After months of oral interviews, Pop-up Plays: Lanesboro WW II and Beyond brings to the stage local accounts of soldiers in D-Day, German prison camp, the Norwegian Resistance, Japanese nurses in Rochester, and farmers growing food for Europe. Area veterans Orval Amdahl, Don Ward, Bob Earley, Dr. Westrup, Paul Abrahamson, Ruby Nelson, Signe Soma will come to life again on September 25 and 26, at 3 p.m. each day.
The show includes a recreation of the royal visit of the Norwegian Prince and Prince to Lanesboro! The popular culture of daily lives after the war will surround viewers with live swing music by CBB Jazz band, vintage cars, sci-fi hero Buck Rogers, