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Leaving Iowa Cover LE5000

Leaving Iowa

By Tim Clue and Spike Manton.

Product Code: LE5000

  • Full-length Play
  • Comedy
  • Cast size: 3m., 3w., may be expanded to 4m., 4w., 18 either gender.

    Livestream and Record & Stream Rights Available

Rights and availability
This title can be licensed and sold throughout the World.

Please note this title may be restricted in your area and may require additional processing time.

* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

$11.95 /script

Min. Royalty Rate: $110/perf

In stock


The spark behind Leaving Iowa comes from being children of parents from the now dubbed "greatest generation." The story is a toast to their idealism and character and a little roast of their undying dedication to the classic family road trip. More specifically, it is the story of Don Browning, a middle-aged writer, who returns home and decides to finally take his father's ashes to his childhood home, as requested. But when Don discovers Grandma's house is now a grocery store, he begins traveling across Iowa searching for a proper resting place for his father. This father-and-son road trip shifts smoothly from the present to Don's memories of the annual, torturous vacations of his childhood. Don's existential journey leads him to reconcile his past and present at the center of the United States. Leaving Iowa is a postcard to anyone who has ever found himself or herself driving alone on a road, revisiting fond memories of his or her youth. Premiered at the Purple Rose Theatre Company.


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  • Status

    In stock

  • Type of Show Full-length Play
  • Product Code LE5000
  • Cast Size 6
  • Min. Royalty Rate $110/perf
  • Cost $11.95
  • Approx. Run Time 105 min


  • Target Audience High School | College and Adult
  • Performing Group High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre | Senior Theatre
  • Genre Comedy
  • ISBN(13) 9781583425855
* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

Customer Reviews

"Leaving Iowa was a huge success for our small theater coming out of the pandemic. Everyone loved it. The cast, our patrons, are still talking about it weeks later! Had we known how great it would have been received we would have booked it for another weekend. Such a fun show!"
Review by Angela Leonard, Old Fort Players, Fort Madison, Iowa
"This was a new thing for us, doing a play. We are a small school and this play worked great for us. No real scene changes [and] the CD with sound effects was a huge plus."
Review by Rusty Ruggles, Aledo High School, Aledo, Ill.
"Leaving Iowa was the "perfect storm" ... a play the actors, director and audience could all embrace. While offering belly-laugh moments, it still manages to be a beautiful father-son story. The play is simply "genuine." I highly recommend it!"
Review by Rene Mauck, Muscatine High School, Muscatine, Iowa
"Historically funny production to which audience members can really relate."
Review by Annette Rubin, Oelwein High School, Oelwein, Iowa
"A wonderful combination of nostalgia and humor, tears and laughter. One parent commented, "I like a Broadway musical as much as the next gal, but this show made me think. And I enjoyed the process." Familiar without being cliched. Lots of room for character development, over-the-top acting."
Review by Stephen Duennebier, Brunswick School, Greenwich, Conn.
"Excellent vehicle for teaching both serious drama and comedy to actors within the same package. A lovely play about reconciling the past with the present."
Review by Cheryl Neidt, Springfield Public School, Springfield, Minn.
"Tremendous audience response. Play succeeds as a comedy and nostalgia. Many audience members could relate to their own family car vacations. Sound track was superb."
Review by John Lewinski, Alpine Playhouse, McCall, Idaho
"Leaving Iowa is a heartwarming comedy. Our theatre rocked with laughter! At the end, people were coming out with happy, tear-streaked cheeks. The cast and audience loved this play!"
Review by Barbara Keith, Lanesboro Community Theater, Lanesboro, Minn.
"What a marvelous play! A great combination of laugh-out-loud hilarious and tender, redemptive, sentimental family love. Our audiences loved it and we had bigger houses by far than usual. The writing is excellentÑso perfectly reflects the backseat and front seat family vacation experiences before the "plug-in" generation."
Review by Ann Dolan, Lancaster Community Players, Lancaster, Wis.
"A simply beautiful comedy."
Review by Jeff Daniels, The Purple Rose Theatre Company

Hints, Tips, and Tricks

"Use the provided CD; it makes a world of difference to the overall feel of the show! Our idea was that Don's world view should dominate, which means hyperbolic choices. It worked to great effect, with a metaphorical black-box car and over-the-top multiple character renditions. It's a beautiful, beautiful show."
Tip by Sandra Krueger, The College of The Albemarle, Elizabeth City, N.C.
"Read the entire book, including the pages following the script, the notes from the playwrights are so helpful to all aspects of the production. "
Tip by Darren McGarvey, Kettering Fairmont High School, Dayton, Ohio
"Get the sound person to rehearsals early, especially for the 'swoosh' in the Ghost Cavern scene!"
Tip by Jo Slowik, Lewis University, Romeoville, Ill.
"Costume changes were the hardest to complete, but what I learned is, simple is always best. Simple and easy costumes made the changes super fast."
Tip by Noah Gibbons Salib, Sussex Regional HS, Sussex, New Brunswick
"The sound effects and music CD that was sent was very useful."
Tip by Mary Powers, Fenton Village Players, Fenton, Mich.
"Follow the suggestions to keep the set simple. Don't let it get in the way of the story!"
Tip by Rene Mauck, Muscatine High School, Muscatine, Iowa

Media Reviews

"A comedy with a surprisingly deep soul." -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"A road trip in search of one's self. Four out of four stars." -Detroit Free Press

"Leaves you with a smile on your face and a desire to hug your kids." -The Detroit News

"Quintessential family entertainment." -The Chelsea Standard

"Simultaneously hilarious and touching." -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"Spike Manton and Tim Clue … have honed the written words to a level of perfection." -Lansing City Pulse

Production Map

Location City State Opens Closes
Lincoln Arts Center Rochelle Illinois 4/19/2024 4/27/2024
Chautauqua Playhouse Carmichael California 4/19/2024 5/19/2024
Highland Community College Freeport Illinois 3/7/2024 3/9/2024
Tawas Bay Players Inc East Tawas Michigan 7/10/2024 7/21/2024
The Theater at Forest View Arlington Heights Illinois 8/15/2025 8/17/2025
American Leadership Academy Spanish Fork Utah 3/4/2024 3/4/2024
Cambridge Public School Cambridge Nebraska 5/3/2024 5/5/2024
cardinal high school Eldon Iowa 3/22/2024 3/23/2024
Great Bridge High school Chesapeake Virginia 4/19/2024 4/20/2024


File Description File Format
Preshow Music (1000 Miles to the Middle of Everywhere)mp3Download
Performance PosterpdfDownload
Ghost Caverns Chorusmp3Download
Hannibal Music (for when they are in Hannibal, Mo.)mp3Download
Civil War Musicmp3Download
End Theme Piano Musicmp3Download

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