image of program invitation card

The Betty Strong Encounter Center will present “Opera Houses of Iowa” with Richard Poole at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14. Admission will be free; a reception will follow.

Poole’s richly illustrated presentation will visit numerous small-town Iowa opera houses and some large performance spaces, including Sioux City’s Peavey Grand Opera House.

He will discuss opera houses as principal settings for entertainment and community gatherings, primarily in small-town and rural Iowa in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

 “The audience will be amazed, bemused and nostalgic as they reflect on opera houses and what they meant to generations of Iowans,” says Poole

Poole is Professor Emeritus of Theater and Speech Communication at Briar Cliff University and a Senior Fulbright Scholar. His research, articles, books and plays focus on Midwestern theater forms with an emphasis on researching and documenting Iowa opera houses.

Poole co-authored “The Opera Houses of Iowa” (Iowa State Press, 1993) with Dr. George Glenn, Emeritus Professor of Theater at University of Northern Iowa. The co-authors are revising, updating and expanding the book which is under consideration for publication by University of Iowa Press.

Poole also co-authored “American Traveling Tent Theatre, 1900-1940: Rural and Small Town Tent-Show Plays Performed in the Midwest” (The Edwin Mellen Press: 2014) with Dr. L. Dawn Larsen, Associate Professor of Theate, Francis Marion University.