Barbara S. Lee Memorial Fund is Established

barbara leeCity Circle Founding Member Barbara S. Lee, 62, of North Liberty, died Sunday, September 7th, at her home following a courageous battle with cancer.

A vibrant and electric presence off-stage and on, Barb will be remembered for her feisty wit and soaring soprano, in addition to her years on the City Circle Board of Directors, where she served as Secretary.  Among her favorites roles was Jeanette, the hard talking piano player in The Full Monty–a role that she proudly costumed from her own closet–and a haughty but hysterical nun in Nunsense–a role that she proudly did not costume from her own closet.  Most poignantly, she portrayed a dancing bear confronting mortality in The Arkansaw Bear.  She particularly enjoyed the photography of her character from The Rocky Horror Show.

She was reminiscing about her theatrical past with many of the men from the Full Monty just one day before her passing, laughing and smiling, telling stories and correcting others when details were not in keeping with her memory.

She and her family have asked that donations be made in her memory to City Circle Acting Company of Coralville.

Auditions for A Year with Frog & Toad

Auditions for the heartwarming family musical, A Year with Frog & Toad, will be held on Saturday, September 27 at the Coralville Recreation Center.
Initial auditions will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and callbacks will be 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Please prepare 32 bars of a song that showcases your range. You may be asked to read from the script.
To gauge the musical style of this show, check out this clip.

Fill out an Audition Form for an appointment.
Walk-ins are welcome, but scheduled appointments will take priority.

See the production page for more information.

New Play Festival & Catchin’ The Babies

City Circle is proud to present our biennial celebration of emerging voices in theater.
This year, the New Play Festival will be a one-night-only event, on Saturday, September 20 at 7:00 at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. Buy tickets for the New Play Festival here.

That same weekend, we’re bringing Catchin’ The Babies, by Sue Gilbert, to the CCPA stage, for two performances: Thursday, September 18 at 7:30 and Saturday, September 20 at 2:00. Buy tickets for Catchin’ The Babies here.
Tickets for these shows are $12.  Buy tickets for both, and save with the New Play Festival Package, $20.

2014’s New Play Festival features eight short plays by Iowa playwrights.  They present a wide variety of tones, styles and subject matter.
Some contain adult themes and language.  Each has its own director and cast, which are listed here. The New Play festival is “uber-directed” and produced by Liz Tracey. The selected plays are:

Boy In A Cage by Catherine Shook  – Hot In The Kitchen by Chris Okiishi – Lovely, Wonderful Thoughts by Elizabeth Breed – on the possibilities of endings by Jennifer Fawcett – Shoving It In The Alleyway by Elijah Jones – The Concentrated Masses by Duane Larson – They Grow Up So Fast by Duane Larson – Wednesday Night Witness by Amy White

The New Play Festival is sponsored this year by Heuer Publishing.  Heuer is providing monetary prizes to the writers of the plays judged to be the best of the Fest.  Additionally, the playwrights will have the opportunity to have their plays published by Heuer.  Awards will be announced the night of the festival.

Catchin’ the Babies is a glimpse into early pioneer life, as seen through the eyes of Annie MacFarlane, a half-Cherokee, half-Irish midwife. Written and performed by Sue Gilbert, one of Annie’s descendants, the play grew out of previous City Circle New Play Festivals. In February 2007, Catchin’ the Babies competed in the Iowa Association of American Community Theatres Festival and won Best Play, Best Female Actor, and Best Set Design (Michael Blake).  It is directed by John Harper.


The New Play Festival Is Cast!

The eight plays selected for City Circle’s New Play Festival have been cast.
Sincere thanks to all who auditioned.
The New Play Festival will be at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts on September 20.

The casts are:

Boy In A Cage by Catherine Shook
Directed by Robyn Calhoun
Man: Skyler Matthias
Boy: Jackson Brus

Hot In The Kitchen by Chris Okiishi
Directed by Elijah Jones
Phil: Greg Kilberger
Phyllis: Paula Grady

Lovely, Wonderful Thoughts by Elizabeth Breed
Directed by Mary Sullivan
Peter: Natalie Johnson
Wendie: Claire Green
Jonny: Chad Keitel
Mike: Sage Spiker
Mary: Jessica Murillo
George: Robert Kemp

on the possibilities of endings by Jennifer Fawcett
Directed by Scott Strode
Man: Scott Strode
Woman: Katy Karas

Shoving It In the Alleyway by Elijah Jones
Directed by Patrick DuLaney
Tony: Greg Kilberger
Jerry: Shane Nielson

The Concentrated Masses by Duane Larson
Directed by Adeara Jean Maurice
Linderson: Kevin Burford
Old Anderson: Brian Tanner
New Anderson: J.P. Horn
Gunderson: John Smick
Henderson: Adam Burton

They Grow Up So Fast by Duane Larson
Directed by Scott Strode
Marion: Dawn Slezak
John: Monty Beal
Billy: Felipe Carrasco

Wednesday Night Witness by Amy White
Directed by Liz Tracey
Jake: Jackson Brus
Brody: Carson Slezak


Announcing the Cast of Xanadu

Xanadu, the fantasy pop-rock musical, will be presented at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts October 10-19.
The show has been described as a mash-up of Greek mythology and 80s disco culture.  Check out the Xanadu page for all the details.

