The Thanksgiving Visitor*
by Truman Capote
November 25-29, 2015
7:30pm Nov. 25, 27, 28
2:00pm Nov. 28 & 29
Des Moines Social Club's Kum & Go Theater
9th and Cherry St., Des Moines
The Thanksgiving Visitor is a companion piece to another Truman Capote short-story, A Christmas Memory, which RTI produced in 2011 and revived in 2013. If you saw A Christmas Memory two years ago, it will be a plus but is not necessary to enjoy The Thanksgiving Visitor. Each story has many of the same characters but are stand alone pieces.
Both stories were inspired by Capote's childhood growing up in Alabama in the 1930's. The story is narrated by eight-year-old Buddy (played by John Earl Robinson), whose much older cousin, Sook, is his best friend. Buddy gets stopped on the way to school every day by local bully, who pins him to the ground and rubs burrs into Buddy's head because "he's a sissy". To stop this problem, Sook invites the bully to her big Thanksgiving party. Through this experience, Buddy learns the importance of suspending judgment and extending forgiveness.
As for the production, the actual short story is the script so you'll hear and feel every one of Capote's beautiful words and descriptions. Company member, John Earl Robinson, steps into the role as Buddy who narrates the story but throughout takes on other characters and personas in this challenging and charming one man show.
It's quite a feast for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Starring John Earl Robinson as "Buddy"
JOHN EARL ROBINSON is a founding RTI company member. Roles with RTI include Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, Samuel Parris in The Crucible, Editor Webb in Our Town, Rev. Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest, Egeus in Midsummer Night’s Dream, George Sikowski inThat Championship Season, Sir John Middleton in Sense & Sensibility, and Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
He has also collaborated with area performing arts groups including Iowa Dance Theatre, the Des Moines Symphony, Des Moines Onstage, Stagewest, Unexpected Company, the Drama Workshop, Tallgrass Theatre, the Ingersoll Dinner Theater, and the Playhouse. Film work includes the independent feature, Haunting Villisca and Smitty, starring Peter Fonda and Mira Sorvino. He’s originally from Harrisburg, PA.
Directed by Ethan Peterson
ETHAN PETERSON is one of RTI’s newest company members. Roles with the company include Eugene inBroadway Bound, Lorenzo inThe Merchant of Venice, George Webb in Our Town, and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
He’s in his last year at Iowa State University studying Performing Arts with an Acting/Directing emphasis. Credits there include Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, Perchik inFiddler on the Roof, and Jerry in Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story as part of the student-directed one-act festival.
He’s also a proud member of ISU's improv comedy troupe, Grandma Mojo's Moonshine Revival.
This is Ethan's directorial debut with Repertory Theater Of Iowa and we're very excited to see what he brings to this piece.