Theatre Cedar Rapids
Get Theatre Cedar Rapids essential facts below. View Videos or join the Theatre Cedar Rapids discussion. Add Theatre Cedar Rapids to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Theatre Cedar Rapids
Theatre Cedar Rapids
Theatre Cedar Rapids Logo.jpg
Address102 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Theatre Cedar Rapids (TCR) is a community theatre in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The theatre performs several stage shows every year, and offers acting classes. Each year TCR is seen by more than 50,000 patrons, who view the work of over 35,000 volunteer hours.


Early years

In 1925 as part of the Little Theatre Movement, Grant Wood and other local community members staged small performances in Wood's apartment at 5 Turner Alley. Wood created sets for the theatre, as well as writing, directing, and acting in plays.[1][2] Wood also used the space as his artist studio, and painted the famous American Gothic at this location.[3] Additional scenery was also built and painted by Marvin Cone. The onset of World War II put the theatre group on hiatus.

Post-war years

In 1948, after the war ended, the group reorganized calling themselves "The Footlighters".[4] They generally performed at the local YMCA and at Coe College. In 1955 the group moved to the Old Strand Theatre, a building that had been a movie palace since 1912, and had also been known as The Olympic. The group renamed themselves to 'The Cedar Rapids Community Theatre (CRCT)'[5]

Modern era

In June 1928, the 'RKO Iowa Theatre' opened and served as a cinema, as well as offering vaudeville stage shows. In 1940, Katharine Hepburn played at the theatre in the stage version of The Philadelphia Story. In April, 1983 the theater was shut down. Four months after the closing of the theater, the space was donated to the CRCT by Audrey Linge. When they occupied the Iowa Theatre building, the group renamed itself Theatre Cedar Rapids.[6]

2008 flood

During the Iowa flood of 2008, the theatre was significantly damaged, and was shut down until February 2010. While the building was being repaired the group performed at local malls and churches. Stars Michael Emerson[7] and Ron Livingston[8] both natives of the Cedar Rapids area, recorded videos to help fundraising efforts for repairs. Livingston had previously performed at TCR.[9] The Federal Emergency Management Agency contributed over $4 million to the repair, and produced a short documentary about the renovations.[10][11] The theatre is home to the only remaining 'Rhinestone' Barton Organ, which has been restored since it was significantly damaged in the 2008 floods.

After the theatre restoration, one of the early shows was Rent. Anthony Rapp, who originated the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of the show, was invited to and attended one of the performances. After the show he participated in an extensive question and answer session about the history of the show. Of the TCR performance and theatre he said "Thank you guys, for a performance with so much heart, grace, humor and spirit", and "To be able to restore this theater shows the community's commitment to the arts -- and this theater is amazing"[12][13]

Laramie Project protest

In 2010, TCRs production of The Laramie Project, a play about the murder of gay student Matthew Shepard, was the target of a protest by Westboro Baptist Church. The church website said "We will picket your filthy, goofy 'theatrical production' of the Laramie Project". Theatre supporters and others opposed to the church's position arranged a counter-protest, but in the end the church protest did not materialize. The counter-protesters converted their protest into a solidarity rally when it was apparent that the church was not going to appear.[14]

80th season

Theatre Cedar Rapids will be one of the first community theatres in the world to perform Les Misérables. Movie star Hugh Jackman, who performed the role of Jean Valjean in the movie version, recorded a greeting to the theatre wishing "Chookas".[15] TCR is also one of the first theatres in the world to perform the stage version of Disney's Mary Poppins

Notable alumni

See also

Paramount Theatre (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

External links


  1. ^ Evans, Tripp. Grant Wood: A Life. p. 54.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  2. ^ "Grant Wood Scrapbook". Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ "Grant Wood Studio", Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
  4. ^ Young, John Wray. The community theatre and how it works. Harper.
  5. ^ Beard, Bill Lawrence (1959). The History of Community Theatre in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  6. ^ Hentry, George; Hunter, Mark (2005). Cedar Rapids : Downtown and Beyond. p. 82. ISBN 9780738539652.
  7. ^ Michael Emerson speaks in support of Theatre Cedar Rapids.
  8. ^ Ron Livingston speaks about Theatre Cedar Rapids.
  9. ^ "Making The Scene". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ "Iowa Theater Takes a Bow". Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ "Historic Iowa Theater Is Back - Better Than Ever", FEMA, February 25, 2010
  12. ^ "Broadway star graces Theatre Cedar Rapids for 'Rent'", The Gazette, 25 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Anthony Rapp RENT post-show discussion part 1/4", YouTube
  14. ^ "Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Laramie Project at Theatre Cedar Rapids 11/15. Counter protest planned", ACCESSLine, 14 January 2010.
    "Phelps, Westboro Baptist bringing hate message to Cedar Rapids Archived 2011-08-12 at the Wayback Machine", The Gazette, 12 January 2010.
    "Gay Hating Church is a No-Show,, Jan 15, 2010.
  15. ^

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes