Sunday, June 17, 2012

Play: Leaving Iowa

The set of "Leaving Iowa"

It seems like no matter where you are living, if you look hard enough you can find midwest gems scattered anywhere. I recently found one of those gems, a play that was brought to life in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle's Taproot Theater. I went with a work friend who also grew up in Iowa. The synopsis of the play:

"Remember those family vacations you tried to forget?
Don's memories of family road trips come to life as he travels
cross-country to scatter his father's ashes. Packed with rollicking 
good humor, this celebration of family reminds us that sometimes
the journey is more important than the destination."

The theater is one of those that there isn't a bad seat in the entire theater. There was a simple set that allowed the script and acting to be the stars of the show. When we walked into the theater, the usher handed us our program and indicated that if we wanted to learn more about the state of the Iowa that information was on the wall behind her. We told her that we both are from Iowa; her eyes got so big and said "Really! Wow! That's amazing." It isn't what she said, but HOW she said it. She made it sound like we were some mythical creatures that she didn't know existed....ironic?...YES!

The play incorporated a lot of things from Iowa and neighboring states. Moments included Hy-vee shopping carts, farmers galore, tourist traps, corn, visiting Hannibal Missouri, tractors slowing down traffic, packing snacks, and so much more.

Don (the son) who has moved far away from his family in the Midwest, relives places and sights that he has long forgotten. Through this final road trip (finding the perfect place to spread his father's ashes), Don remembers his father, his family and what was important to all of them. We all have road trips that we cherished and those that we want to forget...but the relationship we have with our fathers are priceless. Therefore, not only was this play hilarious but it allowed me to be nostalgic towards times I have spent in the midwest with my dad.

Outside of the Taproot Theater

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