OSKALOOSA — It’s been 30 years since the musical “Georgiana” was last produced in Oskaloosa, and nine years since Randall Wright last directed a play.
Both of those change next week when the musical performs July 17, 18, and 19 at 7 p.m. at the George Daily Auditorium.
“Georgiana” follows the life of Oskaloosa resident Iola Powell Cadwallader’s family as they move from Ohio to Kansas right before the Dust Bowl. Together they face the Great Depression and struggle to maintain their farm while times are scarce. Their daughter elopes and their son becomes a conscientious objector during World War II, bringing controversy to their family.
But “Georgiana” isn’t all hard times – it’s filled to the brim with touching and funny moments. From the light and playful “Box Supper Night,” to the heartwarming “Family Fun,” “Georgiana” demonstrates how familial and community bonds survive through thick and thin.
“In 1980, the first time we produced ‘Georgiana,’ the entire community worked together to support each other and accomplish things. We recognized the value of community pride and togetherness,” said Director Randall Wright. “In 2014, we’re more isolated and less involved. What we’re trying to do with this production is to realize the joy of interpersonal activities and the benefits of coming together as a community.”
Although the setting might not be local, the musical has many community ties. Over 80 people from the community, from 4 years old and up, are performing in the production and even more have been working tirelessly behind the scenes. The George Daily Auditorium has been collaborating with William Penn University, the Oskaloosa School District, The Oskaloosa Herald, the Oskaloosa Community Theatre, and countless other businesses and individuals to bring “Georgiana” to the stage.
“This time, we have the resources of the auditorium to work with,” Wright said. “It’s a large-scale production.”
“Georgiana” is the first play produced by the George Daily Auditorium since “George” in 2002, another of Cadwallader’s musicals.
Tickets are available for Georgiana through the box office, over the phone at (641) 672-0799, or online at www.georgedaily.org. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for students, and $20 for a family pass. Note that the family pass is only available over the phone or at the box office.