31, 2013: Public announcement of the play titles selected and the names of each play's volunteer director.
* June 30, July 1-2, 2013: Actor auditions and callbacks for the Festival plays.
* September 2013: Underground New Play Festival performances.

For more information on submitting a play or applying to direct, please visit Additional questions regarding the Underground New Play Festival may be sent to TCR Education Coordinator Mike Wilhelm ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

The Life and Times of the Three Little Pigs opens March 30 at The Old Creamery Theatre! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Shelley Klimes   
Friday, 15 March 2013 15:07
Amana – Can the three little pigs remember their survival skills as they go out into the world to make a living? Join Big, Tweeney and Wee and find out! The Old Creamery Theatre for Young Audiences presents a classic tale with an imaginative and musical twist in The Life and Times of the Three Little Pigs, opening Saturday, March 30 on the Main Stage in Amana.

The cast consists of Maria Bartolotta of St. Louis, MO, T.J. Besler of Manchester, Nicholas Hodge of South Amana, Jackie McCall of Marengo and Stacia McKee of Coralville. The Life and Times of the Three Little Pigs was written by Gene Mackey with original music by Cheryl Benge.

Shows are at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 and April 6 and at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. Tickets are $8.50 per person and reservations are highly recommended. The Life and Times of the Three Little Pigs is  sponsored by Scheels with Kiss Country 96.5 as the media sponsor.

The Old Creamery Theatre Company is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1971 in Garrison, Iowa. The company is celebrating 42 years of bringing live, professional theatre to the people of Iowa and the Midwest.

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