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Carson-Newman presents family comedy ‘Leaving Iowa’

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

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 “Leaving Iowa,” the awardwinning and family-friendly production, is coming to Carson-Newman University from Feb. 28 to March 3.

 The University production follows Don Browning’s journey down memory lane, retracing his family’s old road trips.

 The main character, Don, is played by C-N junior Austin Olive, a theatre major from Jefferson City. He plays a middleaged writer who returns to his father’s childhood home in order to scatter his ashes. However, upon finding that the house has been turned into a grocery store, Don starts to retrace the steps of the family road trips in order to find the perfect place for his father’s ashes.

 The production’s director, Kyle Biery, says that it is family road trips that often create many childhood memories.

 “You’d have the animals in the back seat and spontaneous stops along the way. When you’re a child you dread those rides but it’s those things that you learn to appreciate when you get older,” explained the assistant professor of theatre. “You realize that life is really about enjoying the simpler things and appreciating time with the family.”

 Joining Olive are C-N stage veterans Charlie Ridgely (Dad), Jessy Lakins (Mom) and Amie McGaha (Sis). Rounding out the cast are seven C-N students playing multiple quirky characters each and several C-N faculty and staff members including Dr. Sheridan Barker, Chip Hall and Jimmy Hodges.

 “One of the greatest things about this show is that it’s perfect for ages 10-110,” Biery said.

 Beginning Thursday, Feb. 28, the show will run nightly at 7:30 through Saturday, March 2, in Gentry Auditorium. There will be a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Gentry Auditorium is on the first floor of Henderson Humanities Building in the center of C-N campus.

 Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 865-471-4163. Tickets will also be sold at the door prior to the performances. Tickets are $8 for adults, and $5 for students, seniors 60 and older and C-N faculty and staff.

 Carson-Newman University’s theatre program produces six to eight productions throughout the academic year in addition to a 24-hour play festival. Types of productions vary from children’s shows to student-written productions.