The Calumet Players will be performing five one-act plays at the Pipestone Performing Arts Center Oct. 15,16, 22 and 23 starting at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 17 and 24 starting at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and may be purchased by stopping in at the Pipestone County Museum or by calling 507-825-2020. Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the show.
Five one-act plays will be performed: ‘Comedy of Errs’, written by Jim Leonard and directed by Jess Potts of Pipestone; ‘Treed’, written by Hal Corley and directed by Jess Potts; ‘A Long Trip’, written by Dan McGeehan and directed by Beth Reams of Brookings; ‘The 146 Point Flame’ written by Matt Thompson and directed by Brooke VanEssen of rural Luverene; and ‘After the Flags & Band’, written by Allan Williams and directed by Sylvia Newell of Lake Benton. Another show, ‘Tell Me Another Story, Sing me a Song’ will no longer be performed for the evening due to technical conflicts.
Newell, the board chair for the Calumet Players and a producer of the overall show, said that the shows feature a variety of types of entertainment and that there will be something for everyone.
“We have two dramas, a dramady (a comedy and drama) and two comedy shows,” she said. “There should be entertainment for everyone.”
Newell also said that because of the tough topics dealt with in one of the shows like death, children younger than middle school age should not attend.
Due to COVID-19, the Calumet Players did not host an evening of one-act plays last year Newell said, and this year they are looking forward to bringing the event back to the PPAC while also ensuring the safety of their patrons.
“We are doing everything to make sure the art center is all clean and disinfected between evening performances,” she said. “There is always hand sanitizer and there is general seating.”
Newell said that there is not reserved seating for this event, which makes it easier for people to space themselves out in the theater.
One show in the lineup, ‘After the Flags & Band’, was performed by the Calumet Players for the Minnesota Association of Community Theaters Festival (MACT Fest) which was hosted at the PPAC for the first-time last month. The performance won Best of Festival for the event. Newell said that the Calumet Players is excited to continue cultivating new actors, directors and shows that will help to promote growth and success for the community theater.
“We want to cultivate new and diverse directors and actors,” she said. “People with different and diverse visions. We don’t want the Pipestone theater to dry up because we (those who have been there awhile) don’t do it anymore. We want new directors, actresses, visions and shows so that our community theater lives on.”
One new director, Brooke VanEssen who is the director of “The 146 Point Flame,” said that putting together the show has been a different experience compared to being an actress on the stage.
“It is way different to be on the other end of things outside of acting,” she said. “You’re looking deeper into the show and examining all of the characters instead of just your one character.”
VanEssen said that she has enjoyed the challenge of stepping back and developing a vision for the entire production.
“There are a lot of moving parts and elements,” she said. “Everyone (actors and actresses) has their own unique needs and their own way of learning their parts. It makes it a fun and creative challenge to develop a vision for the production.”
The show she is directing is based on the real-life events of a factory fire in New York City that took place in 1911 and took the lives of 147 people and wounded hundreds more.
“It is a very dramatic show with a lot of poetic elements,” she said. “There are accents and rich language, it is very exciting to have this show along with the other mix of shows throughout the evening.”
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