Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Free screenings of "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Donna Reed Theater, December 14

See It's a Wonderful Life as it was meant to be viewed – on the big screen. 
On Sunday, December 14, the classic holiday movie, starring Denison native Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart, will be screened twice – at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Donna Reed Theatre. Free admission.

It's a Wonderful Life received five Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture. The film won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for the creation and use of a new method of simulating falling snow.

Bedford Falls display returns.
A miniature replica of Bedford Falls returns to the front window of the Donna Reed Heritage Museum for a winter showing. The HO scale replica was built by model building enthusiast from the Quad Cities area and, for several years, was displayed by the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center in Davenport, Ia. before being donated to the Donna Reed Foundation.

Exhibit on the making of It's a Wonderful Life continues inside.
Step inside the museum and view an expanded exhibit that features a variety of items from the Donna Reed Collection relating to the making of the movie. It includes a letter to pen pal Violet Lindsey mentioning the upcoming filming of the movie; daily call sheets detailing the daily shoot schedule; daily production reports tracking expenses and progress of the filming of a various scenes; Donna Reed's invitation to a screening of the movie from director Frank Capra; and the review of the movie which appeared in Variety. Of particular interest are photos of the new snow-making process developed especially for this film that replaced the practice of using painted cornflakes for falling snow.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Donna Reed Festival Alumnus to perform with Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Their Annual Christmas Concerts

Artist Santino Fontana joins Mormon Tabernacle 
Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for a series 
of Christmas concerts.

Santino Fontana will headline with “Sesame Street” Muppets™

Back by popular demand after charming audiences at this summer’s Pioneer Day concert, Broadway star Santino Fontana will again join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for their annual Christmas concerts on December 11, 12, and 13 in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

Taking the stage with Santino, and in a first for the Choir, the beloved Sesame Street Muppets™ will join in bringing the holiday spirit to audiences young and old.

The guest artists will also appear with the Choir and Orchestra on the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast and a mini-concert the following Sunday, December 14.

Santino Fontana is known by many for his recent roles playing Prince Hans in Disney’s hit movie Frozen and his Broadway performance as Prince Topher in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which garnered him a Tony Award nomination.

Fontana was a 2000 Donna Reed Festival acting scholarship finalist.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Former Donna Reed Scholarship Recipient to appear on The Good Wife, October 5

Saycon Sengbloh
Saycon Sengbloh, a 1996 Donna Reed Foundation national scholarship winner, will appear as “Stacie Wagner” in the October 5 episode of The Good Wife, Season 6.

Sengbloh has been a featured actress and vocalist in contemporary shows on Broadway and off-Broadway, embracing a new sound of pop, rock, & soul music. Productions have included Rent, Oprah Winfrey's The Color Purple (musical), Disney's Aida, the new revival of Hair, Wicked, Hurt Village, and also the first Afro-beat musical, Fela! where she starred as the delicious Sandra Iszadore. Saycon sings on the Grammy nominated soundtracks for Fela!, Hair, and Motown the Musical. The ever versatile actress brought hip-hop to Broadway in Tupac Shakur production Holler If Ya Hear Me.

Visit her at http://SayconSengbloh.com

Fourth Annual "AMERICAN ICON SERIES" Returns to the Donna Reed Theater in Denison

Spend an evening with the music of Streisand, relive the Johnny Carson Show, watch It’s A Wonderful Life on the big screen, ring in the New Year with an improv comedy troupe and immerse yourself in the stories of Teddy Roosevelt.

That’s the lineup of shows The Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts has in store for you as part of the fourth annual American Icon Series.

  • October 11, 2014 -Then and Now, A Tribute to Barbra Streisand with Carla DelVillaggio
  • November 15, 2014 - HERE'S JOHNNY! with Jim Malmberg's re-enactment of The Carson Show.
  • December 14, 2014 - It’s A Wonderful Life screening of Frank Capra's Holiday Classic (free event)
  • January 3, 2015 - A Night of Wild Hilarity with Guys in Ties Improv Comedy Troupe
  • February 20, 2015 - Roosevelt! - Stories of the 26th President of the United States with Adam Lindquist
Performances begin at 7 p.m. at the Donna Reed Theater, 1305 Broadway, in downtown Denison, Iowa, home of The Donna Reed Foundation and Museum.

