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3 September 2020



Will present online reading of virtual play by RAC member Kerry Skram.

Iowa Stage Theatre Company, central Iowa’s home for award-winning theater that inspires, enlightens and entertains, is announcing the online reading of a new play by Resident Artist Company member Kerry Skram. Skram has adapted Jane Austen’s Persuasion and set it in the era of Downton Abbey.

“I love Jane Austen and Downton Abbey both, and wanted to take the interior world of the novel and give it a more active setting for the stage,” said author Kerry Skram (pictured).

Persuasion tells the story of Anne Elliot, who was convinced to give up her engagement to a young sailor by her family. Ten years later she crosses paths with her former fiancee, now Captain Wentworth in the Royal Navy, and old feelings are complicated by family loyalties.

“Kerry is a wonderful actress and a masterful adapter of Austen’s novels” said Matthew McIver, Artistic Director of ISTC. “Her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility for Repertory Theater of Iowa was a beautiful theatrical experience of that great story. Her Jane-Austen-meets-Downton-Abbey adaptation of Persuasion is even more fun for audiences.”

The performance will be streamed at 7pm on September 17th, only on the ISTC YouTube channel.

It will be directed by McIver, and features author Kerry Skram as Anne Elliot, as well as Resident Artist Company members Richard Maynard as Anne’s family Sir Walter Elliot, Alissa Tschetter Siedschlaw as Anne’s sister Mary Musgrove, John Earl Robinson as Mary’s husband Charles. Additionally, RAC members Kim Grimaldi plays Lady Russell, the Elliot’s neighbor, with Kim Haymes as Mary’s friend Miss Penelope Shepherd, who is not what she seems. RAC member Jonathan de Lima plays William Elliot, a cousin set to inherit the Elliot estate, and guest artist Sid Juwarker plays Captain Wentworth, Anne’s former (and future?) fiancee.

“This is a wonderful cast, and I’ve been hearing many of these voices in my head as I was writing these characters. It’s thrilling to get to work with them,” said Skram.

The reading will kick off a series of virtual performances fo ISTC this fall, with an October production of Tuesdays with Morrie, sponsored by AARP and American Enterprise, and then a December production of It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play adapted by Joe Landry. Further details will be announce shortly.

Performance Dates

Persuasion, adapted by Kerry Skram, will be live-streamed on the Iowa Stage YouTube channel on September 17th at 7pm, as well as on Iowa Stage’s Facebook page. Go to YouTube or Facebook and search for Iowa Stage Theatre Company to find the locations, or visit these links:

Iowa Stage Theatre Company, founded in 2017, is a professional, home-grown theater company in central Iowa that creates high-quality audience experiences of the greatest stories ever told onstage, from the classics to the cutting edge. Led by Artistic Director Matthew McIver, our Resident Artist Company works to transform Iowa, its citizens, and arts community by producing truthful, relevant, and intimate theatre that inspires, enlightens, and entertains. For Press Photos, please contact Laura Jordan at by email at  For more information about Iowa Stage Theatre Company, visit us online at

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