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The New Ulm Actors Community Theatre presents

South Pacific

July 21, 2013
By Jeremy Behnke - Sports Editor , The Journal

NEW ULM - The New Ulm Actors Community Theatre will have their summer musical, the award winning Broadway musical, "South Pacific" by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

Performances are planned at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, Friday, July 26, Saturday, July 27, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 28. All four shows will be in the air-conditioned 900-seat District Administrative Center (DAC, former Middle School) auditorium.

The play will be directed by theatre veteran Paul Warshauer with Musical Direction from Miles Wurster, Director of Instructional Music at Martin Luther College. Vocal Direction will be by Kathryn Wurster and the Producer of the show is NUACT Chair, Judy Sellner. Reed Glawe is in charge of set construction and Keara Roberts is Associate Producer. Vicki Kuehn is the Stage Manager and Danica Scharlemann is the Assistant Director.

Article Photos

The Cast: standing back row, from left:?Olivia Menzel, Steve Johnson, Marcus Henning, Derek Helget, Ryan Henning, Paul Henning, Sam Dose, Jonathan Warling, Tim Zinniel, Nick Schisel, Magdala Dierson.
Middle row seated, from left: Miriam Henning. Chris Seifert, Mark Santelman, Leah Boeder, Maggie Spike, Kent Menzel, Dawson Sellner, Jean Eelma, Brianna Nolte, Cloe Cedillo.
Seated, on floor, from left: Lora Rahe, Tonya Henning, Elizabeth Menzel, Molly Henning, Mary Kissner, Jessica Bovee, Linette Scharlemann, Betti Kamoltz.

Warshauer has been a part of more than 500 plays in his career and this is the second time he's directed the "South Pacific" musical. It's the 10th production he's directed here in New Ulm.

The cast and crew of South Pacific is a mixture of many play veterans, but also some new to the local scene. Warshauer said the mix is good overall for him and everyone else involved.

"It's good to have a balance between new blood and veteran performers, especially with community theatre," he said. "The new guys and girls bring a lot of energy that the veterans may or may not have."

Fact Box

If You Go...

New Ulm Actors Community Theatre (NUACT) Presents

"South Pacific"

Ticket prices are $12.50, $10, $8

All performances at the New Ulm District Administrative Center

Thursday July 25, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 27, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 28, 2 p.m.

CAST LIST (In order of appearance)

Nellie Forbush - Leah Boeder

Emile De Becque - Kent Menzel

Ngana - Katia Ostermann

Jerome - Dawson Sellner

Yvette - Miriam Henning

Bloody Mary - Jean Eelma

Liat - Cloe Cedillo

Taimani - Brianna Nolte

Luther Billis - Paul Henning

Abner - Jonathan Warling

Stewpot (George Watts) - Sam Dose

Professor - Marcus Henning

Lt. Joseph Cable - Chris Seifert

Adm. George Brackett - Mark Santelman

Cpt. William Harbison - Tim Zinniel

Lt. Buzz Adams - Dimitri Baumgart

Yeoman Herbert Quale - Steve Johnson

Bob McCaffrey - Zack Scharlemann

Morton Wise - Ryan Henning

Richard West - Nick Schisel

Staff Sgt. Thomas Hassinger - Derek Helget

Lt. Genevieve Marshall - Mary Kissner

Ensign Dinah Murphy - Linette Scharlemann

Ensign Janet MacGregor - Molly Hennig

Connie Walewska -Lora Rahe

Pamela Whitmore - Miriam Henning

Cora MacRae - Betti Kamolz

Betty Noonan - Elizabeth Menzel

Lisa Minelli - Tonia Henning

Sue Yaeger - Jessica Bovee

Children's Chorus:

Ailana - Magdala Diersen

Haeata - Olivia Menzel

Hinuhinu - Ashley Schaefer

Iolani - Maggie Spike

Kahewai - Haley Nachreiner

Leinani - Athena Page

Maluhia - Ella Wurster

Onaona - Katia Osterman

Teuila - Brianna Nolte

The Staff:

Director - Paul Warshauer

Producer - Judy Sellner

Assistant Director - Danica Scharlemann

Stage Manager - Vickie Kuehn

Music Director - Miles Wurster

Vocal Music Director - Kathy Wurster

Set Designer - Reed Glawe

Choreography - Missy Marti

House Manager - Keara Roberts

Costume Design- Molly Smith & Lolly Foy

Properties - Kerry Hoffman

Sound Design - Josh Menzel

Lights - Sara Willems

Scenic Artist - Derrick Hare

Assistant Carpenter - Clifford Hare

He's directed "South Pacific" before [in 1991] and he figured it was a logical choice with this crew.

"As executive director, I have to find a play or musical that I know that we have the talent to present," Warshauer said. "Too many community theaters pick a show, like they want to do Beauty and the Beast. If they don't have a guy that can sing and act, then they might as well not do the play. In this case, I knew we had at least two or three Emiles, we had two or three Nellies. Those are the leading characters."

Warshauer said that the age range of actors goes from age 6-70, with actors coming from as far north as Fairfax to as far south as Madelia.

The plot centers on an American nurse, (Nellie Forbush played by Leah Boeder) stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II who falls in love with a middle-aged expatriate French plantation owner (Emile DeBecque played by Kent Menzel) but struggles to accept his mixed-race children, (played by Dawson Sellner & Katia Ostermann). A secondary romance, between a U.S. lieutenant (Joe Cable played by Chris Seifert) and a young Tonkinese woman, (Liat played by Cloe Cedillo) explores his fears of the social consequences should he marry his Asian sweetheart. The issue of racial prejudice is candidly explored throughout the musical, most controversially in the lieutenant's song, "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught."

"The story line is universal," Warshauer said. "It's won all kinds of awards for very good reason. It's one of the most solid stories of all musicals, it's not silly, it's pretty serious."

Supporting characters, including a comic petty officer (Billis played by Paul Henning) and the Tonkinese girl's mother, (Bloody Mary played by Jean Eelma) help to tie the stories together.

A full orchestra, exotic costumes, and elaborate sets will contribute to make this production one of the largest community theatre musicals in New Ulm's history.

For most community theatre plays and musicals, finding costumes can be somewhat of a challenge. But Warshauer didn't have any problems at all.

"It was very easy, because we got two women from Mankato [Molly Smith and Lolly Foy] who do this for a living, and they love the show so they're giving a lot of their time for free," Warshauer said.

Photos by Steve Muscatello



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