Things to do this weekend in Iowa City include the Dreamwell Play

The bard and a local band are preparing people for two gripping — and very different — performances this weekend in Iowa City.

Lose yourself in a world after the death of William Shakespeare with a new production from the Dreamwell Theatre, or hear the band from Iowa Surf Zombies at Elray’s Live and Dive on Friday.

There is also another holiday market in Coralville, perfect as the holidays approach.

Here are three things to do this weekend in Johnson County.

Dreamwell Theater presents ‘The Book of Will’ at the James Theater

Directed by Adrienne Miller,

Dreamwell Theater is bringing Lauren Gunderson’s “The Book of Will” to Iowa City this weekend, starting Thursday.

Directed by Adrienne Miller, “The Book of Will” follows two friends of William Shakespeare who are determined to piece together his First Folio, the collection of his plays that will be pondered for generations after Shakespeare’s death.

It’s a true story of friendship, humor and effort to preserve Shakespeare’s legacy.

Rip Russell, who plays John Heminges, told the Press-Citizen how his character compliments Henry Condell, played by Ray Vanek.

Heminges and Condell were from Shakespeare colleagues and were responsible for preparing the First Folio, which was published in 1623according to the Library of Congress.

The men both want to preserve Shakespeare’s story, but have different concerns and approaches that make them interesting characters for Russell and Vanek to play.

“I’m the one who has to be convinced throughout the play that this is something that can actually be done, and Henry is like, ‘Come on, come on. Let’s do it,'” Russell said.

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It’s “triumphant,” he said, when the characters are able to come together despite their differing approaches and compile the First Folio.

It could also be a lesson in the difference between an optimist and a realist, Vanek said, recalling how a scene from the play shows both Condell and Heminges talking to their wives about the project they’re undertaking, contrasting the excitement of Condell with Heminges, who is almost ready to give up.

Russell said one thing audiences don’t have to worry about is language.

“It’s not a Shakespeare play,” he said. “It’s a play about Shakespeare. So it’s written in a language that we can all understand.

This is an important distinction to make for people who might otherwise shy away from something labeled “Shakespeare”.

But for Shakespeare fans, Vanek assured “The Book of Will” will satisfy, in part because every character in the series acts out of love for Shakespeare and his work.

“(Condell and Heminges) are starting to realize that if they don’t make sure there are good copies of his plays before they die, no one will remember the plays,” Vanek said.

The Dreamwell Theater has performed Gunderson’s “The Revolutionists” before.

This production will take place at the James Theatre, a first for Dreamwell.

It’s an exciting feeling for Russell, who has lived in the Iowa City area for 45 years, because it represents something bigger than a performance.

“I hope everyone can come see it because, on the contrary, it celebrates collaboration and the fact that we can all work together in this city for the good of the artistic community,” he said.

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The show is also part of Dreamwell Theatre’s 25e anniversary season.

The nonprofit theater was started by Sharon Falduto, Matt Falduto, Ali Zimmerman and Paul Chakrin, who were all friends and students at the University of Iowa.

The The Iowa City Theater has forged its own path among other local theaters by intentionally choosing to present thought-provoking and unique – perhaps “bolder” – works. as Sharon Falduto told the Press-Citizen.

Performances of “The Book of Will” continue throughout the weekend with a Friday and Saturday performance at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday performance at 2 p.m.

Visit the Dreamwell Theater website to buy tickets.

Surf the zombies at Elray’s Live and Dive

The band Surf Zombies, performing at Elray's Live and Dive at 6 p.m. Friday.

On Friday, instrumental surf-rock band Surf Zombies take the stage at Elray’s Live and Dive for a free show.

Composed of Brook Hoover, Doug Roberson, Jim Viner and Joel McDowell, Surf Zombies have been captivating Iowan ears since 2006 for their mix of punk-rock and garage-rock sounds.

The band performed at Vintage Torquefest in Iowa and received the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Spirit Award in 2017.

The concert starts at 6 p.m. Visit Elray’s Live and Dive’s website for more information.

Corridor Market: Holiday Edition in Coralville

The Hyatt Regency Coralville Hotel & Conference Center will host another holiday market this weekend.

If you missed the holiday arts and crafts exhibit the first weekend of November at the Hyattstop by Friday or Saturday for another chance to get some goodies for your loved ones – or yourself.

The Corridor Market features Midwestern businesses such as Clive’s Olga’s Organics, which sells organic skin care and beauty items.

Or Elida’s Bakery of Iowa City, a mother-daughter duo selling baked goods including cupcakes and intricately decorated cakes.

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The Holiday Market will feature food trucks and live music. Admission to the market is $8 and free for children under 12.

The opening hours of the market are from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Visit Corridor Market Facebook page for more information on participating companies.

Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle and the arts at Iowa City Press-Citizen. Contact her at [email protected] or (319) 519-9731. Follow her on Twitter @ParisBarraza.

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