Stage & Theatre
Countryside Community Theatre announces its 2015 Season “Something Old, Something New” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Christina Myatt   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:55

Countryside Community Theatre is excited to announce that it will be returning to its home theater, North Scott High School in Eldridge, for the 2015 season.  Christina Myatt, board president, said, “We thought a lot about the future of CCT.  North Scott has been our home for 30 years.  We want to celebrate that history and that partnership.  We delayed announcing a season as we wanted to make sure that construction and improvements being made to the physical building would not impede our presentation or our patrons’ enjoyment of this our 32nd season.”

Countryside will also return to a two show season hoping to utilize more of the talent seen each year at auditions.  “We have really seen our numbers grow in the past years as we have presented area premieres of Les Miserables and Shrek.   We see a niche for ourselves in presenting larger than life, family-friendly entertainment that features a multi-generational cast of local talent, ” Myatt said.

To that end, CCT will present “Something Old, Something New” for 2015- a classic piece of musical theatre that has stood the test of time and an area premiere of a more recent work.  The season will begin with Jesus Christ Superstar in June and conclude with Big Fish in July.  Directors will be announced closer to the end of the month.

Jesus Christ Superstar, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is a retelling of the Christ’s final days on earth. Propelled by a stirring score, by turns that are driving and majestic, satirical and tender, it illuminates the transcendent power of the human spirit with a passion that goes straight to the heart.

"For a 2,000-year-old story set to 30-year-old music, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR still has a fresh, timeless appeal. Andrew Lloyd Webber's music is haunting, snappy and touching... Tim Rice's lyrics are too good to miss a word." — Sue Merrell, Grand Rapids Press, January 01, 2003

Big Fish is a new Broadway musical featuring music and lyrics by Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party) and a new book by esteemed screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish centers on Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest… and then some! Edward's incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him – most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales.
Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, Big Fish is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre – for an experience that's richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself.



Auditions for both shows will be held January 10 and 11 at North Scott HS in Eldridge.  Information on audition specifics will be released in early December via the company’s website and Facebook page.

For more information or to volunteer to assist with either production, contact CCT at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 563-285-6228.


In 2015, The Studio Stage Goes To War! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Lily Allen-Duenas   
Friday, 07 November 2014 09:19

The Old Creamery Theatre Announces 2015 Studio Stage Line-Up

Tickets: $30 for adults, $18.50 for Students, $12 Student Rush Studio Stage shows are on Thursdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.


Billy Bishop Goes to War

April 9 – 26, 2015

By John Gray and Eric Peterson

From a rowdy, unruly, and impetuous youth to a respectable, venerated veteran, Billy Bishop Goes To War follows a boy’s journey into manhood. Canadian WWI fighter pilot, Billy Bishop, defies all expectations and becomes a top ace — a “ hero in the sky.” With laudable historical accuracy and catchy tunes, this play illustrates Bishop’s intimate thoughts about his odyssey through the turbulent trials and tribulations of war.



July 2 – 19, 2015

By Gerald Sibleyras (Translated by Tom Stoppard)

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy! A quirky quartet comprised of three elderly WWI veterans and a stone dog statue, spend their days occupying the terrace of an old soldiers home in France in 1959. The three men share stories, memories, and ideas of varying mental clarity. Troubled over their monotonous lives, they hatch an escape plan — destination: Indochina or just over the nearest hill. Heroes is a touching and achingly honest portrayal of what it means to be a survivor.


Waiting for the Parade

August 20 – September 6, 2015

By John Murrell

Struggling through life at home during WWII, five women brave unique battles. Waiting for the Parade offers a rare glimpse into the effects of war on those left behind. Mirroring the spectrum of emotions that soldiers would likely possess, each woman feels differently about the war, whether it is pride, worry, or loneliness — each woman must combat adversity, crisis, and pain.



