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Iowa City Book Festival October 1-6, 2019


Inside Corridor Theater


Inside Corridor Theater - September

By Matthew Brewbaker


It’s September the Iowa State Fair is done, students are back in school, and most of the local theatres are starting their new seasons. Between all the local community theaters and University events across the area, it’s a great time to get out and see some fantastic live theater. There’s a wide range of things from classic musicals to newer more thought-provoking shows to enjoy this month.


The University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium will be kicking off its new season in September. However, the event that got my attention is the 20th-anniversary tour of RENT. The rock musical took the country by storm 20 years ago presenting a cast of characters with diversity (racial and sexual orientations) including representations of characters living with HIV and AIDs. If you’ve never seen it, it’s about time to find out what the buzz is about, or if you have seen it, it is probably time to see it again. The show will be at Hancher on October 4-6th. Watch their website for info and tickets.

Riverside Theatre starts its season off with a new adaptation of Chekov’s Uncle Vanya directed by Adam McKnight with a stellar cast including two longtime friends Jessica Link (last seen in Men in Boats) and Rachel Lindhart. I had a chance to speak with Adam about the show and assembling this impressive cast, which left me nearly as excited to see the show as he is about directing it! It opens September 13th and runs through October 6th.


Dreamwell Theatre will be kicking off its season with Robert Askin’s Hand to God, an irreverent and shocking comedy about sin, puppets, and a church youth group. This play was a big hit on Broadway just5 years ago. As Dreamwell’s Artistic Director, I am very excited to have director Grant Freeman bring this to the Dreamwell stage. Check out for info and tickets.


Another great show – also set in a church – kicks off City Circle’s season, The Christians by Lucas Hnath is an incredibly thought-provoking drama that explores belief, conviction, and whether those beliefs can evolve and change. Starring good friends Rip Russell and Duane Larson, this show directed by Kevin Michael Moore is on my must-see list. The Christians will run September 20-22nd at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts


Both Theatre Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Community Theatre are kicking off their seasons with classic musicals. TCR will be presenting Hello, Dolly, September 20th through October 13th, and ICCT will be presenting Pippin, running September 20th through 29th.


Lastly, the Giving Tree Theatre in Marion will be presenting Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, September 6th through the 22nd. I can’t say enough about how vital Oscar Wilde writing is culturally and especially historically for the LGBT community. Though he was never able to write openly about his sexuality, when his plays are viewed through our modern culture and sensibilities, it comes through pretty clearly just how far ahead of his time he was. For more info on tickets, go to


Inside Corridor Theater is a column by Matthew Brewbaker.Contact Matthew at or visit our website at