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New amphitheater hosts its first show

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt MLC actors Josiah Winkel, Jonah Backus and Rebecca Heyer play Willum Cubbert, Axel Hammond and Tansy McGinnis is the MLC’s Forums production of “The Nerd”. The play was performed Saturday and Sunday at the German Park Amphitheater. This was the first play performance held in amphitheater since the renovation.

NEW ULM — The play must go on, and this weekend, it did just that. Three performances of “The Nerd” were held at the newly renovated German Park Amphitheater.

The play was produced by Martin Luther College (MLC) Forum and it was the first theater performance held at German Park by MLC in years.

MLC Forum Faculty Advisor Erin Laabs said the college previously held performances in German Park, but had this was the first one since the renovation.

MLC Forum was excited to use the new theater space, but the COVID pandemic made it a necessary change. Having an outdoor performance space is a great advantage during a viral pandemic. Even though this performance was held outside, the actors still wore masks during the play. The audience for the play was also limited to students and faculty, but it is the first step in returning to live performances.

“The Nerd” is a comedy about a young architect named Willum Cubbert (Josiah Winkel) who is visited on his 34th birthday by Rick Steadman (William DeMarce). Steadman saved Cubbert’s life during the Vietnam War, but Cubbert has never formally met Steadman until his 34th birthday. Cubbert is delighted to see Steadman until he learns the man is a bumbling oaf with no social sense, little intelligence and less tact. Steadman’s continued presence with Cubbert and his friends leads to a series of humorous incidents.

Laabs said “The Nerd” was chosen because it could be performed under the circumstances. She described it as a casual comedy.

MLC student director Ryan Kluba said putting on the show was relatively easy; it was simply working with the space available. All the actors were excited to perform again.

MLC was forced to cancel other performances last year because of the pandemic. This year’s performances had also been limited, but the German Park theater has given the MLC Forum a new opportunity.

Three performances of “The Nerd” were held over the weekend. Sunday’s performance was recorded and will be streamed on MLC Forum’s website next weekend. Visit mlc-wels.edu/forum to access the show streaming information anytime May 7-9.

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