Season tickets are $50 per person or individual show tickets can be purchased for $15. Student tickets (18 and under) are $5.

Tickets can be obtained by calling The Donna Reed Foundation at 712-263-3334, by e-mail at
info@donnareed.org  or by downloading and mailing the ticket order form.

More about the performances.
Brochure with ticket order form to print and mail to the Foundation.

2004 Donna Reed Scholarship Alumnus appears on prime-time CBS drama series.

Ben Rappaport returns to the CBS drama series, The Good Wife, Season Six. He plays the recurring role of a fourth-year attorney who has left Lockhart-Gardner with Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Cary (Matt Czuchry) when they formed their new firm, Florrick, Agos & Associates. Viewers may recognize Rappaport from his 2010 lead role as Todd Dempsy in the NBC series, Outsourced.

Rappaport, born in Arlington, Texas, was a 2004 Donna Reed Scholarship national finalist in acting.

“It's a Wonderful Road Trip” stops at the Donna Reed Heritage Museum

Anwei and Henry Law, from the It's a Wonderful Life Museum in Seneca Falls, New York, stopped in Denison on a cross-country road trip to research and collect items related to the movie.

The trip began August 1 in Port Orchard, WA where they rented a U-Haul truck to pick up It's a Wonderful Life memorabilia and display cases donated by Karolyn Grimes who played Zuzu in the film.

Their itinerary included stops to visit the Jimmy Stewart collection in Provo, UT; the Donna Reed collection in Denison; Henry Fonda's boyhood home in Omaha, NE; the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, PA; and Mark Goodson's It's a Wonderful Life collection in Grayslake, IL. Goodson is widely considered the world's foremost collector of materials from the 1946 movie that starred James Stewart as George Bailey, and Donna Reed as his wife, Mary.

The Laws spent two days in the Donna Reed Heritage Museum and Archives, researching and collecting images.

Visit the It's a Wonderful Life Museum.

Donna Reed Heritage Museum partners with State Historical Museum of Iowa

Blockbuster exhibit to run through late 2016
A leather script portfolio used by Donna Reed and a mug given to her by John Wayne during the filming of Trouble Along the Way (1953) are now on display at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. They are part of the “Hollywood In The Heartlands” exhibit which opened June 27 in Des Moines. Donna Reed is one of 17 featured Iowa actors.

This major exhibit explores Iowa's legacy with the silver screen throughout history, leading up to its most recent contributions to American film. It reveals how Iowa and its residents have been portrayed on-screen, uncovers the beauty of Iowa's historic theaters and introduces Iowans who have made an impression on-screen and behind the scenes.

The 6,400 square-foot exhibition includes components from major films depicting Iowa and Iowans such as State Fair (1933, 1945): The Music Man (1962); Cold Turkey (1971); Field of Dreams (1989) and The Bridges of Madison County (1995).

Visit Hollywood in the Heartlands

Thursday, August 28, 2014

First Friday Films Begins Third Season at Donna Reed Theatre In Denison

The series, dedicated to bringing popular and classic movies to this historic theater, proved to be so popular and successful with both movie enthusiasts and sponsors that it returns for a third season. All movies were chosen by their sponsors.

Sept. 5 – Office Space (1999), sponsored by Crawford County Abstract & Bonner Law, PLC
Oct. 3 – Field of Dreams (1989), sponsored by
Nov. 7 – Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), sponsored by Buena Vista University
Dec. 5 – Home Alone (1990), sponsored by United Bank of Iowa

Each movie begins on the first Friday of each month at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

MPI Home Video Prepares to Re-Release “The Donna Reed Show: Season 1” on DVD

To be released Sept. 30th

New set, with new box art, will be available at the end of September

Five years ago, Virgil Entertainment released The Donna Reed Show: Season 1 on DVD...but now that item is out of print and the home video license has changed hands.

