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Staged Reading Of New Musical Comedy ROLF(E) To Be Presented at the Iowa State Historical Building

Performances are on Saturday, May 21 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm.

Staged Reading Of New Musical Comedy ROLF(E) To Be Presented at the Iowa State Historical Building A staged reading of the new musical comedy "Rolf(e)" will be presented on Saturday, May 21 in two performances - 2:00pm and 7:00pm - at the Iowa State Historical Building auditorium in Des Moines. The event is free and open to the public, although advance reservations are required.

You know him from "The Sound Of Music," but how did a gazebo-dancing messenger boy become a member of the Nazi Youth movement during one fateful summer? Was he the villain or just a misinformed teenager? And exactly how do you spell his name? "Rolf(e)" tells the hilarious back-story of an unheralded and misunderstood hero who would do anything for love and the resistance.

Combining music in the style of Rodgers & Hammerstein, the teen angst of "Spring Awakening," and the bawdiness of "Cabaret," "Rolf(e)" is a musical for the entire family... assuming the kids in the family have already figured out how to bypass any parental controls on their TVs and devices. Created by Iowa playwright Robert John Ford (whose musicals include "Adore Us! Line," "Caucus! The Musical," and "Six-On-Six"), the creative team includes Ford as director, Megan Helmers as assistant director and choreographer, and Brenton Brown as music director.

The musical will be performed by a cast of 16.

More than a decade in development, this staged reading will be the first time "Rolf(e)" is presented to a public audience. Actors will perform with scripts and music in hand and sing live to a pre-recorded instrumental track, and scenes will be presented with representational staging and choreography. Small costume pieces will be used to distinguish characters and projections will be used to suggest scenery.

"This staged reading will not only give audiences a rare glimpse of the early stages of the development of a new musical, but it will allow them to provide vital feedback on its path to a fully-staged production," said Ford.

Several theatre companies and producers have expressed interest in producing the show in 2023. As seating is limited, audiences are strongly encouraged to reserve their free tickets in advance online. The event will also be recorded for streaming by those who cannot attend in person. To reserve tickets, to sign up for streaming access, or for more information, visit

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