Director Chris Okiishi warmly thanks all who auditioned.

The cast is:

Kira/Clio–Victoria Vaughn
Sonny Malone–Skyler Matthias
Danny Maguire–Josh Sazon

The Muses:

Melpomene–Jessica Wittman
Calliope–Chris Carpenter
Erato—Lisa Beal
Terpsichore—Ben Alley
Euterpe—Rebecca Ogilvie
Thalia—Elizabeth Stam

The Greek Chorus:

Paige Harken, Gabby Finlayson, Anna Sheffield, Jilly Cooke, Isabelle Robles, Grace Colton, Stephen Castillo, Marisah Richards


Auditions for New Play Festival

City Circle is seeking actors to perform in our New Play Festival, which will be performed on Saturday, Sep 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.

Auditions will take place on Saturday, Aug 16 from 10:00-11:00 a.m.  and from 3:00-4:00 p.m.  Auditions will consist of cold-readings from the new plays, so there’s no need to prepare anything. Please fill out an online Audition Form if you’d like to audition.

The festival consists of eight new plays:

Boy In A Cage by Catherine Shook
An allegory of what can happen when a man’s sexuality is suppressed.
BOY: a slim, feminine boy between the ages of 13 and 18. He is a loving and honest figure–sometimes honest in a searing way.
MAN: a burly man between the ages of 25 and 35. He is aggressive and fearful.

Hot In The Kitchen by Chris Okiishi
A radio cooking show staring high-energy, mildly naughty hosts Phil and Phyllis.
PHIL and PHYLLIS. Middle- aged couple, fun, engaging, constantly laughing,broken relationship underneath the humor

Lovely Wonderful Thoughts by Elizabeth Breed
What if Peter Pan came to a modern-day Darling family?
PETER PAN – the boy who never grows up, 15 (played by actor 15-25)
WENDY DARLING – a typical teenage girl, 15 (played by actor 15-25)
JONNY DARLING – her younger brother, a video-gamer, 13 (played by actor 15-25)
MIKE DARLING – her youngest brother, who had an impossible growth spurt, 7 (looks 25)
MARY DARLING – their mother, 30s-40s
GEORGE DARLING – their father 30s-50s

On the Possibilities of Endings by Jennifer Fawcett
A thoughtful look at the moment before leaving this world.
MAN … older, in his 60’s or 70’s (not essential for casting). Speaks a little louder than normal.
WOMAN… younger, in her 30’s or 40’s

Shoving It In The Alleyway by Elijah Jones
A comedic look at a drug deal gone wrong.
TONY – the boss, ‘got that look that could kill’
JERRY – dim-witted lackey

The Concentrated Masses by Duane Larson
A farcical look at corporate America
LINDERSON: The boss. Oldest and most intimidating of the group.
OLD ANDERSON: Next oldest, a long-time colleague of Linderson.
GUNDERSON and HENDERSON: Younger and more immature than the others.
NEW ANDERSON: Either the youngest or the same age-range as Gunderson and Henderson.

They Grow Up So Fast by Duane Larson
A father’s hilarious attempt at sending his son out into the world.
JOHN: husband and parent, 40’s- 60’s
MARION: wife and parent, 40’s- 60’s
BILLY: son, a six-year-old in a twenty-something body

Wednesday Night Witness by Amy White
Two boys’ disturbing conversation in the library.
Characters :
JAKE, a fourteen-year-old eighth grade boy. Hyper-aggressive, looking for trouble
BRODY, a ten-year-old fifth grade boy. Imaginative, sings in a church choir


Xanadu Auditions

City Circle Acting Company will hold auditions for the musical Xanadu on Saturday, July 26 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Coralville Public Library. Please fill an audition form out online to schedule an audition time. Walk-ups are always welcome but we honor scheduled times first.

Performances are October 10-19 at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. Chris Okiishi is the director.

Come audition for the musical comedy event of the fall!  All the great music from the TERRIBLE 80s movie, but with a fresh, new, actually coherent script!

