By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN - Those who saw last year’s Dassel-Cokato Community Theatre production of “The Ice Fishing Play,” will likely enjoy the dark humor in “More Fun Than Bowling.” To see a slide show of behind-the-scenes play practice, click here.
Director Dave Metcalf and the six-member cast have been working since the first part of February preparing for opening night, Saturday, March 28.
The lead character, Jake Tomlinson, is played by Jeff Carpenter who is originally from Howard Lake and now living in Dassel.
Metcalf describes the lead as a guy who is fanatical about bowling, but hasn’t had the best luck with women, having lost three wives.
The first wife left Tomlinson for “greener pastures” with a preteen daughter.
He remarried two more times, only for both wives to die of bizarre bowling-related accidents.
Their deaths have left Tomlinson paranoid that his life will be over next.
“He spends much of the play coming to grips with his impending death,” Metcalf said.
Tomlinson’s daughter,Molly, is played by Dassel-Cokato freshman Abby Jo Imberg.
With an absent mother, Molly has to turn to her father for adult steering.
“And he’s more of an adolescent than anything,” Metcalf said.
The two most recent wives, Lois, played by Shari Forsman of Dassel and Loretta, played by Lisa Kotila, also of Dassel, come up in flashback stories told by Tomlinson and Molly throughout the play.
According to the original script, Tomlinson’s first wife, Maggie, only comes back in a letter, but Metcalf wanted to bring her back visibly. She is being played by Becky Hungerford of Dassel.
Then, there is a mysterious man in black, played by Mike Ackerman of Cokato, who appears to be a menacing threat.
“He lurks among the trees waiting for the appropriate time to confront Jake,” Metcalf said.
Metcalf calls it “off-the-wall humor with an underlying theme of relationships regarding love and death.”
Metcalf recalled the first read-through of the script.
“Everyone was laughing it up and enjoying the script,” he said.
Though the show isn’t really dark, it is thought-provoking, Metcalf said.
Those who saw last year’s community theatre performance of “The Ice Fishing Play,” can attest that a play dealing with death can still be funny, Metcalf said.
Carpenter and Ackerman both performed in last year’s play, which was nearly sold out before the opening, according to Metcalf.
Both plays are written my Minnesota playwrights. “More Fun Than Bowling” was written by Steve Dietz and “The Ice Fishing Play” by Kevin Kling.
This play, like “The Ice Fishing Play,” is more about people than plot, Metcalf said.
“It’s a really fun play. I think people will like it,” Forsman said.
“More Fun Than Bowling” will be performed at the Dassel Area Historical Society Universal Lab Building in Dassel.
The show times are Saturday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 29 at 2 p.m., Friday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling (320) 286-4120.
Bowling shirts wanted
Director Dave Metcalf is looking for bowling shirts either to be donated or lended for decoration.
Bowling shirts can be dropped off at the Community Education building, or contact Metcalf at (320) 286-5630.
For shirts on lend, Metcalf asks that a name and phone number be attached so he can see they get back to the owner.