Monday, June 23, 2008

Thoughts from Tim

Seen in countless RT productions, such as Apartment 3A, Doubt, Lonesome West, King Lear, and others, Tim Budd is a recognizable face around the theatre.

Tim is currently playing Polixenes in The Winter's Tale (and Antipholus of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors) and recorded a brief YouTube spot about Shakespeare's rich language found in The Winter's Tale.

Tim Budd and The Winter's Tale

Friday, June 20, 2008

Riverside Theatre is asking for help!

Riverside Theatre is seeking donations to protect the current season of the Shakespeare Festival. Due to the flooding of City Park, and our subsequent move to City High School, ticket sales for the opening weekends of The Comedy of Errors and The Winter’s Tale were drastically affected – the first weekend alone grossed less than 50% of previous seasons.

In addition, though we were able to move most of our costume stock and tools from our shop, we’ve likely lost some valuable equipment, set pieces and props.

While we feel fortunate to be able to continue with our performances, we need your help! Please consider (in addition to attending the shows) making a tax-deductible contribution to the Shakespeare Festival. Since we are a non-profit, and all of our income goes directly back into the organization, your contribution will help us meet our immediate needs: which includes paying our seasonal artists and year-round staff.

Meanwhile, our festival artists are having a wonderful time performing in our home-away-from-home at City High. We hope you'll come experience this festival with a twist - bring a blanket and picnic on the school lawn, watch the green show and then venture into Opstad for a truly unforgettable evening of theatre.

Many thanks for your support!

Sara O'Leary
Development Director

To donate online, please visit our website.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Flood Update

The Shakespeare is on, as scheduled, June 13 - July 13, at Opstad Auditorium at City High School in Iowa City. We have a wonderful new home for the summer and are so grateful to the Iowa City Community School District for their gracious support.

The Riverside Festival Stage in Lower City Park is flooded. The latest eyewitness reports that the water is covering the both the chairs and the stage at this point. We vacated our scene and costumes hops, which is in the basement of a strip mall at the corner of 1st Avenue and the strip in Coralville. We weren't able to get everything, but we did remove all tools, most of our hanging costumes and a few set pieces.

We don't need volunteers currently, but may need some assistance for clean-up and restocking the scene shop once we can get back in!

For updates on other arts and culture organizations in the area, please visit for extensive information.

Press-Citizen Review

Flood doesn't stop good production
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Despite several curve balls, Riverside Theatre pulled off opening night of its Shakespeare Festival on June 13 with plenty of laughs. Floodwaters forced the company to move opening weekend of "Comedy of Errors" to City High's Opstad Auditorium. The festival traditionally takes place at the Riverside Theatre festival stage in City Park.

The company only had a few days to switch gears. What really came through Friday was their desire to tell a good story.

Normally, opening night of the festival is close to if not sold out, leading to an audience of 400 plus. On Friday night, the audience was closer to 100 people.
Despite several empty seats, actors were on top of their game, performing as if the auditorium was packed.

A bonus is that this opening show, "Comedy of Errors," is full of laughs; something the community really needs right now.

In fact, the show is thought to be one of Shakespeare's funniest. It centers on two sets of identical twins, with identical names, who are separated during a shipwreck and appear 25 years later in Ephesus.

Both pairs of twins: Aaron Graham (Dromio of Ephesus) and Martin Andrews (Dromio of Syracuse) and Tim Budd (Antipholus of Ephesus) and Dennis Fox (Antipholus of Syracuse) did a superb job.

Ron Clark, production manager, has said: "When you are doing the classics, your job is to make them accessible."

Not only did Riverside manage to make "Comedy of Errors" accessible, but they also managed to make it quite entertaining.

At the end of the evening, Clark graciously thanked audience members for "knowing the festival is open."

While the festival will not take place under the sky, at least not for many weeks still, actors proved June 13 that it is not the open outdoors that makes the event, but professional actors who give their all to bring a different world to life.

Fourteen professional actors and eight interns traveled from as far away as California and New York to take part in the event. Come and see them before they're gone.

The festival needs just as much support at City High as at City Park.
Yes, there is an awful lot going all, but then we all need to laugh, too.

Reach Deanna Truman at 339-7360 or
• What: Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival.
• When: Runs through July 13. "The Comedy of Errors" opened Friday. "The Winter's Tale" opens at 8 p.m. Friday. The plays run in rotary.
• Where: The festival normally takes place at the Riverside Theatre Festival Stage in Lower City Park. However, due to flooding, the festival currently is taking place in City High's Opstad Auditorium.
• Cost: $25 to $37 for adults, $21 to $30 for senior citizens and students, $17 for student rush, $15 for youth, $17 all-age weekday rush Wednesdays and Thursdays (cannot be pre-ordered). Group discounts are available.
• Information: Call 338-7672.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Riverside Theatre Festival Preview

The Cedar Rapids Gazette printed a preview about the festival in the paper on June 8, 2008. Enjoy!

The Show Must Go On....

Yikes! There have been a lot of changes around here. Due to massive flooding and the closing of City Park, the show is on the move...back to high school.

To escape the flood waters lapping across the main road into City Park, we've temporarily relocated to the City High School Auditorium. Thanks to a use of facility agreement with the Iowa City Community School District, we will have use of the space for the entire run of the festival. However, we're crossing our fingers. If the water level subsides and City Park reopens, the shows will move back out to the park.

For more information about this move, check out Relocation FAQ.

Map of City High School

Another show has moved: The Will Power Dress Rehearsal Performance has moved to Thursday, June 12 at 8 pm, City High School.