MPI Home Video, the current owner, plans to re-release The Donna Reed Show - Season 1 on DVD this fall for fans who may have missed it the first time around! They have scheduled September 30th as the release date.

If you don't already own these episodes, you can pre-order it via the Amazon button link that immediately follows this text. Cost is $39.98 SRP.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Donna Reed Festival Alumnus to perform with Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Pioneer Day Concert

Santino Fontana

2000 Donna Reed Festival acting scholarship finalist headlines annual summer event

The artist who brought magic to life as Prince Hans in Disney’s blockbuster film Frozen will headline this summer’s MormonTabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s Pioneer Day concerts.

Santino Fontana joins the choir in two gala performances titled A Summer Celebration of Song, which will be held on Friday, 18 July, and Saturday, 19 July 2014, in the Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The event is sold-out. The 42,000 tickets released to the public were gone in less than 24 hours. The concert will be livestreamed on July 19 at 8 p.m. at motab.org/pioneerday. At the same time, the concert will also be broadcast on BYUtv, which is on DirectTV channel 374, and Dish Network channels 9403 and 9397.

This isn’t the first time Fontana has turned in a princely performance. He was nominated for the Tony Award as best leading actor for his role as Prince Topher in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. He also received the 2010 Drama Desk Award for his role in Brighton Beach Memoirs and received accolades for originating the role of Tony in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot.

The summer concerts are held in conjunction with community Pioneer Day celebrations to celebrate the arrival of Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley in the summer of 1847.

Read more.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Finalist on NBC's "America's Got Talent" will perform at Donna Reed Theater, July 19

Joseph Hall's “Elvis Rock 'N' Remember” Tour coming to Denison, Iowa

Joseph Hall, an Elvis tribute performer from Branson, Missouri, will bring three decades of Elvis hits to the Donna Reed Theatre on Saturday, July 19 at 7 P.M.

Hall has been paying tribute to the legacy of Elvis Presley since 2006. He starred on NBC's America's Got Talent in 2008, making six television appearances, viewed by more than 90 million people and placing as one of the top 10 finalists!

He has performed all over the world, from Las Vegas, Nevada to Porthcawl, Wales. He has worked with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Legends in Concert, and has officially been recognized as one of the top Elvis tribute artists in the world today.

“My goal is to capture the essence of Elvis Presley,” says Hall, “and to pay tribute to him with the utmost respect to his legacy, his music, his image and, above all else, his fans.”

Tickets are $20 and can be obtained by calling the Donna Reed Theater Box Office at 712-263-3334, or by sending an e-mail to info@donnareed.org. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended for this event.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Donna Reed Festival Alumnus Will Perform at Nebraska State Fair

Nick Noonan and Amy Heidemann

2004 vocal scholarship finalist, Amy Heidemann, part of Karmin duo

From pop and hip-hop, Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, better known as Karmin, complete the 2014 entertainment series at the Nebraska State Fair.

Karmin will appear on Saturday, Aug. 30 at the Heartland Events Center. Tickets will be available on Etix.com and at the Heartland Events Center beginning on July 28.

“Nebraska’s own Amy Heidemann grew up in Seward and always had a deep passion for music,” said Chelsey Jungck, events and entertainment director for the Nebraska State Fair.

“Her Partner, Nick Noonan, grew up in small-town Maine, and together they have created a firestorm, first doing song covers and now writing and singing their own original music.”

They are best known for their song "Brokenhearted," which reached the top 20 in the United States, and the top 10 in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, and the song "Hello", which reached number one on the Dance Billboard Chart in the US.

They were known previously for their rise to fame through YouTube covers, including Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now" and Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass."

Reserved-seat tickets for Karmin can be obtained by going to Etix.com or the Heartland Events Center box office for $6. Tickets will be available beginning on July 28 and do not include gate.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Donna Reed Center for the Performing Arts to Celebrate Building's Centennial, June 21

Donna Reed Center for the Performing Arts

Festivities include open house, rededication ceremony and 1930's movie

The Donna Reed Center for the Performing Arts is celebrating the building's 100 years in existence on June 21, 2014. The building has had many names beginning with The Germania Opera House to The Denison Opera House to The Ritz Theater and now The Donna Reed Center. 

