American Gothic Performing Arts Festival Starts Saturday


This year’s American Gothic Performing Arts Festival starts this weekend with a performance of an award winning musical.

According to a press release, the 10th Anniversary Season of the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival opens with Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza tomorrow Saturday, June 11 and continues through Monday, June 13 at the Temple of Creative Arts located at 529 E. Main Street in Ottumwa.

The six-time Tony Award-winning musical is based on a 1960 novella by Elizabeth Spencer. The story follows Margaret Johnson, a North Carolina mother on a grand Italian tour with her daughter, Clara in Florence in the summer of 1953. A young Italian man, Fabrizio, becomes enamored with Clara, which presents Johnson, whose own marriage has failed, with a dilemma. Clara has suffered trauma in her childhood and thus is not all she first seems. Margaret is forced to face the secret that has lived in the shadows far too long, while facing the stark reality of her own life’s hopes and dreams.

“It’s a tour de force of musical theater, the music is beautiful, and the characters are complex. It’s not the most widely performed piece in the canon because of the demanding nature of the roles, but it is a show that will touch your soul.”
Dennis Wilhoit, Executive Artistic Director

The production is under the stage direction of Grant Carriker with costume design by Merrie Lawson-Smith, hair & makeup design by Patti Durflinger and lighting design by Brayden Biersner. Michael Gookin is the pianist and assistant music director.

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