Eagan Community Theater – Bravo!

My friend Jo and I have a lovely tradition each summer: we journey to the southeast corner of the metro to attend Eagan Community Theater, presented at Eagan High School. And since Andiamo’s restaurant opened a couple years ago, we enjoy a wonderful Italian pre-show dinner a few miles from the school.

Nearly every year – and we’ve been doing this for ten years now – we are blown away by the quality of the plays. Amateur actors and a large group of volunteers professionally handle costumes, set design, production, lighting, orchestra, box office and all the other supporting roles. It’s always fun to see the range of ages on stage, from grandparents to single-digit youngsters, all of whom pour their heart into every stage move and note.

The play this year is “Peter Pan,” and I fondly remember the last time Eagan Community Theater performed this play seven years ago. It was so good it could have easily been presented at the Orpheum, Ordway or Guthrie. Shortly thereafter, the Eagan high school graduate who played Peter Pan, Laura Osnes, went on to win the national TV program “Grease: You’re the One that I Want!” Laura has since played starring roles in several Broadway plays and received two Tony Award nominations.

It’s a privilege to support the community theater where Laura got her start. Based on the performances at this running of “Peter Pan,” it’s apparent more amateur actors and actresses are hoping to follow in her footsteps. Head to Eagan, get sprinkled with pixie dust, and see if you don’t agree.

The casual venue and inexpensive ticket prices ($15 for adults, $10 for seniors and kids under 12) provide a wonderful opportunity to introduce children to live theater. The kids sitting near me, and there were a ton of them, were completely enthralled with the show, especially when the characters were flying. All of the actors did a fabulous job. Sarah Cartwright had big moccasins to fill as Peter Pan, and she was wonderful. Particularly entertaining for both kids and adults were Hook, played by James Schiffman, and Smee, played by Bret Hammerlin. In his bio, Bret says the reason he devotes his summers to community theater is for the attention. Here’s your attention, Bret: smashing job with Smee – you had me in stitches.

Bravo! Bravo! Keep up the great work, Eagan Community Theater.


Visit www.eagan.k12.mn.us for more info and to purchase tickets. The play runs through August 3, 2013. All kids who dress up as a pirate or fairy are invited on the stage before the show (this was cute). If you can’t make it this year, put a reminder on your calendar to attend next summer.


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