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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

October 21, 2005

Will they or won't they?

by Linda Charles

For The Full Monty cast member Kristin Stewart, performing at Stephens Oct. 29 means a visit to her home state. The Mt. Vernon native credits her Iowa upbringing with giving her the work ethic to succeed in show business.

cast from the <i>Full Monty</i>

The Full Monty plays at Stephens Oct. 29. Tickets are $36.50 and $40.50. Submitted photo.

"Growing up on a farm in Iowa, hard work is not only taught, it is expected," Stewart said in a submitted interview. "As an actor, nobody does the work for you. You have to sell yourself continually. There is never a moment where you can stop working: auditioning, working on material, performing, getting the next job, etc.

"You can have a fabulous job for four months and are then out of work again. It is a continual search for work. My parents and my community definitely affected my work ethic practices."

This stage version of The Full Monty takes place in Buffalo, N.Y., where the steel industry is in decline and unemployment is rampant. Two unemployed buddies decide to make some money by performing at a local male strip club that is popular with the ladies.

The problem is, they can't dance and aren't what would be called good physical specimens, but that doesn't deter them. They begin to practice for the big night, and along the way, they pick up four other unlikely candidates. To help drum up interest in their upcoming performance, they boast that they will go "the full monty," a phrase meaning all the way - nude.

But can they deliver on their promise? Even the guys aren't sure as they work up their act.

Stewart plays Vicki Nichols, Harold's wife. Harold hasn't told her he has been out of work for six months, nor does he tell her when he joins the group of male dancers.

For Stewart, traveling with the show is a dream come true.

"To be lucky enough to make my living acting, singing and dancing was a dream made into a wonderful reality," Stewart said.

"Apart from that, traveling the country is a blessing," she added. "I've completed four tours of the country and have been to every state but Alaska and Hawaii -- I'm working on those.

"And finally, the people. Each new job brings with it anywhere from 20 to 60 new people. Each show creates a new family. I know people from all over this country and am lucky enough to continue to meet new people. Some are funny; some are nice, sweet, crazy, weird, eccentric, etc.

"But all are people who have affected me and will always be remembered. I'm a lucky girl from Iowa," Stewart said.

The Full Monty will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $36.50 and $40.50, and available at the Iowa State Center box office, TicketMaster locations, by phone at 233-1888 and online at

Stewart will talk about her career during the Celebrity Cafe presentation at 7 p.m. in the ground floor lobby of Stephens. The presentation is free for ticket holders.


"To be lucky enough to make my living acting, singing and dancing was a dream made into a wonderful reality."

Kristin Stewart, former Iowan and The Full Monty cast member