By Micah Ariel James
Directed by Octavius Lanier

The Honey War was a territorial dispute between Missouri and what was then (in 1839) Iowa Territory. Nobody died. Nobody even got hurt. But they called it a war. This is not exactly about that.

The Honey War features an original song, Birds Are Gone. Music written by Mark Bruckner, lyrics co-written by Mark Bruckner and Micah Ariel James.

Micah Ariel James headshot


Micah Ariel James is a Chicago and Iowa-based playwright, dramaturg, teaching artist, and arts administrator, with particular interests in folklife, aging and memory studies, oral history, and restorative justice. Her plays include Mémoire, How We Bury the War Dead, The Missing Woman Novelist, Hattie Mae's Juke Joint, Better Weather, and Four Stories. Micah received an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) from the University of Iowa and a BA in Playwriting from Columbia College Chicago.

Octavius Lanier headshot


Octavius Lanier is a class of 2021 MFA acting candidate at the University of Iowa. His acting credits include Three Sisters, Sweat, and Seven Spots on the Sun. Octavius will also be featured in the one man show, Into the Night by Levy Lee Simon and directed by Mary Beth Easley. 

Jade King Caroll headshot

Directing Mentor | JADE KING CARROLL

Proof of Love (Audible at Minetta Lane/audiobook); Detroit ’67 (McCarter Theatre co-production with Hartford Stage); Intimate Apparel, The Piano Lesson (McCarter Theatre); The Piano Lesson (Hartford Stage); Having Our Say (Hartford Stage co-production with Long Wharf Theatre); Autumn’s Harvest (Lincoln Center Institute); A Trouble in Mind (Two River Theater & Playmaker’s Rep); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Whipping Man (Portland Stage); The Revolutionists, Sunset Baby (City Theatre); A Raisin In The Sun (Juilliard & Perseverance); The Tempest (Chatauqua Theater Company); Seven Guitars (People’s Light and Theatre & Point Park University); King Hedley II (Portland Playhouse); Mr Chickee’s Funny Money (Atlantic Theater); Janice Underwater (Premiere Stages); The Etymology of Bird (CitiParks Summer Stages); The Piano Lesson (Cape Fear Regional Theater); alondra was here (The Wild Project); Cherry Smoke (Theatre Row); Sex on Sunday (BE Company @ Urban Stages); Skeleton Crew (Dorset Theater Festival, Portland Stage and a co-production with Theatreworks- Palo Alto & Marin Theatre); The Basset Table (Adelphi); Topdog/Underdog (WVU); Marisol (NYCDA); Black Girl, You’ve Been Gentrified (Joe’s Pub); Radio Golf (Penn State); The History of Light, Samuel J&K, The Summer House (Passage Theatre); The Persians, Splittin’ the Raft (People’s Light & Theatre); Spit (Intar); From the Author of (Delaware Rep); A Member of the Wedding (Tennessee Williams Theater Festival in Provincetown); Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth (Playwright’s Realm); Associate Director for A Streetcar Named Desire and The Gin Game (Broadway), The Children’s Monologues (Carnegie Hall).

Cast of The Honey War
Michael Francis headshot


Michael Francis received a BFA in Acting from the Caine College of the Arts at USU. He is a current graduate acting candidate studying at the University of Iowa. Regional Credits include: Big Fish (Edward Bloom), Next to Normal (Dan), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Chauvelin), How To Succeed In Business…(J. Pierpont Finch) , Tarzan: The Musical (Tarzan), Big River (The Duke), Bus Stop (Virgil), Jekyll & Hyde (John Utterson), Three Sisters (Chebutykin), and A Year with Frog and Toad (The Snail with the Mail).

Virginia Muturi headshot


Virginia Wangechi Muturi is elated to be in her second show at the University of Iowa. Virginia is from Iowa City and she is now in her second year, majoring in theatre arts and enterprise leadership. In addition to theatre, Virginia also makes videos and posts them on her YouTube channel (Virginia Muturi). Virginia would like to thank her family, friends, and teachers for all their love and support.

Jessie Shaw headshot


This is Jessie Shaw's second official show at the University of Iowa. While things might not be how they once were, Jessie is grateful for the opportunity to create art when the world needs it. She would like to thank Octavius, Spencer, Taylor, Virginia, and Michael for all their hard work and the community of advocacy and safety they built together. She would also like to thank her loved ones and her family for their support. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Meet the 6 by 6 Creative Team