NEW ULM - If you're looking for something to put you in a bit of an Irish mood over St. Patrick's Day weekend, there will be a play in town that should do just the trick.
From Friday through Sunday there will be a production of the musical comedy "Donovan's Daughters" at the New Ulm Community Center, which will be presented by Community And Seniors Together (CAST), a United Way Agency.
The story channels elements of William Shakespeare's classic story "The Taming of the Shrew," with a setting of late 1880s Seattle, Wash. The plot centers on the Seattle-based Donovan family, which is comprised of Shamus Donovan, his wife Abigail and their five daughters.
Photos by Steve Muscatello
‘Sisters and Specter Ladies Waiting Out in the Rain’
Pictured from left: Miriam Henning, Sara Reckard, Cloe Cedillo, Catherine Miller, Marley Pietz and Mirian Jakel. In the back row are Rita Waibel and Sheryl Patricelli.
Shamus - an Irish fisherman - has excellent odds of successfully marrying off each of his daughters, since in 1880s Seattle there were about 10 men for each woman in the territory.
Several town council members immediately fall for the four younger daughters, but it is a Donovan family tradition that the eldest child must marry first. However, the eldest daughter - Katherine - is a wildcat of a woman and seems unlikely to marry in a timely fashion.
In a woman-starved town like Seattle there has to be someone desperate enough to take on Katherine, and so the men in town pin their hopes on federal marshall Danny O'Brien, whom they give advice as to how to successfully woo and tame the wild Katherine.
If you go...
What: The Community And Seniors Together
production of "Donovan's Daughters."
When: Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, March 18 at 2 p.m.
Where: New Ulm Community Center, 600 N German Street, New Ulm.
Cost: All tickets are $7 general admission and are available at the door or in advance at HyVee and Cash Wise Foods.
Cast and Crew
Shamus - father - Tom Kaehler
Abigail - mother - Deb Kaehler
Katherine - Maria Reising
Bridgette - Marley Pietz
Maeve - Miriam Jakel
Moira - Cloe Cedillo
Alana - Catherine Miller
Patrick - David Henning
Asa Mercer - Nicholas Wellmann
Judd Terwilliger - Steven Bode
Clive Giles - Colton Eckstrand
Danny O'Brien - Matt Rowley
Darien Specter - Craig Austinson
Agatha Specter - Monica Illikman
Bethany - Rita Waibel
Claire - Miriam Henning
Lucy - Sheryl Patricelli
Julia - Sara Reckard
Larry - Larry Wellmann
Moe - Vince Branch
Albert - Sam Wellmann
Running Bear - Quintin Branch
Lilly Blossom - Sophi Cedillo
Skulking Fox - Vince Branch
Morning Dove - Emily Miller
Director - Isla Hoffman
Assistant Director - Evie Domeier
Music Director/Pianist - LeAnn Ravenberg
Set & Lights - Phil Davis and Charles Waibel
Lights & Sound - Gabby Budenski
Stage Manager - Kris Wiley and Patricia Gthe
Choreography - Anna Laitinen, Edili Pichardo, Sara Reckard
Costumes - Rita Waibel
Props - Barb Reilly
Signs - Jesse Capparelli
Drums - Bob Apitz
Add to the mix two feuding Native American Duwamish and Suquamish tribes, three dim-witted lumberjacks and a botched kidnap scheme and you have all the elements for one of the most energetic romances the West has ever seen.
True to the nature of every CAST play, the cast and crew of "Donovan's Daughter" is comprised of both the young of age and the young at heart.
"We keep our shows intergenerational and we also try to choose shows that will attract audiences of all ages," said Isla Hoffman, who will be directing the play.
Whereas in most CAST plays about one third of the cast and crew are youths, this time around approximately half of the cast and crew are youths.
"They get great community theater experience doing this," CAST Program Director Kathy Austinson said. "Just think how that lends to them as adults, not hesitating to be involved in community theater."
Many of the people involved in CAST productions are regulars, but CAST always welcomes having new faces get involved. The current production includes eight brand new participants.
CAST's spring play is an important fundraiser for its senior programming. CAST - a non-profit organization - has a membership of around 700 and an annual combined attendance of around 14,000 at CAST events.
"That's the thing that it's so important for people to know, is that it's a fundraiser for our senior programming," Austinson said. "We so appreciate all the hours that these volunteers have put in."
CAST also usually produces two one-act comedies in the fall.
The play will have three performances at the New Ulm Community Center - which now boasts an updated sound system. On Friday night and Saturday night there will be 7 p.m. performances and on Sunday there will be a 2 p.m. matinee. All tickets are $7 general admission and are available at the door or in advance at HyVee or Cash Wise Foods.
The play was made possible by a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council from funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and will be produced by special arrangement with Eldridge Publishing Company.