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Picnic Theater: Grant Wood
Grant Wood chats with the audience in this one act show, as if talking to an old friend across the backyard fence, or maybe at his home at Five Turner Alley in Cedar Rapids. He tells us about his life and how he changed the art world forever with his work. It is the man behind American Gothic that we hear and see, and the story of how he took the moments, the memories, and the people of our state, and showed the whole world the specialness of this place, Iowa.
Doors open at 4:30 for a gourmet brown bag lunch with the performance at 5:15 pm. Cost is $25 per person via on-line tickets. Seating is limited so reservations are required. More details are included on the ticketing page.
Performer Tom Milligan has spent 45 years as a working theater artist in Iowa. As an actor, director, scenic designer and producer, his work has been seen throughout the Midwest, especially at the Des Moines Playhouse, Ingersoll Dinner Theater, The Drake Opera Theater, Hoyt Sherman Place, The Drama Workshop and other venues in the Des Moines area. In 2005 he moved to the Amana Colonies, working on multiple productions at the Old Creamery Theater and the Iowa Theater Artists Company, plus many self-produced productions.
Picnic Theater: George Washington Carver
The play describes the life and work of George Washington Carver (circa 1864-1943) including how his birth in slavery, struggle for an education and love of nature led him to become one of the most influential and inspiring renaissance men of the 20th century. Williams covers Carver’s time in Iowa, beginning in 1888 in Winterset, his studies at Simpson College and Iowa State College, and his friendships with Uncle Henry, Henry C., and Henry A. Wallace.
Paxton Williams is an attorney and actor/playwright who believes in the power of stories to inspire, connect, and transform. Williams authored “Listening to the Still Small Voice” in 2000, and has performed it more than 400 times in the U.S. and England. From 2005-2009, Williams was executive director of the George Washington Carver Birthplace Association. He served recently as associate producer for the regional Emmy-nominated Iowa PBS documentary on Carver and was the content expert on the National Geographic Readers book on Carver. A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Williams also holds degrees in political science, communication studies, and public policy from Iowa State University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Birmingham in England.