Natural Amphitheatre at Brucemore Mansion
Through Saturday, July 18 at 8 p.m.
The seminal summer staple of outdoor theatre is reaching a major milestone in Eastern Iowa. Classics at Brucemore, performed on the sumptuous grounds of Brucemore estate in Cedar Rapids, is celebrating its 20th season.
Thornton Wilder’s Our Town is a poignant choice for an anniversary show, especially in Cedar Rapids. The city and this particular locale have an intimate history. The mansion and its grounds were left to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1981 by its third owner, Margaret Hall — a gift to her community. In 2008, Brucemore and the Classics series engaged with the city by replacing their typical summer production with the flood relief benefit “Moving Home,” a source of solace for all those impacted by the floods that year.
This year’s Our Town embraces that sense of unity again, commissioning original music for the production from Cedar Rapids’ own Luke Gullickson and casting a who’s who of local theatre luminaries. Wilder’s influential play is an exploration of life in a tight-knit town. It was first performed in 1938, and examines themes of loss, and love, and letting go.
Audience members are encouraged to bring wine and food for a picnic under the stars, and this year, there is also the option of paying a fee to have a picnic waiting upon your arrival.