In early June, we attended an open rehearsal of "Othello" at our local open-air Shakespeare in the Park theater. It was very interesting watching the director's "take" on the staging.
We attended a "Lunch and Learn" session sponsored by the University of Iowa on the Voyager space probes which was unfortunately poorly attended. It was very interesting and went overtime because the audience had so many questions.
As for plays, we attended "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" at our local community theater. This was unfinished at the time of Charles Dickens' death, and there is no clue as to how he intended to finish the story. So, at the point in the play where we reached the end of Charles Dickens' writing, the audience got involved. First question: is Edwin Drood dead? The cast was given that question, and they decided he was. Next question: who killed him? This was put to an audience vote, and we decided the uncle was the killer. I'm guessing that the play ends differently depending on the audience, so the cast has to be prepared for any eventuality with regard to audience voting. It was quite fun.
Most recently, we attended the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "Patience." I was not at all familiar with that play; it was quite funny.
We've also experienced flooding in town after many inches of rain fell on already saturated ground along the Iowa River basin. The Corps of Engineers announced they would need to start letting more water out of the reservoir, and the local communities and the University took quick flood preparation action. Due to multiple flood protection projects in place since the flood of 2008, and due to the use of HESCO barriers and portable flood walls, flood preparations can be put into place quickly. What's a HESCO barrier you ask? Those are big cells, each holding the equivalent of 200 sandbags, that can be filled with the use of heavy equipment. So no more do we need thousands of volunteers filling individual sandbags over the course of many days. The river was over its banks for some weeks, but outflows are now being reduced and the river is gradually returning to its banks.