The building will be open during the day for tours and the viewing of building artifacts from the Donna Reed Heritage Museum Archives. A rededication ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. with comments from The Donna Reed Foundation's Board of Directors President, John Fujii and Mayor Brad Bonner. Refreshment will be available throughout the day.

At approximately 5:30 p.m. the 1930 zany comedy, "Animal Crackers", starring The Marx Brothers, will be screened. This movie was one of the early full length "talkies" and was screened at The Denison Opera House in September of 1930.

For more information on the Centennial Open House, please contact The Donna Reed Foundation at 263-3334, or email info@donnareed.org.


Children's Summer Movie Series Kicks Off June 25 at Donna Reed Theatre

Summer Movie Series for Kids

Geared for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade

The Donna Reed Foundation is sponsoring a “Children’s Summer Movie Series” at the Donna Reed Theatre. The six-week series begins on Wednesday, June 25 with a 2 p.m. screening.

The price of the six-movie series pass is $10.00 if purchased before June 25.  Passes purchased on the 25th or after will be $15 per student. Children will receive a wristband that will be used as the series pass.  Children ages 7 and under will require supervision to attend the movies, but the supervisor will be admitted to the movie at no charge. 

The series will continue each following Wednesday with 2 p.m. screenings. Movies will include a variety of children’s adventures, animated, classic and nature movies.  Concessions will be available for purchase.

Movie passes are available by stopping at The Donna Reed Foundation office at 1305 Broadway, calling the Foundation at 263-3334 or contacting info@donnareed.org.  You may also sign up for the series at Reiney’s Kandy Kitchen at 1301 Broadway.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Summer Camp" is coming to Denison, IA

A Musical Theatre Workshop for grades K-8

Ah, summer camp. Games, crafts, sleeping bags, toasted marshmallows, pranks and scary campfire stories. They make terrific subjects for a musical production.

It's why our workshop directors picked Summer Camp for our summer production. It's a fun-filled week designed to teach the basics of musical theatre to kids in grades K-8 who love singing, dancing and challenges. The workshop runs from June 16-20, 2014 and concludes with a performance for the public on Saturday, June 21.

We're continuing an opportunity started last year. Former students beyond grade 8 are invited to come back as volunteers to help stage the production. You don't even have to be a former student. ANYONE of ANY AGE can offer their assistance. Just contact the Foundation office.

Additional workshop information and tuition rates can be found by downloading our registration form or by calling 712.263.3334 or by stopping at the Donna Reed Foundation office, 1305 Broadway, Denison, IA.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Donna Reed Festival Alumnus Opens in Broadway Production of ACT ONE

Tony Shalhoub and Santino Fontana

2000 Acting finalist stars as Moss Hart

Santino Fontana, along with Tony Shalhoub, star in Lincoln Center Theater's production of Act One, James Lapine's stage adaptation of playwright/director Moss Hart's 1959 memoir. The play officially opened April 17 at Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Act One follows Hart's life's story from his youth as an impoverished child in the Bronx to his stint as the social director at resorts in the Catskills to his struggles to gain a foothold in the theater industry. The company of twenty-two actors plays multiple roles with Tony Shalhoub, Santino Fontana and Matthew Schechter playing Moss Hart at different stages of his life.

Fontana, who recently starred as the Prince in Broadway’s Cinderella, was previously seen Off-Broadway in The Sons of the Prophet and on Broadway in The Importance of Being Earnest, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Billy Elliot and Sunday in the Park with George.

Fontana was one of the three acting division finalists in the 2000 Donna Reed Performing Arts National Scholarship and received an honorable mention in musical theater.

See ACT ONE reviews

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Donna Reed Theater Celebrates 100 Years With Reproduction of Century Old Play

1914 Broadway Play Within The Law performed on DRF stage nearly 100 years ago

Within the Law, the story of a woman falsely imprisoned by her employer for a crime she didn’t commit and how she seeks her revenge, was the hottest show on both the Broadway and London stages back in 1914. It ran for a total of 541 performances.

