‘See How They Run’ opens Jan. 24 at Mount Calvary in Excelsior
Event marks the debut of ‘Theater 301’ at the church
A cast of quirky characters, British farce and a little bit of chaos is what audiences can expect in a new production at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior.
The “Theater 301” will perform its first play, “See How They Run” opening 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at Mount Calvary, 301 County Road 19, in Excelsior.
The production involves three British pastors, two American actors, a Cockney maid, a nosey Altar Guild woman and an escaped Russian prisoner. Karin Maas, director of the three-act play, says the play hinges on mistaken identity loaded with English satire.
“It’s just wild and crazy,” Maas said.
With nine actors and one stage, production manager Wendi Hammond says it’s a very wordy script, fast-paced and also very physical. In the Vicarage of Rev. Lionel Toop, played by David Durenburger, the antics are sure to have audience members laughing, says Maas.
Durenburger says although eh has no acting background, it’s been fun to dive into the role.
“It’s fun trying to get into the character of this person and trying to understand what this person could be like,” Durenburger said.
The hardest aspect was learning his lines, Durenburger added. But as those are becoming familiar, the experience has been great. Also, as the cast rehearses more, the satire has grown on him.
“It seems like after every rehearsal it gets funnier and funnier,” Durenburger said.
Theater 301 debuts
The play also represents the first production by Theater 301, which is part of an arts expansion at Mount Calvary. Along with performances, “Music on the Mount,” a group dedicated to music and artwork hanging, has been added.
Maas says everyone is welcome to participate, and she hopes the reach of the theater grows not just for cast members but audience as well. She also adds that theater productions are meant to give people not only entertainment, but also something to talk about.
“Theater can be used as conversation pieces,” Maas said. “So what kind of piece can we put on to prompt conversation?”
They chose this piece because Maas says she didn’t want a “downer” for a debut, and this would be the perfect start to showcase what the theater has to offer.
“What’s been wonderful about this … it’s been so much fun,” Maas said. “Just to be together, the community and sharing of the experience feeds the soul more than anything.”
Because it’s all volunteers and community members in the cast, Maas says it’s all about having fun.
“When this isn’t fun then this isn’t to be done,” Maas said. “Everybody’s excited about it.”
For Linda Saveraid, who plays Miss Skillon “the drunk,” her character is quite a riot.
“I get knocked out and end up in a bottle of cooking sherry and it kind of goes from there,” she said.
Saveraid says it was a little difficult to learn the lines and watched British sitcoms on Public Television to get the accents down.
She became involved in the production after recently retiring.
“I believed a person needs to continually try new things,” Saveraid said.
Although a long-time member of Mount Calvary, Saveraid says has met new people through the production.
“I just would encourage anybody who ever thought they could do anything like this to just try and stretch your horizons and jump in,” Saveraid said.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. Group tickets are available for $10 for groups of five or more.
For more information and tickets, call 952-474-8893 ext. 116.
If You Go: “See How They Run,” a British farce, will be performed 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24-26, 2 p.m. Jan. 27, at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 301 County Road 19, in Excelsior.
Contact Chris Dillmann at firstname.lastname@example.org