Performing arts & Cinema

John Pemble / IPR

For those of us who haven't served in the military, it's hard to imagine what it must be like. A new theatrical performance called, "Telling: Des Moines" gives Iowa veterans and change for them to share their stories and gives the audience and opportunity to understand the experience.

Cliff Jette / The Gazette

Seattle has Pike Place Market, Detroit has Eastern Market and Los Angeles has Grand Central, now Cedar Rapids has New Bo City  Market. On the first half of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with organizers of the New Bo City Market and in the second half, she speaks with individuals responsible for the comeback of the newly restored Paramount Theater that was damaged by the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids.

Zane Williams / Facebook

If you need to brush up on your presidential knowledge, one theater company production pays tribute to all 44, each with their own short 2-minute play. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Adam Moeller, the production's director, about the dynamic show and how it captures each president's time in the Oval Office.

Then, President of the Landlocked Film Festival Mary Blackwood, talks about the upcoming festival and several participants share the films they've submitted.

America's Darling: The Story of Jay N. "Ding" Darling / Facebook

Ding Darling wielded a mighty pen. He started out as a political cartoonist for the Sioux City Journal and moved on to the Des Moines Register and later to the New York Globe. Though he won two Pulitzer Prizes,  it is his work in conservation that endures. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Sam Koltinsky, the producer of a new documentary exploring the life and work of Ding Darling. Then, Darling's grandson, Christopher Koss, shares his childhood memories of growing up with the artist.

The Englert / Facebook

When the Englert Theater in Iowa City was built in 1912 it cost 60,000 dollars. The complete restoration of the theater, completed in 2004, cost 5 million dollars. Now at 100 many believe the Englert is priceless. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Englert Director Andre Perry to celebrate the centennial of the Englert Theatre. Then she explores the intersection where art and life collide with University of Iowa theater professor Eric Forsythe.

At the invitation of Iowa’s Poet Laureate Mary Swander, who is of Irish ancestry, the theatre troupe, Hob Nailed Boots of Renvyle, Ireland,  is visiting the state giving dramatic recitals from works about the Aran Islands, the Irish famine, and immigration. We reached the troupe’s Sean Coyne from his home in Renvyle.  Coyne says audiences are in for an emotional experience…

Hob Nailed Boots Theatre Tour of 3 Plays

Performed by Sean Coyne and Tegolin Knowland, written by Eamon Grennan

Oct. 15, 7:00 P.M.  Hearst Center for the Arts, Cedar Falls, IA     Emigration Road

Jane Edith Wilson and Grace Lee
John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Janeane from Des Moines follows the story of one Iowa voter as she tries to decide who she will support in the caucuses. This movie is not a documentary, Janeane is played by an actress but the candidates are real and there are moments in the film where the drama crosses the line from fiction into fact.

John Pemble

An assistive service began this weekend in Des Moines allowing blind people to hear descriptions of what’s happening on the stage of a theatrical production. The Iowa Radio Reading Information Service, or IRIS, is providing audio description for blind patrons attending shows during the Civic Center’s Broadway series.

FoundFootageFest.com

Thrift stores everywhere are brimming with dusty, old abandoned VHS tapes. Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett are on a mission to rescue those relics. Host Charity Nebbe talks with the men behind the Found Footage Festival. Later in the hour, Carter Lake is an Iowa town located west of the Missouri River. We’ll find out how that happened.

Iowa Film Productions

Aug 28, 2012
City Year Flickr Account

Frank Meeink became a skinhead when he was just thirteen. He roamed the country as an Aryan leader and Neo-Nazi recruiter with gangs that would beat people indiscriminately. Now, he’s a civil rights activist.

Today on River To River we will talk to Meeink and filmmaker Kristian Day who is documenting Meeink’s journey throughout Iowa as he searches for his spirituality.

Our area is home to a host of unique and innovative entrepreneurs. Ben talks with Mark Ginsberg, owner of M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers in Iowa City, about how he is utilizing 3D printing technology in his jewelry business and in other areas of the city.

Later, Chad Dutler, owner of Shrimp 59 in Holstein, talks about what made him embark on the shrimp farming business. 

Iowa's Opera Houses

Jul 16, 2012

Though opera houses once meant a town held status, many have since fallen into disrepair. Today efforts are underway to renovate and shed light on Iowa’s opera houses, including Sam Knutson's project, the Iowa Opera House Project, which brings Iowa performers into these antique spaces for locals to experience.

Later, Richard Poole and George Glenn, co-authors of The Opera Houses of Iowa, share the history of the state’s opera houses.

One hundred years ago, an entire family was wiped out by an axe wielding killer in the southwestern Iowa town of Villisca, a crime that remains unsolved to this day. Host Ben Kieffer re-examines Iowa’s worst mass homicide with award-winning filmmakers Tammy and Kelly Rundle who made a documentary about the incident. Ben also talks with historian Edgar Epperly.

Charity talks with Peggy Chong, who has spent the past twenty years researching the history of the Blind. Her recent article Blind Iowan Pioneers Succeed looks at the story of Lillian Blanche Fearing, a blind Iowan who grew up to be one of the very first woman lawyers in the country. Later, a conversation with playwright Sean Christopher Lewis who brings his creation, Mayberry, to Iowa City. The play explores the impact of the Johnson County town's increasing African American population and how a lily white community engages in true discourse about its diversity. 

Iowa's theaters are facing a major challenge: in about a year's time, every theater across the nation must convert to digital cinema, making the old film projectors obsolete and replacing them with expensive new technology.  The cost is especially problematic for the state's smaller theaters, which operate on a much smaller profit margin.  Today, we find out how a number of theater owners are coping and whether some movie house may have to close their doors.  Guests are IPR's Dean Borg, who has reported on the story; Diane Prichard, owner of the DeWitt Opera House Theatre; Jeff Eisentraut,

IPR/Dean Borg

The familiar movie-opening theme is fading in many of Iowa’s small communities. Many main-street theaters, caught in a technological dilemma, are closing. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg, reports some communities are scrambling to preserve main stret silver screens.

"Walking the Wire", Riverside Theatre’s annual festival of original work from playwrights across North America, will bring to the stage a wide variety of potentially implausible scenarios as part of this year’s theme, "This Will Never Work." Today, we'll hear from three actors in the Iowa City theatre's Annual Monologue Festival. Later, Charity speaks with Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of "The Splendid Table," about America's changing relationship with food. She'll tell us what she does to make cooking dinner less of a chore and more of a pleasure.

Photo by John Pemble

Many movies are created by large studios for theaters and television, but a group of Iowa film makers launched a small movie production company with the plan of only using the Internet to reach an audience. With small a budget and help from volunteers they’ve had their first taste of success on a national level.



 

Iowa State Fair

Striptease shows and daredevil acts are part of the Iowa State Fair's history, which dates back to 1854. Vintage recordings revive memories of some of the big attractions from fair's past. Audio clips courtesy of the State Fair Museum, Iowa Public Television, and desmoinesbroadcasting.com. Sounds from the 1930s onward at the fairgrounds in Des Moines.

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