The cast of “Leaving Iowa” rehearses a scene for the upcoming Olympic Theatre Arts play. (Olympic Theatre Arts)

The cast of “Leaving Iowa” rehearses a scene for the upcoming Olympic Theatre Arts play. (Olympic Theatre Arts)

OTA prepping production of ‘Leaving Iowa’

SEQUIM — A wealth of wistful recollections and crisscrossing conversations are in store for audiences as Olympic Theatre Arts prepares its cast for the coming production of “Leaving Iowa.”

Created by Tim Clue and Spike Manton, the play is set to run June 15 to July 1 and is in rehearsals with its cast under the direction of Debbie Embree.

“Leaving Iowa” Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for students with school ID card, and are available at the theater box office from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or online at www.olympic For any performance, students buying a ticket at the door five minutes prior to curtain pay only $5 (if seats are available).

A preview night is June 14, when admission is free for OTA members, $10 for non-members. Pay What You Will Night is June 21. Talk Back Night is June 28, with a 6:30 p.m. curtain. This performance gives patrons an opportunity to ask about the process of creating the production, with members of the cast and crew present for conversation over complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

Embree, who also directed the spoof “Bullshot Crummond” at OTA and acted in OTA’s productions of “Something’s Afoot” and “Harvey,” has in place a cast for a play that OTA calls “a hilarious road trip through the reminiscence of growing up.”

Embree has cast Ryan Macedo to play Don, the story’s chronicler.

“Leaving Iowa is officially my first main character role on stage and I am very excited to play the part,” Macedo said. “Dealing with family issues can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but nothing compares to what my character has to put up with in this show.”

Cast in her first major role is Cheryl M. Di Pietro as Mom. Pietro was also seen in “Harvey,” “It’s a Wonderful Life, the Radio Play” and “Spoon River Anthology.”

Greg Scherer, who plays Dad, portrayed Percy in “The Explorers’ Club,” did ensemble work in Holiday Review and “Shakespeare on Love,” and directed “Starting Here, Starting Now.”

Taylor Dowley, who is normally behind the scenes at OTA, is cast as Sis.

Besides its main characters, “Leaving Iowa” features smaller roles include a one-handed pig farmer, an Amish housewife,and a dreary grocery store attendant who slowly dives into a traumatic obsession about parking lot slopes.

Taking on several characters at once in order to complete a rather large cast are seven additional actors who have come onboard including Dan DePrez — after doing nine characters in last year’s “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Also taking the stage are Brice Embree, Jim Coventry, Maria Roragen, Penny Pemberton, Nick DiPietro and Monica Ostrom with multiple roles.

For more information, call the theater at 360-683-7326.


Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at

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