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

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

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