On January 13, 1917, the play was performed on the new Germania Opera House stage in Denison by a traveling troupe. A printed flyer for that show was found in the theater archives, but the details of how the play wound up being performed in Denison so soon after its successful run on Broadway remains a mystery.

And now, nearly 100 years later, The Donna Reed Foundation’s American Icon Series will repeat history by bringing back a production of Within The Law to celebrate the 100th birthday of the theater building. A cast of local actors has been assembled to re-enact the play.

“The play is very unique,” said the play’s director Pat Fleshner, “because at that time in our history, women were still fighting for the right to vote. It was unusual for a play to be built around a woman as well as include serious issues that women faced.”

Within The Law will be performed live on the stage at the Donna Reed Theater in Downtown Denison on April 11, 12 & 13, 2014. The Friday and Saturday night performances will start at 7 p.m. and the Sunday performance will begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

You can be part of history, and the celebration, by ordering your reserved seat tickets through the Donna Reed Foundation at 712-263-3334, or via email at info@donnareed.org.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Donna Reed receiving her Oscar

Donna Reed admires Oscar

A weekend of movies and live theater at the Donna Reed Theatre

Donna Reed was awarded a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her work in the movie From Here To Eternity in March of 1954. Now, 60 years later, the Donna Reed Foundation will celebrate her career with a weekend film festival and live play based on letters she received from soldiers during World War II.

In her career, Donna Reed starred in over 40 films. Starting on Thursday, March 20th area movie lovers will get to see three of her best films. And, as an extra bonus, the ticket prices for each film will be only 75 cents – the price of a movie ticket in 1954!

The movies

Thursday, March 20: Trouble Along The Way – a comedy starring Iowa Icons Donna Reed and John Wayne.

Friday, March 21: The Far Horizons – a movie about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, starring Donna Reed, Charlton Heston, and Fred MacMurray.

Saturday, March 22: From Here To Eternity, starring Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra in the roles that won them Best Supporting Actor & Actress Oscars.

Each movie will be shown at the Donna Reed Theater in downtown Denison beginning at 7 p.m.  Tickets will be available at the door.

The live production
Sunday, March 23:  Two performances of the live play, Dear Donna, will be staged at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Donna Reed Theater. Dear Donna is based on actual letters that Donna Reed received during World War II from servicemen all over the globe.

Reed kept over 300 of the letters, which were recently discovered by her daughter, Mary, who worked to have the letters woven together into a live play.

“Some of the letters are humorous, some serious, and all are very respectful” said play director Tim Tracy. “Soldiers repeatedly said 'Miss Reed' was the 'kind of girl we want to come home to.'”

Admission to Dear Donna is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets can be obtained by calling The Donna Reed Foundation at 712-263-3334 or by e-mail at info@donnareed.org.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Casting Call for "Dear Donna" Production

Letters from WWII soldiers to Donna Reed

Actors needed for play at Donna Reed Theatre

The Donna Reed Foundation is seeking a cast and crew for its March 23 production of “Dear Donna.”  The play consists of actual letters Donna Reed received during WWII. The actors will read the letters on stage, portraying the feelings and emotions expressed by soldiers so far from home.

The production, directed by Tim Tracy, calls for a cast of five men and one woman. The actors ideally will be WWII “soldier age” from 18 to 40.

Auditions will take place in both Denison and Carroll. On Tuesday March 4, auditions will be at the Donna Reed Theater in Denison at 7 p.m. On Thursday, March 6, auditions will be at the Carroll Community theater’s Black Box Theater at 7 p.m.

“Dear Donna” will be performed at 2 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 23, at the Donna Reed Theater in Denison.

More information can be obtained by contacting Tim Tracy at 712.830.7669 or tracyhome@hughes.net.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

First Friday Films: "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)

"Lions, and tigers, and bears!           Oh, my!"

