“Other Desert Cities,” the upcoming ACTORS production, is a real soap opera, according to Stan Rabe from the community theater group.


It’s the kind of show that’s bound to get a lot of reactions from the audience, he said.


“It is one of the best scripts we have ever put on the stage. When we selected the show, we read the second act two times because we liked it so much,” Rabe said.


The ACTORS production opens March 31 and runs through April 9.


“‘Other Desert Cities’ is an incredibly engaging drama that grabs you and doesn’t let you go until the end,” Rabe said. “Emotional and sometimes painfully honest, you’ll soon find yourself reflecting on your own family’s relationships.”


“Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz opened on Broadway in November 2011. The cast included Broadway greats Stockard Channing, Judith Light, Stacy Keach and Rachel Griffiths. Reviewers called the play smart and entertaining, with reviews like: “This domestic dustup has balance between comedy and intense family drama that has been fine-tuned in richly satisfying ways.”


Set in Palm Springs, “Other Desert Cities” centers on the Wyeth family. Lyman and Polly are celebrating the holidays with their adult children. Lyman is a Regan era actor-turned-ambassador. Polly is a former Hollywood screenwriter.


“Without informing her parents, their daughter Brooke has written a memoir exposing the tragic events of her family’s past,” Rabe said. “Her brother Trip does his best to stay out of the fray created by his sister’s book.”


In a series of confrontations, the Wyeths sift through conflicting memories of the past and face serious choices about how to go forward and still protect the family bond.


The cast of “Other Desert Cities” includes several familiar faces. Stacy Brothers, Brandon Brockshus and Emily Griffin have not only been on the ACTORS stage several times but have also directed.


Regular audience members will recognize Troy Gould from “Wait Until Dark.” In addition, Gould has been active in theaters across central Iowa. Finally, newcomer Ali Kirwen comes to the ACTORS stage with both musical and dramatic experience.


“Directed by David Detlefs, this talented five-person cast is quickly coming together as a family,” Rabe said.


Detlefs said, “This is a powerful show and the cast has brought these characters to life in a way that has surpassed my expectations.”


The production team includes several ACTORS veterans. Set design and construction are by Mike Miller, Peter Lundeen, and Philip Dykema. Set dressing is by Ronnie Lindeman. Costumes were designed by Andrea Shaw, Don Kom is the stage manager and Michael Porsche returns to ACTORS as the assistant director.


Theatergoers on opening night, Friday, March 31, can help celebrate the opening of the show with pre-show hors d’oeuvres catered by Ames Golf and Country Club. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.


Additional performances will be on Saturday, April 1, and Thursday, April 6, thru Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. The production’s single matinee performance will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday.


Tickets may be purchased at Ali Cakes located at 300 Main St. in downtown Ames. Tickets may also be purchased by credit card or with season ticket coupon codes online at actorsinc.org.


“You won’t want to miss this fourth production in ACTORS season of Theater for a New Millennium,” said Rabe, regarding the theme for the 61st season for the community theater group.