Have you been wondering about the future of The Winterset Stage, with all the changes it has experienced this year? Me too!
As you know, Megan Barrett is now the director of the Iowa Quilt Museum, but she is also still the president of The Winterset Stage’s Board of Directors. When I checked in with her about it last week, she said that the 2016 program year started off very strong with the murder mystery dinner theater they presented in April, “And The Winner is… Dead.” This show experienced sellout crowds on its second and third weekends.
And now that the tourism season is upon us, the Stage is excited to debut their next show, “Honky Tonk Angels,” tonight at 7:30. It stars Meredith McKay, Olivia McNair, and Barrett herself.
“It’s about three women who are from very different walks of life, but they all have this love of country music,” Barrett explains. “They each end up on a bus to Nashville to pursue a singing career, and since they’ve met, they decide to do this thing together. They become the ‘Honky Tonk Angels’ and they sing in this honky tonk bar in Nashville.” The show includes a lot of great music from country music icons such as Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Nancy Sinatra. It was written by Ted Swindley, the same person who wrote “Always, Patsy Cline,” which was one of the first shows performed in the Stage’s new space and a community hit.
The rest of the band and production crew are local as well. Meisha Sible is the director, Scott Smith designed the set, and Elizabeth Hoenig, Christina Gardner, Leo Hensely, Noah Hochstetler, Jackson Mrzena, and Rachelle Lopez provide the music. Tickets are $15 in advance, and there is an optional dinner theater available for the Friday night performances, prepared by Hy-Vee — Texas barbecue with all the fixings.
In addition to this show, The Winterset Stage is now taking registrations for its annual Summer Stage camp for students who have finished kindergarten through age 14. This takes place July 18-22nd from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, with a final performance that Friday at 5:00, and Megan Barrett will be the lead teacher. “We will do a whole week of Aesop’s Fables, so that involves storytelling activities, puppetry activities, all the stages of producing a show — auditioning and rehearsing, music, dance, learning lines, staging, blocking, sound effects, and the kids get to create their own costumes,” she said. Registration is $150 before July 1st and $175 after that. If you have a child who is interested in participating, you can register here.
Future shows will include a Neil Simon play in September called “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” and a Main Stage Junior production in October, “Wiley and the Hairy Man.” There are also plans in the works for a holiday show in December.
Beyond that, Megan Barrett projects, “Once the Iowa Theater is up and remodeled in 2017 we are looking at moving into that space for some of our productions and possibly selling the building. We are looking to be sustainable and to keep providing awesome opportunities to the community to be both involved in and come see a theater show, but we need to make it maintainable as a volunteer organization.”
Thank you to the board of The Winterset Stage, which still includes Cindy Stanbro as an active member, for keeping theater alive in Winterset!
In addition to Honky Tonk Angels tonight at 7:30, here are a few other opportunities to note:
It’s Movie Night in the Park tonight (Friday) at 9:00 pm in Winterset’s City Park, at the north shelter house. They will be showing Minions (PG), sponsored by Madison County Realty. Bring your snacks and lawn chair or blanket.
The Madison County Farmers Market will be held on Saturday morning from 8:00 am to noon on the perimeter of the courthouse lawn.
The Madison County ISU Extension is hosting “Food Preservation 101” at 10:00 am this Saturday morning. It will be a fun overview of drying, freezing, pickling, hot-water bath canning and pressure canning, and participants will find out about the equipment, time and money each method requires. Also learn how to avoid common food preservation mistakes, sample homemade jam and dried fruit, and bring home research-based recipes. Space is limited and the cost is $2.00 per person. Call 462-1001 to see if there is still space available.
On Saturday evening, the Music at the Winery series continues with Crosswind at Covered Bridges Winery from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. Just bring a chair, a blanket and enjoy the beautiful Iowa landscape at the winery. They’ll bring the wine! Need directions? Check this page.
You can also enjoy live music at Two Saints Winery in St. Charles this Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00, with Flipside.
Registration is due today, June 24th, for the Women in the Outdoors event at Pammel State Park on July 22-23. The event will include courses in kayaking, dutch oven cooking, fly fishing, self defense and more. As the name implies, it is a ladies-only event, and all skill levels are welcome. All courses are subject to change based on registrations, so be sure to rate the choices first, second, third. Registration packet can be found on the Madison County Parks website on the Calendar & Events page.
On Wednesday, June 29th, the Winterset Parks & Recreation Department is hosting a Tennis Rally for boys and girls in grades 2 -6, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the City Tennis Courts. There is no fee. This will be a fun-filled day of tennis match play, games and contests. Prizes will be awarded. Balls, racquets and supervision is provided. All skill levels are welcome. Bring a sack lunch and swim suit. Call or email the Winterset Parks & Recreation Department to register.
Also on the 29th, The Winterset Public Library welcomes the Blank Park Zoo from 11:00 am to noon. Children of all ages will enjoy this interactive animal program, feature four live animals from the zoo. It is free and open to the public, and no registration is required.
On Thursday, June 30th, 1st Avenue Collective will host a wine tasting from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, featuring selections from Madison County Winery.
The public is invited to attend a reception at the Winterset Library on Saturday, July 2nd at 10:00 am, where the winner of their art competition will be announced. Friends of the Library has received models of proposed artwork submitted by the schools of art, design and architecture at Iowa State University, Ball State University, and Dalhousie University. They are currently on display at the Library. A jury is assessing the artworks and will announce the winner of the competition, who will the create and install a new work of outdoor public art on the exterior of the Library. The jury is comprised of artists Robin Paul from Madhaus Gallery in Winterset, Jordan Weber from Fluxx Gallery in Des Moines, and Richard Saxton from M12 Gallery and Assistant Professor of Art and Art History, University of Colorado.
The Madison County Fair is coming July 13 – 17, and carnival tickets are on pre-sale now at several locations listed below. A full lineup of fair events can be found at www.madisoncountyfair.net.
Finally, two highlights of the week. First, the Winterset Rotary Club celebrated another year of making a positive difference in our community, region, state, nation and world on Thursday evening, June 23rd, as 13 members were recognized as Paul Harris Fellows for their contributions to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. The Winterset Rotary Club meets on Thursdays at noon at Pizza Ranch and openly welcomes newcomers and visitors.
And second, beaming with well-deserved pride, Mark and Kayla Hawkins of White Lions Bed & Breakfast had their official ribbon cutting and open house on Thursday evening at their new Guest House at Cedar Lake. It is now open and taking reservations. What a picturesque and peaceful setting for a getaway! Call them at 515-462-5141 to inquire about reservations, or find more information online at www.whitelionsbandb.com. In the meantime, enjoy this peek inside!
Have a great weekend in Winterset, and thank you for reading The Winterset Citizen.