Local News

July 11, 2014

'Georgiana' Iola Cadwallader's family story brought to life

OSKALOOSA — At precisely 7 p.m. July 17, “Georgiana” will once again come to life on an Oskaloosa stage.

The musical was first performed in 1980 by The Oskaloosa Community Theatre.

Written by Iola Cadwallader, “Georgiana” is a musical titled after the name of Iola’s mother. But both her mother and father, Jim and Georgiana Powell, are the main characters. The musical opens in 1918 with the Quaker family moving from Putnam County, Ohio, to Mead County, Kan., and follows the nine-member farm family through the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression and World War II.

Iola was taught to write about what you know and that led her to choose her family. Her first idea was to write a novel, but it didn’t develop and the project was dropped. After raising her children, a snowy day in 1978 led Iola to begin to write the musical that includes 11 songs complete with lyrics.

When asked about the upcoming performance, Iola stated that it opened up many possibilities this time.

“Last time it was performed in the Oskaloosa Junior High School Auditorium, this time it will be performed at George Daily Community Auditorium,” said Iola. “This facility is so much larger and there will be much more room to build the sets I am told. It was such a fabulous production in 1980. It will be fabulous now in many new ways. I want to look at this in the new. I expect some surprises and I don’t feel that I will go and compare this production to the 1980 production.”

Many of the cast members have been out to visit Iola to talk with her and learn more about the characters they will portray.

“I am curious about how it will all happen. I love to talk to the people involved with it,” said Iola. “I am very much looking forward to this and I am very curious about the technical part. I can’t decide if I want to go to the rehearsals or wait until the opening night.”

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