May 28 – 31, 2015 and October 1 – 4, 2015

By Andrew Edlin

This is a gripping one-man play about famous British statesman, author, orator, journalist and soldier Sir Winston Churchill.   It is April 1955. Churchill, aged 80, after entertaining the Queen and Prince Philip for dinner at No. 10 Downing Street, agonizes in his wartime bunker below London whether to finally resign as Prime Minister as the Cold War gathers pace. He is old, tired and losing his grip. As he tries to decide, he rolls back the years and reviews his uniquely eventful career, filled with history-changing events and famous people, glorious speeches, pithy comments, funny stories, and all the wit and wisdom that has made Churchill beyond merely one of history's greatest figures into an imperishable legend.


The Old Creamery Theatre is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1971 in Garrison, Iowa. In 2015, the company will be celebrating 44 years of bringing live, professional theatre to the people of Iowa and theMidwest.

City of Riverdale’s proposed creation of a State Street Urban Renewal Area PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Renee Luze-Johnson   
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 10:29

Dear Mayor Paddock and Council Members:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed creation of a State Street Urban Renewal Area within the City of Riverdale. It is the Board of Supervisor’s understanding, from the map and other information provided, that the City intends to include the entire ALCOA plant property, in addition to some other areas south and north of State Street/US Hwy 67 adjacent to the ALCOA property in this proposed URA. The Board has a number of concerns and questions about this proposal.

First, the Board would note that when ALOCA was proposing the recent expansion of their operation, ALCOA qualified for some State of Iowa funding incentives that required a local match. When the City of Riverdale was not able to finance that match, the local match was met by the Scott County Board of Supervisors through a combination of Bi-State Revolving Loan funds and a County loan from the County General Fund. The ALOCA expansion was then able to be completed.

Second, the Board notes that as the 5th largest property taxpayer in Scott County, ALCOA’s impact on County tax revenue’s is significant. The Board of Supervisors would oppose any project funded by taxes generated from the County’s levy through the use of tax increment financing which would strictly benefit the City of Riverdale. The creation of this URA allows for the future creation of TIF districts and the diversion of County revenues. This diversion disproportionately burdens all other County tax payers in order to maintain County services in light of such lost revenue.

Finally the Board has concerns that this proposed Urban Renewal Plan could negatively impact the City’s finances and future ability to meet its budgetary commitments. The TIF revenue that is generated within this Urban Renewal Area is also attributable to the City’s levy and will not be available to the City for its General Fund and if used for projects within the State Street URA Plan would increase the financial burden on existing homes and businesses within the City.

In response to our Opportunity to Consult the Board would have the following questions:

1. Would the City of Riverdale be willing to limit the amount of TIF revenue taken for projects to 50% of that generated? This would allow the County (and the School District) to receive some of the revenues generated from the taxable improvements in this proposed area.

2. When does the City propose to create a tax increment financing district within this Urban Renewal Area and how much debt will be asked to be certified with that initial project?

3. How long is the City proposing to keep this Urban Renewal Area in place?

4. Has the City considered how the limited extent of its bonding capacity limits the size and scope of the projects that can been done with tax increment financing?

5. Has the City considered if it will have the capacity to bond for an industrial economic development project that may come in the future if this plan is implemented?

6. Has ALCOA expressed any concerns or objections to this proposal and has ALCOA requested any of the proposed projects? And finally;

7. Has the City considered the possibility that through a re-assessment of property values the base of this Urban Renewal Area could result in a negative increment with no revenue being generated?

While the Board of Supervisors recognizes the City of Riverdale has no legal obligation to comply with our request, we hope in the spirit of intergovernmental cooperation the City Council would seriously consider this request.


Larry Minard, Chairman

Scott County Board of Supervisors

Governor Quinn Announces Top Students to be Honored by Lincoln Academy November 1 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Friday, 31 October 2014 12:47

Ceremony at Old State Capitol Recognizes the Top Student from Each College and University in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today announced the state’s exceptional college students who will be honored by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois on November 1. The Academy will recognize students at the top of their class during the annual Student Laureate Convocation at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 1 at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield.

