NEW ULM Magic, royalty and dragons are the fun center of the annual Martin Luther College Children's Theater on April 26 and 27. This year's play will be "Who Can Fix the Dragon's Wagon?"
The play focuses around twin princes who are in the process of determining who will become king. To resolve the situation, they much find and bring back a magic ring to make the determination. But, the quest is fraught with challengers.
Ultimately, the evil twin Thomas wins the crown through trickery and cheating. But, shortly afterwards a dragon shows up to complicate the situation. The twins are sent out to battle the dragon and protect the land. The play focuses on the fun and excitement of not knowing what will happen next. Will they survive their confrontation with the dragon? Who will ultimately become king?
Magic, royalty and dragons are the fun center of the annual Martin Luther College Children’s Theater on April 26 and 27. This year’s play will be “Who Can Fix the Dragon’s Wagon?”.
Christian Niemi as The Sergeant of the Guard (left) and Nathanael Jensen at the Captain of the Guard come face to face with the Dragon played by Katie Kobs.
Megan Wohlrabe as Daughter Goose (left), Derek Rabbers is The King and Joy Reeder is The Queen.
Director Aimee Ulm, who is a senior, said performing for children is a unique and challenging experience. She said kids are often more accurate and instantaneous critics on how well the play keeps the audience's attention. She said kids lack the tact to remain focused if they are not entertained, so they will right away start talking with friends sitting next them and start bouncing in their seats.
"You end up with an actually honest feedback on where you can do better," said Ulm, "And, when you have their attention, you can also get more out of them."
She said this play is particularly well suited for addressing children. She said the constant activity of the play will keep the kids facing the front, while great images like a dragon using a pogo stick will give them a special experience. She said it also only last around an hour, making it just the right length to entertain kids before they get too impatient with sitting.
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Public Performances of 'Who Can Fix the Dragon's Wagon' are: April 26 and 27th at 7:30p.m. in Martin Luther College Auditorium.
Mallory: Peter Plagenz
Thompson: Michael Koester
The Captain of the Guard: Nathanael Jensen
The Sergeant of the Guard: Christian Niemi
The King: Derek Rabbers
The Queen: Joy Reeder
Daughter Goose (Julie): Megan Wohlrabe
Dragon: Katie Kobs
Queen's servant, spectator : Katrina Bucholz, Lena Petermann, Alyssa Stuebs
King's servant, Fairy: Noah Willitz
Royal chef, Fairy: Lauren Grove, Jenifer Uhlhorn
Sidekicks, spectator: Alex Mielke, Micah Plocher
Director: Aimee Ulm
Producer: Kim Schmill
Office Producer: Kristi Koelpin
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Bill Pekrul
She said the most rewarding part about the production will be entertaining the thousands of kids attend these Children's plays.
Kristi Koelpin, office producer for the play, said the broad character of the play will appeal to the children, as well as the numerous engaging moments that get the kids to do things like dance. However, she said they hope to have included enough fun to make the experience just as enjoyable for the parents.
Kim Schmill, the play's producer and a first timer on the production staff like Koelpin, said the cast has dramatically improved over their weeks of rehearsal. She said everybody is dedicated to making a really exciting performance.
Finally, Ulm said the play will also show off some polished production work. She said they have been working on impressive choreography for the characters. She said they hope it will be something the kids will remember.
She also said they are working on dynamic lighting affects for a scene where the princes end up changing color. She said she does not want to spoil to many details, but she said the effect looks very interesting.
The show will be held next weekend on April 26 and 27. The shows will be held at 7:30 p.m. each of the nights.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)