Iowa City Community Theatre forced to find new home after over 50 years

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa City Community Theatre has until the end of their current season to find temporary spaces for their next season of productions. That gives them through May to overcome the many obstacles this volunteer-ran organization will inevitably face head-on.

Everything that isn’t a part of the walls, ceiling, and floor at ICCT could very well be homeless by next spring.

“It’s designed to be mobile, it’s designed to be storable. It’s going to be...tricky to move some of these things,” said Past President Elinor Levin.

In the meantime, volunteers like her are doing everything they can to prevent that.

“For us to find a new home is going to require a massive fundraising effort, it’s going to require a lot of community support,” said Levin.

They started using the space on the Johnson County Fairgrounds in 1962, but the organization itself launched 10 years before. Ever since, they have relied on volunteers to keep their productions going.

“We’re entirely dependent on donations and ticket sales. We do receive small grants most years, but those don’t even cover the cost of one production let alone the upkeep of a space,” said Levin.

The search for a new home has become a race.

While they have accepted they will hop around between various locations for their 68th season, the goal is to have a new permanent location by the 69th season. A quick turnaround, that lifetime member, Beverly Mead says requires even more donations and assistance.

“We’re seeking assistance from anybody who might know of a building or a location where we can...even if it’s only ourselves so we can have a home,” said Mead.

Already, they are seeing an increase in help between sorting old costumes and storing equipment at other locations. But they journey to a brand new home after over 50 years has just begun.

“We had hoped it would be our permanent home, but like things change, this is now changing,” said Levin.

Not only is this a unique search because they are trying to find a new location to put on various plays and musicals. The barn is entirely ADA accessible for cast, crews, and audience members which is something Levin says they pride themselves on and aim to continue to offer at their next location.