Herald JournalHerald Journal, Sept. 29, 2003

Local family is creative force behind Children's Theater play

By Lynda Jensen

The cast and crew of "Amber Waves," a production by the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, recently visited Howard Lake ­ to get creative inspiration from a farm family south of town.

Sean and Linda Groos, who operate a dairy and crop farm three miles south, recently hosted the cast members and director, answering their questions, and giving a tour to the theater troupe.

The Groos family was honored during opening night Sept. 8.

The play, which lasts one hour and 45 minutes, will continue at Children's Theatre through Saturday, Oct. 11.

"It's a good play," Sean Groos commented.

The play is about the Olson family: Penny (mom), Mike (dad), Scott (their son) and Debbie (their daughter).

The plot involves many real-life instances, such as drought, Groos said.

In the play, the mythical Olson family, like all farm families, is continually threatened as the pressures of trying to maintain a family farm and their lifestyle escalate.

However, even when faced with mounting debt, falling market prices, drought and doubt, the family works together to stay true to each other, their home and their land.

The play was written by James Still of Minneapolis.

Still grew up in a small Kansas town where he helped his grandparents work the family farm that had been homesteaded by his great-grandparents.

He also watched his family move off the farm, sell most of their possessions at auction, and sell the acreage to another family. This play is a tribute to them.

The Children's Theatre was the recipient of the 2003 Regional Theatre Tony Award.

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