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Caucus! The Musical shows Iowa's lighter side

Caucus! The Musical
Caucus! The Musical
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The mix of politics and performance was born on the Iowa State campus in the 1980's when three different Presidential Candidates were all braving the cold to talk to students like Robert John Ford.

"At that point, it just really struck me that this is something only we Iowans experience and it's so theatrical in its own way and this should be a theater play in some form," said Ford, the musical's Creator and Producer.

It took the better part of 20 years to put pen to paper, but once he did, "I wrote it in less than 10 days and it was in a workshop in less than two weeks," said Ford. "It was a very easy process because it had been brewing in my head for so long and I knew what I wanted to present on stage."

The goal is to entertain and educate everyone about the process that it so uniquely Iowa.

"All the surrounding states have no idea what we experience being first in the nation," said Director and Choreographer Alison Shafer.

That means that from 2004 through 2012, there were only small changes with characters and their parties changing to fit the cycle.

The 2016 cycle brought about huge rewrites.

"Media is just such a part of this whole process now so we have to include that," said Shafer.

That meant including smart phones, iPads and the selfies that come along with that technology everywhere on the campaign trail. There is also an increased presence and effect of the news media throughout the play, with candidates often appearing in front of TV cameras and talking to reporters.

But there are changes to reflect just how unpredictable 2016 has been.

"It just had to be that way because this year feels so different than any previous year," said Ford.

The main sign of this is an entirely new candidate to the script, almost identical to Donald Trump who uses some of his catch phrases and shows a clear aversion to pandering to anyone, even the character who can nearly guarantee his success in the race.

But in the end, Ford includes the moment of clarity that he says voters in Iowa eventually find themselves.

"Throughout the process, Iowans get caught up in the campaigns and candidates but by Caucus night, they get to the heart of the matter and make informed decisions," said Ford.

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Caucus! The Musical runs through February 6th. If you would like more information, click here.

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