MVLCT – Auditions for Roots – A New Play Festival

Auditions are coming up for MVLCT’s Roots: A New Play Festival. 

When: January 20 & 21 at 7:00 PM

Where:  Uptown Theatre in Mount Vernon’s First Street Community Center

What to bring:  Yourself!  All auditions will consist of cold reading and performing A/B scenes.

Show Dates: March 7,8,9, & 10

What is the Roots Festival? 

This year’s new play festival centers around the theme of Roots.  This idea has been expressed in numerous ways from the roots of evil to familial roots to the foundations of community theatre itself.  With eleven different plays from eleven different local Eastern Iowa writers, Roots: A New Play Festival is sure to be grounded in great midwestern theatre and stem plenty of theatrical ingenuity.  A breakdown of plays and characters is listed below:

All Evil Inc by Kelli Massey 

The dashing and daring Captain Man is in a dastardly duel with the Root of All Evil, but all is not what it seems.

1 Male Actor

1 Female Actor

Home by Eva Giacomo

Past becomes present as an event draws two ex’s together.

1 Male Actor

1 Female Actor

Ping Pong by Barbara Lau

Gender and race come to the forefront when an adopted daughter learns about her heritage.

1 Male Actor

2 Female Actor

Some Surprise by Amy White

A birthday doesn’t go quite as planned against the backdrop of the1920s … with Puppets

1 Actor

Not Doing Christmas by Kristin Schneider 

Sisters discuss plans for Christmas, but the talk quickly veers into the news of the day.

2 Female Actors

1 Male Actor

Loving Addison and Dealing with Teenage Angst in 1946: The Musical by Tristan Maynard

The show must go on even when a disgruntled actor steps in.

2 Male Actor

1 Female Actor

Weeding by Brian Tanner

Life Lessons in Gardening.

3 Male Actors (all 12 years old)

2 Female Actors

Mock Trial/Real Error by Elijah Jones

A father & son confront the past.

2 Male Actors

This is a Bad Idea by Grant Freeman

A wacky and weird community theatre selects their final show for their upcoming season.

2 Male Actors

3 Female Actors

Untitled Interview by Tony Craine 

An elderly woman learns of her family’s history.

I Male Actor

1 Female Actor

Memory by Chris Okishi 

Memory is a fickle beast, especially when you’re losing it.

2 Female Actors

Magical Night at First Street Community Center

The 28th annual Magical Night event will take place Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5 to 8 p.m. at several locations throughout Uptown Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Magical Night in Mount Vernon, Iowa is a celebration of holiday magic that begins on the lawn of the First Street Community Center, at 5 pm, Santa himself will be throwing the switch unveiling Mount Vernon’s holiday lights on the Fist Street Community Center’s historic one-of-a-kind building.

For the first time in the history of Magical Night, volunteers and City representatives have decided to close 1st Street to traffic to create a Holiday-inspired Ped Mall for the entire festival from 5 to 8 p.m

– From VisitMVL.com

There are dozens of special events throughout the area during this evening, you can check out the full list of activities here.

Activities We Are Hosting

@ 5pm – Help Santa light up the First Street Community Center

@ 6:30 & 7:15 pm at the First Street Community Center (221 1st St. NE): “Holiday Tidings” from Dance Arts Iowa @ Uptown Theatre

From 5pm – 8pm

  • Business Open House, visit local businesses, enjoy live music, snacks and begin your holiday shopping.
  • Get your magic reindeer food and visit with live reindeer on the lawn of the First Street Community Center sponsored by Hills Bank.
  • Cookie Decorating, sponsored by Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation, inside the Library at the First Street Community Center.
  • Arts Fest, “Dance on a Starry Night” presented by Mount Vernon elementary and high school art students inside the First Street Community Center gym.
  • Jackee Austerman Photography – Stop over for some fun Christmas photos!  Images are free and will be available on their Facebook page after the event!  She is also offering $5 light-up necklaces for you to wear as you stroll through town on Magical Night! You are sure to be feeling FESTIVE!! 🙂

Click on Jackee Austerman’s cool video short below:  (shared with Jackee’s permission)

Shop Small Saturday

Support your favorite small businesses this Saturday and come out to the First Street Community Center to browse in our warm, one-of-a-kind unique building.

This quote from the VisitMVL.com (Visit Mount Vernon – Lisbon) website says it all:

“Small businesses, like small Iowa towns, are the back-bone of our nation and our economy,” said Catherine Kennedy, Chair of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon project.

“Support for small businesses and small towns is support for the growth of our families, our friends, and our country. Please plan on joining us on Saturday, Nov. 24, to Shop Small!”

Room 222 – Antiques, Collectibles & “Wants”

Room 222 has a mix of antique, vintage, retro and more — covering just about anything someone may choose to collect. Walking around Room 222 will take every visitor back to remembering Grandma’s house and Grandpa’s barn viewing many things that they grew up bringing back wonderful memories of their childhood.

