On Saturday, May 25 at 3 p.m. at the Webster City Community Center, The Promised Land, will be presented. This is the first performance in the Jane Cox Series, a six-year series of performances each May and October in Hamilton and Webster County venues of one woman shows written and performed by Jane Cox.
Over the course of the series, Jane Cox will play real-life women such as suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, author Louisa May Alcott, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Barbara McClintock, poet Emily Dickinson, composer and pianist Clara Schumann, Queen Elizabeth I, Red Cross founder Clara Barton, and poet and author Dorothy Parker.
Sarah (Jane Cox) and her husband James leave in the 1880’s for their "Promised Land" in northwest Nebraska. Five years of homesteading and the land is theirs. Before them are hot winds, insects, blizzards, droughts and backbreaking work, but there is also the vision of a possible future to be built together. As the wheels of the wagon turn, Sarah says, "Better days ahead" and as James walks behind the plow, he thinks "An even trade, farm for sweat."
The Promised Land was premiered at Iowa State University’s Fisher Theater on August 27, 1999. It was again performed at Fisher Theater in May of 2004, in conjuction with Alumni Days at ISU.
Jane Cox completed her undergraduate work at Iowa State University and graduate work at Drake University. She has now been on the ISU faculty for over forty years. She currently is the Director of Theatre and Professor of Theatre at Iowa State where she teaches and directs. She has been involved with over 350 productions as an actress, designer, or director. Her one woman shows have been performed in 25 states, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, and Russia. Her scripts have been performed on three continents.
The first one woman show she performed was The Belle of Amherst which toured Iowa through a grant from the Fisher Foundation. It was also performed in other states and Russia. She wrote The Yellow Rose of Suffrage through funding from a grant from the Liberal Arts and Sciences College at Iowa State. It concerns the life and words of one of Iowa’s women, Carrie Chapman Catt.
Jane has also written Fields of Endless Days which starred Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee; A Woman’s Place, concerning the life of suffragist Lucy Stone; and scripts for musical plays on the lives of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms and Nadia Boulanger. Jane’s latest one woman scripts are The Promised Land, about homesteading in the 1880’s; The Longing to Understand, the story of Barbara McClintock, winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine, which was recently performed in Bologna, Italy; and a play about the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. Her 2002 book Heroes Among Us chronicles the lives of Iowa men and women in World War II. She is currently working on a book on the Iowa State Fair.
Jane also teaches a wide variety of theatre classes to university students, children, and seniors. She has been awarded The Faculty Citation, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Excellence in Artistic Creativity Award, a Master Teacher Award and a Commendation from the Governor of Iowa.