Aug. 14, 2006

Bringing back community theatre

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

“Seussical the Musical” brings back community theater to the Dassel-Cokato area after a 14-year hiatus.

Before the break, The Village Players produced 20 shows in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

Carolyn Holje and Butch Amundsen spearheaded the Village Players in 1973. Holje has a degree in speech theater and Amundsen has experience in professional theatre at the St. Paul Civic Opera.

The first production, directed by Holje, was “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and the last was “Plain Hearts,” directed by Jon Benson.

Amundsen was involved with many productions in various capacities including acting and directing, designing lights and sets and constructing sets.

Benson, Amundsen, Mike Ackerman, and Linda and Dave Metcalf have been the core of the group having been involved in more than 10 shows each.

Plays were performed at the Dassel and Cokato Elementary Schools’ auditoriums, but scheduling with the educational needs of the buildings became difficult, according to Holje.

Now with the DC Performing Arts Center, the community theater is hoping to revive the interest.

“There is so much talent in the community, and now we have a venue in which to perform,” Holje said.

With the new production of Seussical and future productions, “The support of the community is important if it’s to continue,” she said.

Holje is performing in “Seussical the Musical,” and is loving the experience.

“It’s interesting, fun, but a lot of work” she said.

“Dave and Linda are wonderful directors to work with,” she added.

Catch “Seussical the Musical” Friday and Saturday Aug. 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. and a matinee Sunday, Aug. 20 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at Community Education by calling 286-4120 or can be purchased at the door.

Village Players exhibit

The Dassel Area Historical Society is planning an exhibit of past play memorabilia at Universal Laboratories in Dassel.

Anyone with programs, posters, costumes or other memorabilia from former Village Players productions, call the DAHS at 275-3077.

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