“A show that everyone needs to see:” Sapulpa Community Theatre’s new “Leaving Iowa” is a hit

Sapulpa Community Theatre’s new “Leaving Iowa” show, about a son who travels the country to find a final resting place for his father’s ashes, had near-sellout crowds the first weekend it opened.

The theatre is hoping the remaining weekend will be just as filled, though for anyone wanting to see the show, that window of opportunity is dwindling rapidly.

Micah Choquette, who sits on the board of directors for the theatre, hosted the first Sunday matinee and came away with a single call to action for anyone who hadn’t attended that first weekend: “This is a show you need to see.”

The Browning family reacts in one of their family road trips. Troy Sageser plays dad at the wheel, with Niki Sloggett as mom, Elizabeth Henderson as sis and Adam McCollough as Don.

Despite the somber situation surrounding the synopsis, more of the story takes place in the past rather than the present as Don, the son and lead character played by Adam McCollough, reminisces about wacky but heartwarming road trips his family took with their dad.

Adam McCollough has a somber moment as Don in “Leaving Iowa,” now showing at Sapulpa Community Theatre.

Dad, played by Troy Sageser, fully embodies the dad that so many of us had as kids on road trips: one who had to make record time, was never afraid to take a “shortcut,” and was always dragging the family along to interesting side-stops on the way to their main destination.

The relationship between Don and Dad serves as the forefront of the story, as Don, who is now a writer living in Boston, grapples with the regrets of not being there for his dad as he feels he should’ve been. After his father’s ashes are discovered years after his passing, Don takes on the task of finding a proper resting place, in some way trying to make amends to his late father.

Niki Sloggett returns to the theatre as the endearing mom, and Elizabeth Henderson plays the loveable but often obnoxious sister to Don. Breakout performances by Beren Cox and Rachel Lowe provide every side character in the story, from waitress to mechanic, to Civil War reenactor. The versatility of these actors is one of the highlights of the entire show.

Troy Sageser, who plays dad, reacts during a scene with Beren Cox, playing a Civil War reenactor in “Leaving Iowa.” Cox played several different characters in the show.
Rachel Lowe playing one of the many side-characters in “Leaving Iowa.”

As expected, the stories of road trips in a bygone era of paper maps, mile markers, and tourist traps, combined with a family dynamic the audience is sure to recognize, is part of what makes this show so hilarious, however, the heartwarming family side of the story is equally appealing.

“Leaving Iowa” is playing it’s final weekend at Sapulpa Community Theatre, beginning on Thursday, June 27th through Sunday, June 30th. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students, which discounts available for groups of ten or more. Get more information and buy tickets at sapulpatheatre.org.

(Photos by Sheri Waldrop.)

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