Professional actors. Professional productions.

True West Opens 9/7

August 23, 2012 - 10:26 AM

From left: Sean Christopher Lewis as Lee and Tim Budd as Austin in True West at Riverside Theatre, September 7 - September 30. Photo by Bob Goodfellow.

Riverside Theatre, Iowa City’s resident professional theatre, opens its 2012-2013 Season on Friday, September 7th with the explosive and acidly comical True West by Sam Shepard, directed by Ron Clark.

True West is about two brothers with a score to settle. Austin, an ambitious Hollywood screenwriter working on a potential million-dollar movie project and Lee, a desert drifter and a thief with a compulsion for six-packs and toasters, are reunited at their mother’s home while she is away and a struggle for dominance ensues.

True West is sibling rivalry on steroids,” said Director Ron Clark. “The two brothers could not be more different. They both despise and envy each other, which I think is always the foundation of sibling rivalry.”

True West is considered to be a modern American classic and Shepard is revered as one of the greatest living playwrights of our time.

True West features Iowa City actors Tim Budd as Austin and Sean Christopher Lewis as Lee.  Scot West of Chicago returns to Riverside as Saul Kimmer and Riverside Theatre Artistic Director Jody Hovland rounds out the cast as Mom.

“They’re the A-Team that brings the play to life,” Clark said. “It demands virtroso acting that can plumb the mysteries of the relationships. The turnabouts come fast and furious; the action is explosive.”

True West also features scenic design by Shawn Ketchum Johnson, lighting design by Courtney Schmitz Watson, costume design by Osean Perez, and sound design by Drew Bielinski. Jason Tipsword choreographs the fight work.

Since the scenic design includes numerous toasters, Riverside Theatre is seeking donations of two-slot, old-school toasters (working and non-working) for the production. Donated toasters will not be returned. Toasters may be dropped off at the Box Office at 213 N. Gilbert St, Noon - 4 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Tickets for True West, September 7 – September 30, are $15-$28 with discounts available for those over 60, those under 30, and youth. $15 students rush tickets are available on a first come first served basis 20 minutes before curtain. Tickets are available by phone at (319) 338-7672, online at or in person at the Riverside Theatre Box Office, located at 213 N. Gilbert St., Iowa City, IA.

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