Community Events

2023 – New Era Dinner Theater

New Era Lutheran Church is excited to announce the 2023 dinner theater!  This year’s production is Godspell.”  Hope you will join us for this musical!

Godspell will be the 28th production of the New Era Dinner Theater.  The show will be presented on Friday, September 29; Saturday, September 30; and Sunday, October 1 in the New Era Community Building at 3455 New Era Road in rural Muscatine, next to Wild Cat Den State Park. Dinner will be served at 6:00 PM on Friday and Saturday and at 4:00 PM on Sunday.  Reservations are required for all performances.

In the show, a diverse group of people help Jesus tell parables using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques, and a hefty dose of comedy. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus’ life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus’ messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life. 

Godspell was the first major musical theater offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden); and it took the world by storm. Godspell features a parade of beloved songs, including “Day by Day,” “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All for the Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man,” and “By My Side.”

The New Era production is directed by Bill Turner with musical direction by Bob Danner.  The cast includes Adam Turner, Courtney Cooper, Jenni Colbert, Chelsea Geldenhuys, Hunter Haller, Antonio Martinez, Delene McConnaha, Nathan Paulsen, Presley Reimers, Kari Thoren, Cali Van Zandt, and Stevie Whitehead

This year’s dinner will consist of tossed salad, grilled chicken breast, parsley potatoes, New Era green beans, dinner roll, pumpkin bar, and beverage.  The dining room, theater, and restrooms at New Era are handicap accessible.   

Proceeds will benefit Lutheran World Relief, Muscatine Chapter of the Salvation Army, and New Era Lutheran Church.

Tickets for the dinner and show are $30 for adults and $20 for children through age 12.  They can be ordered by calling: Joan Dietrich, 563/299-4710 or Nancy Henke, 563/263-0881.  Tickets may also be ordered by mail at Godspell Tickets, c/o Joan Dietrich, 2854 Rolling Meadow Lane, Muscatine, IA 52761.

What We Are All About New Era Dinner Theater is a ministry of New Era Lutheran Church. Each year a musical is presented by members of the community along with a dinner served by members of the congregation. Much of the proceeds are donated to Charities, usually one local and one international.

A Bit of History
The New Era church was built in the early 1890’s and hosted theatrical productions as well as worship services. In 1911, the first rural gymnasium in the state of Iowa was built at New Era. A stage was added to the gym in 1927. It was home to many productions as graffiti on the original scenery will attest. In 1994, Pastor Roy Rogers pulled together a dinner theater production of Godspell. It’s success started an annual tradition that continues today.

Past Productions

2023 – Godspell
2022 – Church Basement Ladies
2019 – Shrek the Musical
2018 – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
2017 – Pippin
2016 – Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
2013 – Children of Eden
2012 – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
2011 – Once Upon a Mattress
2010 – The Mystery of Edwin Drood
2009 – Guys & Dolls
2008 – Hot Mikado
2007 – Fiddler on the Roof
2006 – Little Shop of Horrors
2005 – Man of La Mancha
2004 – Annie Get Your Gun