Room 222 is owned by Kevin Smith who has lived in Mount Vernon all of his life. Way back in the ’70’s he studied at Kirkwood Community College.  Kevin also worked 27 years in a factory in Cedar Rapids.  He’s retired now and doing what he loves, buying and selling antiques and collectibles.

The Twig & Fairy Room and a Few Antiques

Artwork Inspired by Nature & Fairies for the Whimsical of All Ages.  The Twig and Fairy Room is a combination of 3 businesses; Ruth Ipsan-Brown dba Ruth’s Twig Art, Kim Wolfe dba Fairy Under A Full Moon and Glenn Wolfe dba Wolfe’s Antiques.

Ruth Ipsan-Brown, the goddess of all things twig, has been inspired by nature since childhood and uses natural materials to create nature art pieces including figures, chairs and altars.

Kim Wolfe, the Fairy Grandmother, makes flower fairies, fairy related items as well as hand painted stones.

Glenn Wolfe has been restoring and selling antiques since 1989 and enjoys having his foot back in the antique biz again after recently retiring. Restored electric lighting and quality antique furniture are his specialties.

School House Antiques

History you will be proud to put on display.  Schoolhouse Antiques specializes in American Indian artifacts and framed pictures, primitives, Asian artwork, statues, and dishes, linens, silver trays, serving pieces and silverware and numerous collectibles. She also deals in small furniture.

Schoolhouse Antiques owner Carolyn Wellso has been in the antique business for over 28 years in Mount Vernon.

Helios Stitches n Stuff

A fabric studio and shop like no other.  Yes Virginia, there IS a fabric shop in Mount Vernon!

Serving Quilters, Crafters, Seamstresses and offering handmade gifts. They have a beautiful selection of high quality fabrics created by Iowa designers and use locally-sourced materials for many of our products. Helios is dedicated to finding bright, sunny fabrics that you will not find in other quilt shops. They also stock a wide selection of quilt backs.

The Green Door

Logo for The Green Door thrift boutique

A Unique & Affordable Thrift Boutique.  The Green Door is first and foremost a place for folks to come looking for deals on good used clothing. It’s also a place to find STUFF you won’t find anywhere else. They carry like new women’s and men’s clothing, jewelry, shoes, antiques, Asianware, vintage, functional hand-thrown pottery, contemporary housewares, and one of a kind items.

From the store owners:

We are offering 75% off everything in Green Door Too. Most of our display fixtures will also be on sale Price as Marked.

Many have been asking if we are closing both stores and the answer is NO. We are just doing a bit of down-sizing. Stop by to get the best deals.

Final days of Green Door Too will be just before the Christmas Holidays.

East End Art & Tea

A notable & diverse selection of Iowa art & craft & Organic tea, too!


My Studio

(Made by You Studio) is a cozy little space stocked with an extensive variety of art supplies and materials just for you!

MY Studio has hosts birthday parties, ladies nights, creative friend gatherings, couple’s art dates, and has partnered with Cornell College as part of their new student orientation activities. MY Studio has walk in open studio hours on Tuesdays Wednesdays and Saturdays, and can be reserved any other time for private events.

This is a cozy little place where the possibilities are endless! Come in with an idea–they provide the space, materials and tools.

Blooming Acres Florist and Gifts

Blooming Acres Florist and Gifts is a full service flower shop specializing in custom floral arrangements for birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, and everyday.

They provide balloon bouquets, candy bouquets, gift baskets, green and blooming plants.  They also carry a wide variety of local and Iowa made gifts.

Small Business Saturday – Crafters Market & Home Business Expo

New this year, we are proud to be hosting The Crafters Market together with the Annual Home Business Expo on Small Business Saturday, November 24th, from 9am – 4pm inside the First Street Community Center’s Gymnasium.

The Crafters Market specializes in well created, handmade items for the discerning customer.

The Annual Home Business Expo will feature numerous home based businesses in the local area including:

  • Mettes Doll Fashions
  • Becky Danielson
  • Grannie’s Ruffles
  • Amy Bishop Fine Art
  • Dog Bandanas Creations
  • Kelli Wolfe Quilting
  • Lindenbolt Serigraphy
  • Mary Beth’s Articulture
  • The Crafty Needle
  • Stine Designs
  • Poets Garden
  • Lisa Kenyon
  • Rodan+Fields
  • LuLaRoe
  • Scentsy
  • ItWorks
  • doTERRA Essential Oils

Displays from other local shops may also be on hand, including: Fairy Under a Full Moon and Twig Creations by Ruth.

There is FREE ADMISSION and as always the First Street Community Center has FREE Parking.

* Don’t forget while you are here to check on the other wonderful shops that call this building home throughout the year!

It’s Back – The Winter Farmers Market Has Begun

photo of fall vegetables on display

Saturdays 10am – 12pm in the First Street Community Center Gymnasium

Bring your kids, your friends, and a stray neighbor or two! We have a variety of vendors and a plethora of delicious items from which to choose. Stock the cupboards and fill the pantry, it is time for the Mt. Vernon Winter Farmers Market!