Where-The Donna Reed Theater
When- Friday, February 7,2014
Time- 7:00 pm
Cost- $5.00
Concessions will be available

Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters, over the years it has become one of the best known of all films and part of American popular culture. It also featured what may be the most elaborate use of character make-ups and special effects in a film up to that time.

It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It lost that award to Gone with the Wind, but won two others, including Best Original Song for "Over the Rainbow". The song was ranked first in the AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs list.

Watch the original trailer.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Donna Reed Festival Alumna Launches National Tour

Scholarship finalist Amy Heidemann part of Karmin tour 

 Karmin, the American pop duo of Amy Heidemann (2004 Donna Reed Scholarship vocal finalist) and Nick Noonan, kicked off their "Pulses" headline tour in Baltimore, MD on January 28. This run sees the platinum-certified duo hitting major markets across North America through the end of February.

They are best known for their song "Brokenhearted," which reached the top 20 in the United States, and the top 10 in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, and the song "Hello", which reached number one on the Dance Billboard Chart in the U.S.

They were known previously for their rise to fame through their YouTube covers, including Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now" and Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass." Their original song "Take It Away" was used in promos for the 2011 NBA Finals. Rolling Stone recently named Heidemann as the winner of their "Women Who Rock" contest.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Casting Call for "Within The Law"

Poster used for 1917 Germania Opera House production

Actors, crew needed for production at Donna Reed Theater

The Donna Reed Foundation is seeking a cast and crew for its April 11, 12, and 13 production of the century old play, “Within The Law.” The play, part of the American Icon Series: Milestone Events, was originally performed at the theater in 1917 when the building was known as the Germania Opera House.

The production, directed by Pat Fleshner, calls for a cast of five females and 15 males of various ages. It will also need people for set building, props, costumes, makeup, lighting, and sound.

Auditions for on-stage parts will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28, and Thursday, January 30, at the Donna Reed Theater.

More information and forms can be obtained at the Foundation office, 1305 Broadway, Denison, by calling 712-263-3334 or sending an email to info@donnareed.org.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"ICON SERIES" Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Beatles Arrival in America

Beatles tribute group “Cavern Beat” appearing in live performance, February 8th

It’s a Beatle Party! Fifty years ago, the Beatles arrived in America for their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show – and the rest is history.
On February 8th, 2014 the Donna Reed Foundation’s “American Icon Series” will celebrate this momentous event with a Beatle Party, featuring Beatle tribute group the “Cavern Beat” from Chicago. The event takes place at the Donna Reed Theater in downtown Denison, Iowa.
““Beatlemania” is alive and well after 50 fab years”, said American Icon Coordinator, Tim Tracy, “We’re excited to give Beatle fans a venue to celebrate this legendary band.”
A large collection of Beatle memorabilia will also be on display. 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the “Cavern Beat” performing at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are recommended and can be obtained by calling the Donna Reed Theater at 712-263-3334. Tickets are $15 each.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Help Celebrate Donna's Birthday

Please join us on Monday, January 27, 2014 between 5:00 - 7:00 pm for an open house birthday reception for Donna Reed at the Donna Reed Center for the Performing Arts in Denison, Iowa

Stop by for light refreshments, special screenings of Donna Reed Show episodes, openhouse access to our showcase centennial theater (1914-2014), and a special live greeting visit with Donna Reed's family and friends at 6:00 pm CST. 
For our out-of-town friends and fans, please help grow our birthday card collection for Donna Reed with any favorite memories you have for her, her films/shows, encounters, and experiences with anything Donna (including participation in her Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts workshops, events, scholarships, parades, etc - anything is welcome!)
You can send greetings to the Donna Reed Theater address (for birthday cards) or email contact us at our special birthday email address. Excerpts and cards may be displayed at this or future celebrations. 
Thank you and hope you can share this special anniversary with Donna!

Former Scholarship Recipient To Appear With Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

Melissa Shippen will be performing the lead soprano role of Micaela in the upcoming performance of Bizet's opera Carmen with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre at the Paramount Theatre on Friday, January 18 at 8 PM and Sunday, January 19 at 2 PM. The Sunday performance will also be broadcast live on Iowa Public Radio.

