Opinion

Grand Marais Playhouse gears up for fall

Sue Hennessy

The Grand Marais Playhouse is back up to speed after a short breather and jumping full bore into fall with the Community Youth production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Auditions were held in late September, and the cast has begun rehearsals.

The cast is as follows: Sam Meyer will play Duke Orsino, Bryn Fitz Wells is the Valentine/Attendant, Aurora Schelmeske plays Olivia, Sylvia Berka performs Maria, Joe James portrays Malvolio, Andy Kern is Sir Toby Blech, Ian Kerschner plays Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Robin Henrikson is Feste, Linnea Henrikson is Viola, Saira Smith plays Sebastian, Lynden Blomberg will be Antonio, Izabella Sparks is Captain/Fabian, Hattie Meyer plays First Officer/ Priest/Attendant, Ellie Block is the Second Officer/ Attendant. Abbey Stoddard is the stage manager.

Performances are Nov. 9-12 and 16-19 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

This production will be directed by Ms. Carrie Nath, who returns to Grand Marais after directing the summer farce “The Game’s Afoot.” Carrie Nath is an arts educator, director, choreographer, actor, and administrator and has been working throughout the United States for 32 years. Carrie was most recently the executive director for The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts. Dedicated to a life of empowering all ages through arts education, Ms. Nath has served in multiple roles throughout her career.


The cast for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night are, front (L-R): Carrie Nath, Robin Henrikson, Izzy Sparks and Bryn Fitzgerald-Wells. Middle Row: Linnea Henrikson, Sylvia Berka, Saira Smith, Abbey Stoddard, Aurora Schelmeske, Ellie Block, Mattie Meyer. Back row: Sam Meyer, Lynden Blomberg, Joe James, Andy Kern. Not Pictured Ian Kerschner. 
Photo courtesy of Grand Marais Playhouse The cast for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night are, front (L-R): Carrie Nath, Robin Henrikson, Izzy Sparks and Bryn Fitzgerald-Wells. Middle Row: Linnea Henrikson, Sylvia Berka, Saira Smith, Abbey Stoddard, Aurora Schelmeske, Ellie Block, Mattie Meyer. Back row: Sam Meyer, Lynden Blomberg, Joe James, Andy Kern. Not Pictured Ian Kerschner. Photo courtesy of Grand Marais Playhouse Carrie will also be doing residencies in our local schools. She will be working with Mr. McHugh’s 9th grade, Ms. Nelson’s eighth grade, Ms. Livingston’s and Mr. Steinbach’s fourth grade and Mr. Lundorff’s 5th grade.

Ms. Nath will hold two community workshops.

October 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.: Lovers, Poets, and Madmen: This two-hour romp through some of Shakespeare’s most popular plays will focus on the power of the spoken word to excite, incite and woo. Look into the mind of Hamlet, the heart of Romeo and Juliet and the rousing speeches of Henry V, to name a few. An Evening with the Bard on your feet and in good company.

October 22, 2-4 p.m.: Shake It Up Renaissance Style: What was it like to live in Elizabeth’s England? It was a party! And, how did you keep from losing your head, literally? This two-hour workshop will be filled with dances and customs of the court and country in 15th century England. Come have fun and impress the guests at your next dinner party.

Both workshops are for Shakespeare lovers and those new to the Bard. Families welcome! Cost for community workshops is donation at the door.

The Grand Marais Playhouse is very grateful for support from the Cook County Community Fund for Ms. Nath’s residency this fall.

The Playhouse is embarking on a process to examine long-term goals and mission. As the current mission, vision and focus are discussed we want to encourage the local community to share any feedback about student participation, adult participation, audience participation and the countless ways the Grand Marais Playhouse has touched the lives of the community and the people who live and visit here. Please share your stories by sending them to playhouse@boreal.org, message us on Facebook or mail to P.O. Box 996. If you would rather be interviewed, contact the office at playhouse@boreal.org or call (218) 387- 1284 x 2. What does the Playhouse mean to you? How has it affected your life here in Grand Marais (Cook County)? Why does it matter?

Lastly, back in January 2017 the Grand Marais Playhouse participated in a collaborative event called the Ghostlight Project with over 500 theaters, ensembles and companies, high school and university theater programs gathered across the country to light a light and make a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone. Today, we feel it is important to restate the following.

The Grand Marais Playhouse is a Brave Space!

We define “a brave space” as a space where: . It is safe to be who you are, regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis) ability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. . Diverse opinions, dissent, and argument are not only tolerated but invited. . Active listening and courageous exchange are fundamental values. . Collective action, activism, and community engagement, both within and outside the walls of the theater, are cultivated, encouraged, and supported.

Grand Marais Playhouse Artistic Director Sue Hennessy provides this behind-the-scenes look at Grand Marais Playhouse activities.


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