Beautiful vegetables, delicious artisan breads, jams and jellies. We have several different varieties of local, grass-fed meats as well as farm fresh eggs available. Gluten-free products and tasty treats are here, along with honey, shag-bark hickory nuts, walnuts and dry herbs.

Hand-dipped chocolates, exquisite hats, scarves and baby items. Handcrafted jewelry is a must-see, perfect for gifts. Dried beans, fresh ground cornmeal, popcorn, and meat seasoning mixes! Be sure to stop by and see us!

Everything at our market is produced and raised here in Iowa, by the vendor selling directly to you! We are proud to be local!

If you have any questions, please Call (319) 560-1391 or Email mtvernonfm@yahoo.com.

Be sure to stop inside the First Street Community Center to check out all the fantastic shops as well!

Holiday Jingle & Mingle Shopping Event

This Saturday, November 10th from 10 am – 2 pm come join us for a holiday shopping event!  All vendors and crafters are together under one big roof – inside the First Street Community Center’s Gymnasium.

Free Admission!

NOTE:  Please bring a non-perishable food donation for the Linn County VA Food Pantry.

Vendors and Crafters

Perfectly Posh
Usborne Books
Damsel in Defense
Color Street
Pure Romance
R & K Crafts and Printing
New Door Designs
Joyful Essentials Jewelry with Young Living
TK Kreations
The Craft Table
Tastefully Simple
Crafts by Lisa

R & K Crafts and Printing

New Door Designs

The Craft Table

2018 Uptown Theatre Honors – Gala Celebrating the Arts

Collage of Johnny Krob, Mickey Woods, James & Catherine Kennedy, Beryl O’Connor and Damon Cole
Johnny Krob, Mickey Woods, James & Catherine Kennedy, Beryl O’Connor and Damon Cole

The A-Go-Gos, a Mount Vernon Volunteer Organization, proudly present the 2018 Uptown Theatre Honors – An Evening Gala Celebrating the Arts on Saturday, October 20, 2018 starting with a 6:30 pm cocktail hour and 7:30 pm for the show.

This year’s honorees are Johnny Krob, Mickey Woods, James & Catherine Kennedy, Beryl O’Connor and Damon Cole.

Tickets are $20 and an be purchased ahead of time at Bauman’s in Mount Vernon, or you call the Reservation Line (319) 895-8060. Tickets are also available at the door.

Come join us to celebrate these wonderful people and their contributions to the arts!

Starmites – A Rock Musical – performing in the Uptown Theatre

MVLCT's Poster for Starmites

Starmites is a delightfully over the top sci-fi 80’s rock musical that uses a fantasy world to drive home poignant lessons about the awkwardness of growing up when you don’t quite fit in.

Outsider, Eleanor Fairchild has built an imaginary world around the sci-fi comic books she collects. On the same day her Mom convinces her to give up her fantasy of becoming a superhero, Eleanor instead finds herself mysteriously thrust into the world of her favorite comic book, Starmites. She lands in the middle of the battle between evil villain Shak Graa, and the Starmites, guardians of Inner Space. She and the Starmites team up on a quest to keep power out of Shak Graa’s greedy hands.

Along the way they meet a colorful assortment of Bowie-esque villains including the flamboyant Diva, Queen of Inner Space and her Banshee warriors – Destiny’s Childish sirens.

Starmites’ music and lyrics are by Barry Keating.  It was first presented in 1980.  It opened off-Broadway in 1987 and on-Broadway on April 27, 1989, where it ran for 60 performances. It received six Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical.

According to the Starmites website:

With the timeless appeal of THE WIZARD OF OZ and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, yet unique, STARMITES is exciting, touching, and great fun for the entire family.

Show Dates:

With multiple show dates you can pick the day and time that best fits your busy schedule:

  • Friday Oct. 5th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday Oct. 6th at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday Oct. 7th at 2 pm
  • Friday Oct. 12th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday Oct. 13th at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday Oct. 14th at 2 pm

Come see your favorite local actors!

The Cast of STARMITES, in order of appearance:

  • S’up S’up Sensaboi: Jasper Rood
  • Diggety Razzledazzle: Melissa Caminneci
  • Ack Ack Hackerax: Willa Martin
  • Starmite Ensemble: Irish Valentine
  • Spacepunk: Mia Huxley
  • Eleanor Fairchild / Bizarbara: Nikki Scheel
  • Eleanor’s Mother / Diva: Kami Zbanek Hill
  • Shak Graa / Trinkulus: John Zbanek Hill
  • Shotzi: Kelli Massey
  • Balbraka: Jenna Woodwick
  • Canibelle: Lisa Smith
  • Hollaback: Mimi Vukelich
  • Banshee Ensemble: Sydney Myers

Tickets are available at the performance and online.  Purchase tickets online here.

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