Olympic Theatre Arts’ upcoming show “Leaving Iowa” tells the story of the Brownings’ quirky family road trips, with Cheryl Di Pietro cast as Mom, front left, Taylor Dowley as Sis, Ryan Macedo as Don and Greg Scherer as Dad. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Olympic Theatre Arts’ upcoming show “Leaving Iowa” tells the story of the Brownings’ quirky family road trips, with Cheryl Di Pietro cast as Mom, front left, Taylor Dowley as Sis, Ryan Macedo as Don and Greg Scherer as Dad. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

‘Leaving Iowa’ set to run at OTA starting tonight

SEQUIM — Relive all your childhood memories of backseat sibling bickering and all the quirks of the family road trip in Olympic Theatre Arts upcoming show “Leaving Iowa.”

Written by Tim Clue and Spike Manton, the comedy “Leaving Iowa” is set to run for three weekends beginning tonight and continuing through Sunday, July 1, at Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave. The curtains will rise at the Caldwell Main Stage at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

Preview night was Thursday. Talk Back Night is 6:30 p.m., June 28. Pay What You Will Night is 7:30 p.m. this coming Thursday.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for students. They are available at the box office from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 414 N. Sequim Ave., or online at www.olympic theatrearts.org.

“Leaving Iowa” tells the story of the Brownings’ family road trips across the country through a series of flashbacks from Don, the son of the family of four, who goes back on the road in the present to find the perfect place to lay his father’s ashes after he died.

Director Debbie Embree said this story is relatable for her as she had similar experiences with her family on its road trips through the country. The sibling rivalry portrayed through characters Don and Sis is something to which she particularly relates.

“I think from 10-years-old to 110-years-old [audience members] will like it,” she said.

She also is excited to use the theater’s new projector for the show that will depict tangible road trip scenes on set as the family travels from one place to the next.

The cast consists of a variety of wacky characters — 22 total — with actors playing multiple roles throughout the performance. For many members of the cast, including Ryan Macedo (Don), Cheryl Di Pietro (Mom) and Taylor Dowley (Sis), this is his or her first steps into a lead role.

“Leaving Iowa is officially my first main character role on stage and I am very excited to play the part,” Macedo said.

Dowley and Di Pietro also share Macedo’s sentiments.

“This is my first lead role here,” Dowley said.

Di Pietro said her largest role next to this one was in the “Spoon River Anthology” but said she is excited to play a lead and feels confident with her cast.

“I’ve got great people with me,” she said.

A regular performer on the theater’s stage, Greg Scherer, cast as Dad, said since he and his fellow leads have been cast as a family on set they have bonded together, as can be seen in their interactions in and out of their characters, sharing jokes and poking fun at each other.

“We’ve gelled as a family,” Di Pietro said.

Scherer said “Leaving Iowa” also reminds him of road trips with his family and said he believes family values are at the core of the show’s story.

“[The audience] will appreciate their family,” Scherer said.

For more information about the show, call the theater at 360-683-7326 or visit www.olympic theatrearts.org.

________

Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at ehawkins@sequimgazette.com.

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