Quote of the Day: A small, intimate theatre like Cream of the Crop (in Randall, MN), provides a feeling of sharing the story with the audience. Says Beth Selinger, artistic director of Cream of the Crop Theater in Randall, MN. Her story is in Her Voice, p.32. 

I had the great pleasure of interviewing, and writing the story, of Beth Selinger, her theatrical life, and new theater in Randall, MN for our local magazine, Her Voice. Millie and Willie Cottonpoly, my sock puppet creations, just couldn’t keep their toes out of the new business. Here’s their conversation:

Millie: Say, Willie, did you hear the buzz?
Willie: What, buzz, Millie? The bees? They’re all hibernating right now.
Millie: Willie, focus. I’m talking about the kind of buzz when people are talking about something new and exciting.
Willie: Does it involve food?
Millie: Willie, stop thinking about your, ah, stomach for a minute, and listen to me.
Willie: I’m all ears, um, and toes, Millie.
Millie: There’s a new theater in Randall, MN.
Willie: Where’s Randall?
Millie: It’s in the heart of Minnesota’s lake country, a bit north of Little Falls, and a little south of Brainerd.
Willie: Wait a minute. Isn’t that the home of Bermel’s shoes? I like that store, soft shoes, sturdy soles, and that nice leathery smell.
Millie: Yes, yes, that’s the place with the famous shoe store with the sweet, little old lady who does the ads.
Willie: Will she be in any of the plays at this new theater?
Millie: Well, I don’t know, Willie. Maybe. It’s community theater, which is open to anyone in the community. I hear their next show is “The Cemetery Club.”
Willie: Whoa. Not so sure I’d want to join that club.
Millie: It’s the play’s title, not a death wish.
Willie: Ok. In that case, are you going to audition? You’re an expressive old gal.
Millie: Hmm. You’re always a charmer, Willie. I hadn’t thought about it. Maybe. It might cut into my work as a dog whisperer
Willie: Who’s in charge of this new theater? How did it get started, anyway?

Millie: It all started with Beth Selinger, a Quilt and Coffee Shop, and a dream to convert an old creamery building into creative space.

You can read the rest of the story in Her Voice.

Mary Aalgaard and her sock puppets Willie and Millie Cottonpoly

Mary Aalgaard and her sock puppets Willie and Millie Cottonpoly

Willie: Sounds like a great place and location for a retired railroad worker like me. Do you think they’ll have someone sing “I’ve been working on the Railroad?” I mean, it is right next to the railroad tracks, and the town is named after an official from Northern Pacific Railway.

Millie:  In fact, the old creamery was once the depot.

Willie:  (quick intake of breath) I want to go there.

Millie:  I thought you’d never ask.

(Willie goes out to warm up the car. Millie checks her purse for some spending cash to use at the Quilt and Coffee Shop. She also warms up her voice a little, just in case she gets the urge to audition.)

This was a fun story, on so many levels. Of course, my favorite topic to write about, or review, is theater. Millie and Willie come alive whenever they get to perform or share a story. Beth Selinger is a wonderful person with a giant heart and superb ability to connect with people, on and off, the stage! Beth and I did a little improv shtick for photographer Joey Halvorson. If she sends it to me, I’ll post it for your viewing pleasure. I love seeing the arts come alive. It’s people like Beth, and her community, that make it happen!

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What kind of arts events are happening in your neck of the woods?