This season, Shippen has also been performing contracts/roles such as: Nedda in Pagliacci with Connecticut Concert Opera; Mimi in La bohème with Lyric Opera of Virginia; and Beethoven's Symphony no.9 with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall of New York's Lincoln Center.

Shippen is a 1997 Donna Reed Foundation National Scholar (Vocal) and is currently based in Philadelphia. Visit her at www.melissashippen.com

2004 Scholarship Recipient joins cast of new Broadway production, “Bullets Over Broadway”

Preston Truman Boyd is excited to join the talented cast and creative team with the new Broadway musical production of Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway scheduled for March 2014 at the St. James Theatre in New York City. Most recently Preston performed in the new Broadway production of Big Fish at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York City directed by Susan Stroman.

Previously, Preston was cast in Jersey Boys as Bob Gaudio on the first national broadway tour seen in America's and Canada's greatest cities. Preston played the role of the Monster in the first national tour of Young Frankenstein the Musical by Mel Brooks. He replaced Shuler Hensley after understudying the role and performing in the ensemble.

Preston was the recipient of both the 2004 Donna Reed National Vocal Scholarship and the National Musical Theatre Scholarship. He is originally from Moorhead, MN.

2001 Scholarship Recipient Cast In Broadway Production of “After Midnight”

Jared Grimes, Donna Reed National Scholarship recipient in dance

Jared Grimes, joins a company of 42 top-flight singers, dancers and musicians in a new Broadway tribute to the Harlem jazz clubs of the 1920s and '30s. After Midnight catapults the greatest music of Duke Ellington and Harlem's Golden Age into the 21st century.

Heart-stopping vocalists, eye-blurring tappers, rule-breaking dancers and chart-topping Special Guest Star singers—led by Grammy®-winner Fantasia, now through Feb. 9—join forces to create a singular theater experience. They’re all joined onstage by Emmy®-winner Dulé Hill and The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, a 17-piece band hand-selected by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis.

First Friday Films Returns for Second Season at Donna Reed Theatre in Denison

Enjoy These Flicks on the Big Screen

The series, dedicated to bringing popular and classic movies to the historic theater, proved to be so popular and successful with both movie enthusiasts and sponsors that it returns for a second season. The movies were chosen by their sponsors and some have included a theme or contest related to the movie.

The second First Friday Film series includes:
January 3 – Ratatouille, sponsored by Reiney’s Kandy Kitchen.
February 7 – Wizard of Oz, sponsored by Tyson Foods
March 7 – Soul Surfer, sponsored by Our Savior Lutheran Church
April 4 – John Wayne in The Cowboys, sponsored by Steve Holt for House
May 2 – Red Dawn (1984), sponsored by Tacopocalypse, Sam Auen
June 6 - The Karate Kid (1984), sponsored by The Choice

Each movie begins on the first Friday of each month at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5.
Season two also includes Saturday matinees of the films at 1 and 3 p.m.

“AMERICAN ICON SERIES” Celebrates 100 Years at the Donna Reed Theater and Anniversaries of Iconic U.S. Events

The Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts presents its new "American Icon Series" featuring five special events from November, 2013 to April, 2014. The performances include a live concert, a historical documentary, two unique stage plays, and film screenings - all commemorating historic anniversaries impacting local and national histories over the past century. 

November 22, 2013 - 50th Anniversary of the Life and Tragic Death of JFK
December 15, 2013 - "It's A Wonderful Life" Screenings
February 8, 2014 - 50th Anniversary of the Beatles in America
March 20-22, 2014 - 60th Anniversary of Donna Reed's Academy Award®
April 11-13, 2014 - 100th Anniversary of the Donna Reed Theatre

Each performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the Donna Reed Theater, 1305 Broadway, in downtown Denison, Iowa, home of The Donna Reed Foundation and Museum.

Tickets can be obtained by calling The Donna Reed Foundation at 712-263-3334 or by e-mail at info@donnareed.org.