About Leaving Iowa

The critically-acclaimed play, “Leaving Iowa,” by Tim Clue and Spike Manton is a hilarious, family-friendly comedy that is a toast to the idealism and character of parents from the “greatest generation,” and a little roast of their dedication to the family road trip. This comedy about family and family vacations is a show suitable for ages 10 to 110 and was nominated Best New Play in the Country by the Detroit Free Press and one of SoCal Theater’s 10 Most Memorable Moments of the year after its run at the Laguna Playhouse, stating the play included “the most frighteningly realistic depiction of a family summer road trip” the reviewer had ever seen. We take that as a compliment.

“Leaving Iowa” is a postcard to anyone who has ever found themselves driving alone on a road, revisiting fond memories of their youth. Economically-staged for anywhere from 6-24 actors, the story centers on Don Browning, a middle-aged writer who returns home and decides to finally take his father’s ashes to his childhood home, as requested. But when Don discovers Grandma’s house is now a grocery store, he begins traveling across Iowa in search of a proper resting place. As he drives those familiar roads, the story shifts back and forth from the present to memories of the annual, torturous vacations of Don’s youth. Ultimately, Don’s existential journey leads him to reconcile his past and present at an unpredictable and perfect final destination.

Since its printing by Dramatic Publishing, “Leaving Iowa” has played to packed audiences and great reviews in hundreds of theaters across the US. It’s guaranteed to have you laughing and remembering the childhood vacations you tried to forget.

 

The Purple Rose Theatre Company

“Leaving Iowa” enjoyed its very first production at actor Jeff Daniels’ Purple Rose Theatre and enjoyed record-breaking attendance. The premiere was directed by Anthony Caselli, with John Lepard as Don, Grant Krause as Dad, Elizabeth Ann Townsend as Mom, Teri Clark as Sister, and Jim Porterfield as the multiple character guy. The Detroit Free Press nominated Leaving Iowa as the Best New Play in the country based on this outstanding debut production.