“I want to commend these students for their hard work, both in the classroom and in their communities,” Governor Quinn said. “Their achievement and dedication attests to the value of higher education in Illinois, and the high quality students our schools produce.”

The Lincoln Academy’s Student Laureate Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the state’s four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities, and one student from among the community colleges in Illinois. At the Student Laureate Convocation, each student will receive a Student Laureate Medallion, along with a $1,000 educational grant and a certificate of achievement. This is the 40th year Lincoln Academy has celebrated students’ excellence in Illinois.

Student Laureate Katie Landgrebe of Northwestern University will speak on behalf of all the Laureates. The invocation will be delivered by Dr. Robert Gervasi, President of Quincy University, and the benediction will be delivered by University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Dr. Susan Koch. The Sangamon Woodwind Consort will provide music, and a luncheon at the Illinois Executive Mansion will follow the Student Laureate Convocation.

The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established more than 50 years ago to honor distinguished citizens with the state’s highest award, the Order of Lincoln. The 52nd Annual Convocation and Investiture of Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will take place Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the Illinois State Capitol in Chicago.

The names and hometowns of the students to be recognized on November 1are listed in the attached document.


News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Christina A. Patramanis   
Friday, 31 October 2014 09:14
October 29, 2014 – Iowa City, Iowa – Rick Williams & Ron Clark, natives of Columbus Junction, Iowa, will premier A GRATEFUL NATION at Riverside Theatre, a new play about how World War II affected their town, parents, community, and lives.

The script-in-hand performance will run for 2 shows only at Riverside Theatre, 213 N. Gilbert Street on Saturday, November 15, 7:30PM and Sunday, November 16 at 2:00pm. Ron Clark is also directing the play.  More information at or 319-338-7672

Tickets: $20 adults, $15 Riverdog Season Pass holders. Veterans, military personnel and their immediate family receive a 20% discount off of regular adult-priced tickets as part of Riverside’s Blue Star Theatre Program.

“A Grateful Nation” is sponsored by River Products Company, Inc.

About the Play

“A Grateful Nation” recreates what life was like in small Midwestern towns during the World War II years using stories from interviews, old letters, family lore, and wartime editions of The Columbus Gazette.  Projections of local wartime photos will be shown throughout the play, giving faces and context to the stories with period music completing the mood.

The events and anecdotes in the play are centered on stories and people from Columbus Junction, Iowa - a town about 35 miles southeast of Iowa City where authors Rick Williams and Ron Clark grew up.  "Though the majority of the stories we tell are about people in our town," says Clark, "anyone from any town could do the research and uncover similar tales." Adds Williams, "It would be a stretch to say these stories are universal, but they are certainly national.  Every American living in the early 1940s was affected by the events of the war--and so were those of us who came after them."

Professional actors reading from the script will play multiple characters.  The cast includes Jody Hovland, Sean DeMers, Jack Sharkey and Katherine Slaven. Drew Bielinski will complete the show with lighting and projection design.

About the Playwrights 

Ron Clark and Rick Williams were childhood classmates in Columbus Junction, Iowa.  Both eventually migrated to Iowa City where they have lived for more than 30 years. Family obligations and work commitments limited their time together, however about a year ago Williams and Clark were inspired to collaborate on “A Grateful Nation”.

Writing for theater is nothing new for Clark.  He and his wife, Jody Hovland are two of the co-founders of Riverside Theatre.  Ron has authored three previous plays, including two about small town Iowa life.

Rick Williams is a newcomer to playwriting but is a historian with a journalism background, working as a newspaper reporter before becoming an ACT test editor, where he spent 29 years before retiring.




Sat 11/15, 7:30pm

Sun 11/16, 2:00pm


There will be post-performance talkbacks after both shows with the writers and actors. 



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