ISTC Announces Scriptease Series

By: Jan. 11, 2020

Iowa Stage Theatre Company, central Iowa's home for award-winning theater that inspires, enlightens and entertains, announces its 2020 Scriptease Play Reading Series, with its first production slated to be KAA-ZOWIE, the first play from renowned journalist Scott Simon of National Public Radio.

Scott Simon is the much loved and lauded host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday and serves as one of the hosts of the NPR podcast Up First. He has won every major award in broadcasting, including the Peabody and the Emmy, as well as the Presidential End Hunger Award, the Barry M. Goldwater Award from the Human Rights Fund, the Studs Terkel award, as well as a special citation from the Peabody Awards for his weekly essays, cited as "consistently thoughtful, graceful and challenging."

Simon is the New York Times best-selling author of eight books, including Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball and the highly praised memoir Unforgettable: A Son, A Mother and the Lessons of a Lifetime. HIs most recent book, Sunnyside Plaza, is out this month from Little, Brown and is already garnering glowing reviews.

"I am utterly thrilled that KAA-ZOWIE will be brought to life onstage by the spirited, accomplished, and adventurous Iowa Stage," said Simon. "I am grateful for this opportunity to bring this story to such a discerning audience. I hope people laugh with and love the play, and if not, I am prepared to bury myself to my neck in Scotcharoos, which would not be appealing."

KAA-ZOWIE, Simon's first play, is a workplace comedy set backstage at a local TV clown program, that examines issues of alcoholism and addiction. By turns moving, funny and heartbreaking, KAA-ZOWIE tells the story of the cast of Boffo the Clown, a kids show in Chicago in 1986. Shelley Sullivan, a recovering alcoholic, plays Boffo, and he and his cast must cope with a changing landscape and the arrival of not only a new executive, Gina Nicollini, who is also an ex-lover of Shelley's, but also the child they had together, Isabella, now a teenager. Through the course of deciding the fate of the program, Shelley, Gina and Isabella examine issues of addiction, loss and betrayal, with laughs, love and heart.

"We were hugely excited when we read KAA-ZOWIE" said Matthew McIver, Artistic Director of ISTC. "This is a thoughtful, funny play, set in a fascinating world we don't often visit, that tackles big themes. And the chance to work with Scott Simon was just another wonderful opportunity, for us and for central Iowa audiences."

The ISTC reading of KAA-ZOWIE will take place at the Stoner Theater of Des Moines Performing Arts on January 27th at 7:00pm. It will take place on the set of ISTC's world premiere musical, Robert John Ford's campaign parody of A Chorus Line, entitled Adore Us! Line.

Following KAA-ZOWIE, ISTC's Scriptease play reading series continues with My Own Stranger by Marilyn Campbell & Linda Laundra, based on the work of the poet Anne Sexton, on March 30, 2020. The final presentation will be Mahala Island by Grand View University Professor A'ndrea Wilson on May 18, 2020

The Stoner Theatre of Des Moines Performing Arts is located at 221 Walnut Street in downtown Des Moines.


NATIVE GARDENS is Now Playing at Des Moines Playhouse Photo
NATIVE GARDENS is Now Playing at Des Moines Playhouse

Native Gardens is now playing at Des Moines Playhouse. Performances run June 2-18.

The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra Swings into Coralville in June Photo
The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra Swings into Coralville in June

The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra returns to the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts Thursday, June 8 at 7:00 PM.

Review: TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at Des Moines Performing Arts Photo
Review: TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at Des Moines Performing Arts

What did our Some artists are remembered for being one-hit wonders, while others are known for producing hit after hit. In either case, we are left with the legacy of their music. When you think of Tina Turner, you think of all the hit songs she is known for. The legacy her music still has can be seen on stage at Des Moines Performing Arts as they opened 'Tina: The Tina Turner Musical' as part of their current Broadway Series.  critic think of TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at Des Moines Performing Arts?

Review: A BRIGHT NEW BOISE at Iowa Stage Photo
Review: A BRIGHT NEW BOISE at Iowa Stage

Every once and a while, when a new season is announced, I find a show in the lineup that I can help but anticipate seeing. For me, that happened when Iowa Stage announced they would be doing 'A Bright New Boise' as part of their 2023 season. It wasn't a show I was familiar with, but it was a plot I was going to be able to relate to. That was due to the show taking place at a Hobby Lobby. I have not worked for Hobby Lobby, but I did work retail for a few years, so going in, I was excited to see another look at the retail working experience. What I got was so much more.

More Hot Stories For You


#repshow# in[i]# Seussical TYA
Des Moines Playhouse (10/27-11/05)
#repshow# in[i]# The Love for Three Oranges
Blank Performing Arts Center (7/08-7/22)
#repshow# in[i]# Our Town
Des Moines Playhouse (2/02-2/18)
#repshow# in[i]# All Is Calm
Des Moines Playhouse (12/01-12/17)
#repshow# in[i]# Once
Des Moines Playhouse (9/08-9/24)
#repshow# in[i]# Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Des Moines Playhouse (3/29-4/14)
#repshow# in[i]# The Secret Garden – Spring Version
Des Moines Playhouse (2/23-3/10)
#repshow# in[i]# Native Gardens
Des Moines Playhouse (6/02-6/18)
#repshow# in[i]# Much Ado About Nothing
Ankeny Community Theatre (8/04-8/13)
#repshow# in[i]# Joseph and the Technicolored Dreamcoat
The Grand Opera House (6/09-6/18)

Recommended For You