"Un-Uttered, or All the Things They Never Talked About” is an original 183-page play by Coleen Barngrover.
The play is about Simeon and Chloe Ann Dow, the original owners of the Dow House, and covers the period from 1855 to their deaths in 1906.
The play often revolves around the views of the women of the Dow City; the title of the play is a reference to the things the women wouldn’t say.
Rehearsals have been taking place at the Boyer Valley Elementary School in Dow City every weekend for the last two months.
The production has a cast of more than 30, which has created one of the production’s biggest challenges.
“Because there are so many in the cast it’s been very hard to get everyone here at the same time,” Barngrover said.
Sunday marked the first time the cast went without scripts.
Director Benjamin Schauer, who teaches music and drama at Boyer Valley High School, said the production has started to come together in the last few rehearsals.
“The biggest challenge is corralling all the people at the same time,” he agreed.
He said he is enjoying the experience, which is very different from teaching students he sees five days per week.
Terri Meadows, who plays the young Chloe Dow, said she has had fun working on the production.
“It’s been great meeting new people and seeing what the others bring to the table,” she said.
Meadows is one of the more experienced actors in the production.
She studied theatre at the University of South Dakota and performed in many plays in Yankton, South Dakota, after getting a small part in a production of Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.”
“I was bitten by the acting bug right away,” she said.
Meadows said she enjoys playing Chloe Dow, whose story has its ups and downs.
“When they first decide to move from Michigan to Iowa, apparently Mrs. Dow was under the impression they were going to go to California, but that did not happen,” Meadows said. “As the play progresses, they steadily make more money until the very end, when they go bankrupt. My character goes from being comfortable to being more comfortable to devastation.”
Chloe Dow loves her husband, but Meadows said Chloe is the one who “wears the pants” in the relationship.
An added bonus for Meadows is that she gets to sing two songs in the production.
Barngrover said she has enjoyed watching actors take on the roles she has written.
“They just naturally fell into the parts,” she said. “I’m pleased with everyone’s performances.”
Her grandson, Chandler Perrien, plays the young William Dow.
“It’s his first performance and he’s been very good,” she said.
Barngrover thought she would have to do more of the directing, but Schauer has made that unnecessary.
Schauer said rehearsals will ramp up this week and next as the production adds all the props, sets and costumes.
Performances of “Un-Uttered, or, ‘All The Things They Never Talked About’”, presented by the Friends of the Dow House, will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 9, at the Dow City School Gymnasium.
The play is the kickoff event for the Dow City Sesquicentennial.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and are available in Dow City at Ettleman’s Conoco, City Hall, Dow City Bank, Mamie & Ethel’s and at the Crawford County Conservation Office at Yellow Smoke Park.