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ISTC Announces Scriptease Series


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.

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