PATSO comes to Cabaret, performing “Leaving Iowa”

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This weekend, Leaving Iowa will come to the Cabaret Theatre’s stage. This will be the second feature-length play performed by Performing Arts To Serve Others (PATSO) after their fall semester production of Drafting Doctors.

The play, originally written by Tim Clue and Spike Manton, is a comedy that follows Don, a middle-aged man, on a road trip reliving childhood vacation memories while searching for a meaningful place to spread his father’s ashes. The play flashes back and forward between Don’s memories and the present day during his emotional and sometimes humorous search for a comfortable amount of closure.

Several factors went into choosing Leaving Iowa as the spring production. Junior Autumn Campbell cites PATSO president Daniel Robey as a large influence in the choice.

“He’s loved Leaving Iowa,” Campbell said. “It’s been in our audition packets, it’s been a monologue people can use since we started PATSO … ”

Campbell, who plays the character Mom, said that PATSO was looking for a play that was “both meaningful and fun,” and that they believe Leaving Iowa was a good choice.

Campbell said that this production also marks her first major acting role in a feature-length play.

“I’ve never done huge things in theater,” she said. “I’ve always been an extra character or I’ve done one-acts, I’ve never done things where I’ve had a lead role … I didn’t specifically audition for Mom … but I think Mom fits me really well … ”

While Campbell has been previously involved with PATSO and sought out an audition, other actors made some last minute decisions to get involved with the play.

“I heard about auditions the day of,” first-year Taylor Adams said. “ … I walked in and I was really unprepared, but I auditioned and I didn’t know anything about the show … but ever since I got in it, it has been really fun.”

Adams plays the role of Sis, and says that being chosen for this part has led her to meet many new people. She calls the whole process “a blast.”

Jackson Nixon, playing Don, assures audiences that PATSO is equipped with actors who fit their roles extremely well.

“The directors … admit we were all very type-casted,” Nixon said. “We very much are these characters … I was willing to put in the time to be Don so I accepted the role.”

Leaving Iowa will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6, and at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 7 in the Cabaret Theatre in the basement of the student union.

Nathan Hutchins

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