Featuring the music of the Electric Light Orchestra, the Tubes, Olivia Newton-John, and Gene Kelly (yes, that Gene Kelly), this musical is a mash up of Greek Mythology and 80’s Disco culture.   Think Percy Jackson meets Donna Summer.  Or Clash of the Titans meets Saturday Night Fever.  Or Hercules meets Can’t Stop the Music.  Whatever.

Rolls available for a wide variety of singer-actors including:

  • 4 muses (two men, two women):  ages 16 – 35.   Some dance skill.  Strong voices and comic chops.  One must be able to do a good Maggie Smith impersonation.
  • 2 “mature” muses:  ages 25 – 60.  Big voices.  Strong comic chops.  Ability to be comically evil.
  • One young adult man:  strong voice, some roller-skating ability.
  • One young adult woman:   strong voice, fake-sounding Australian accent, at least competent roller-skating ability.
  • One older adult man:  55 – 80.  Strong comic chops.  Good character signing voice.
  • Some chorus parts may be available.
  • Some pit-singing parts may be available.

Please bring a short comedic monolog (less than 1 minute) and one verse / chorus of an 80s pop song.  Sheet music in the correct key is required.

Contact director Chris Okiishi, for questions or to see a perusal script.

The Timothy J. Barnes Memorial Fund is established

10409484_10152131684042385_5091278239598661981_nCity Circle Acting Company of Coralville founding member Tim Barnes loved the theater. He loved every aspect of it and found great joy in participating at every level. From directing some of our earliest shows (Nunsense, Marvin’s Room) to acting in others (The Boys Next Door, The Full Monty, Cabaret) to singing in benefits and concerts (Circle Full of Stars) to pulling the curtain up and down (Gypsy), Tim brought his wit, compassion, intelligence, and creativity to every job. Everyone that worked with Tim loved him—his easy-going nature, his crack comic timing, his beautiful voice, his one-of-a-kind smile.

Tim passed away on July 9, 2014, surrounded by memories of his time in Iowa Theater and in the company of his loving, devoted husband, Rick Armstrong. He will be missed by those who had the honor to know him personally and by our theater community where his legacy continues.

Tim’s husband and family have asked City Circle and the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts to create a way to honor his memory and further his wish that City Circle would have a permanent theatrical home.

Funds raised by the Timothy J. Barnes Memorial Fund will do just that.

We can think of no more fitting tribute to this man and theatrical artist than to forever be able to say in Coralville that “the show will go on!”

Announcing the Cast List for Hair

Cast List for Hair – August 1-3
Directed by John Cameron

Return to the Summer of Love with the ultimate rock musical, directed by the University of Iowa’s John Cameron. Hair tells the story of three young friends finding their way in 1960s America, as they struggle with identity, family, allegiance to country, and the allure of sensual pleasure.  Book and lyrics are by James Rado and Gerome Ragni , with music by Galt MacDermot.  (Rated Theater PG-13)

The cast includes:

  • Felipe Carrasco- Claude
  • Sage Spiker- Berger
  • Melissa Melloy- Sheila
  • Emma Drtina – Jeanie
  • Melina Neves – Crissy
  • Aneisa Hicks – Dionne
  • Ruben LeBron-Vellegas  –  Hud
  • Andrew Wilkes – Woof
  • Adam Phillips – Walter and others
  • Taisha Poole – Suzannah and others
  • RJ McGhee – Paul and others
  • Hannah Green – Mary and others
  • Ted Brown – Steve and others
  • Niki Franco – Marietta and others
  • Megan Kordick – Diane and others
  • Madison Voigt – Linda and others

City Circle Calls for New Play Festival Submissions

City Circle Acting Company is seeking new, original, unpublished plays for inclusion in its bi-annual New Play Festival. Any author is welcome to submit up to three original plays or musicals, but priority will be given to submissions that:

  • are created by a local author or an author with strong Iowa ties
  • are able to be performed with simple set, costume and technical demands
  • are approximately 10 minutes in length
  • are receiving their debut performance at this festival

The chosen plays will be performed as part of City Circle’s New Play Festival , at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, September 20, 2014 at 7pm.  Interested playwrights may send plays or request information by contacting

Heuer Publishing Company has agreed to read and consider publishing agreements with the authors for all plays chosen for the festival.

Heuer Publishing was established in 1928 and today is one of the oldest publishing houses serving the educational and community theatre markets. Heuer is a pioneer in commissioning and publishing unique works from a broad range of playwrights, which are entertaining and yet thought provoking, family appropriate and yet edgy, and which provide a standardized formula for technical production with flexibility for directors desiring a greater challenge.

Due to Heuer’s gracious sponsorship of our New Play Festival we are able for the first time to provide monetary prizes. We will be awarding $500 for First Place, $300 for Second Place, $100 for Third Place and $50 for the runner ups.

Deadline for submissions is June 20, 2014.