Celebrating 50 years of musicals in BP
It was a time to renew acquaintances built by acting in high school plays the past 50 years.
Blooming Prairie High School actors over the past 50 years met on Saturday night, Nov. 9 at the Blooming Prairie Servicemen's Club in celebration of their experiences.
"Everybody should have the chance to be on stage," said former musicals director Frank Vorlicek, who was present at the reunion of sorts.
"We have a lot of talent in this town," believes Vorlicek, who also put in a plug to push for an auditorium to be built in Blooming Prairie. "There is no reason why we can't have an auditorium in the community," he said.
The impromptu reunion was spearheaded by current high school musicals director Tamzen Johnson.
The reunion was sandwiched in between performances of The Sound of Music.
Saturday's reunion gave Blooming Prairie actors a chance to reminisce about plays of the past. Videos were played as actors mingled with one another.
Special honors were given to Vorlicek, LeMar Nelson, Sandra Johnson Rowe, Allison Jacobson, Renee Felchle Burns and Patty Mueller.
Pianists Chris Butler and Karla Iacovino talked about some of their play experiences. Johnson paid credit to Nelson who said he enjoyed being part of the theatrical productions, Jane Ayre, Harvey and Annie. Nelson played the part of Daddy Warbucks in Annie.
Johnson began her theatrical directing in 1991. She said theatre has changed considerably since that time, technology one area that has seen change. She said in 50 years, Blooming Prairie theatre touched over 2,400 kids.
"It takes a whole community to make theatre happen," Johnson said. She's been a part of 23 productions.
Kari Bottin, assistant director for The Sound of Music, said she has been part of 14 musicals with Johnson. "It's incredible to see all the kids who have been in theatre," she said.
Johnson's two sons, Grant and Alex, both credited theatre with shaping their future careers.
Natalie (Becker) Sorensen played Liesl in The Sound of Music 20 years ago. She came to the anniversary party wearing the dress she wore 20 years earlier.
Lots of theatrical memorabilia was displayed at the dining tables and at display tables. Tamzen's husband Doug Johnson took BP actors through 50 years of plays by showing photos taken from Blossom yearbooks.