Play reflects on the filming of “Cold Turkey” in Greenfield.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the filming of “Cold Turkey” in central Iowa — much of it in Greenfield — and the community is celebrating with a stage production of an original play, “A Town of Extras: The filming of Cold Turkey.”
This play, written by Tammy Pearson of Greenfield, began with an idea of the Friends of the Sidey Collection to do something to commemorate the 50th “Cold Turkey” anniversary. First, two game shows called “What’s the Line in ’69?” were performed this fall to help raise money. The shows utilized photos taken from the pages of the 1969 Adair County Free Press editions.
Being a writer, Pearson offered her talent, using Ed Sidey’s “Cold Turkey” coverage and photos, along with memories shared by locals. One example is a conversation with Tom Anderson of Greenfield. Tom shared his interaction with Norman Lear, when as a high school boy, he chastised Lear for dissing his hometown as Lear was scouting the town for a possible site of his movie. Sadly, Anderson died earlier this year and won’t see how the episode is portrayed in the play. This and other events were assembled in an insightful “look back” at 1969 as our local communities interacted with Hollywood.
“A Town of Extras” will be presented the weekend of Thanksgiving (Nov. 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. and De. 1 at 2 p.m.) by the Cumberland Rose Players in the Warren Cultural Center on the square in Greenfield. In addition to some CRP veterans, many new faces will be introduced to the stage of the WCC in this production. Local lawyer Mike Maynes, in his first role since high school, is excited to be playing the lead role of Ed Sidey, as he tells the story of movie making events — in Sidey’s own words. A few of the cast even played a part in the filming of the movie, such as Jay Howe who played the part of a newsman in the movie. In the play, he is Norman Lear. Elwood Elm even makes an appearance, inspired by one of Sidey’s columns. Ages of the cast range from middle school on up. The production is directed by Pearson and Dan Dickinson, also of Greenfield.
Many photos from the Adair County Free Press are used to help tell the story of everyone from actors and actresses, to others involved in the production of the movie, such as sound lights, costumes, etc., to those in Greenfield who took the pledge to quit smoking in 1969. Main Street/Chamber Director Stacie Hull has provided her expertise throughout the entire process.
Tickets are available online at warrenculturalcenter.com and at Ed & Eva’s store: (641) 743-2566. Tickets are $15 for adults, and high school and younger are free.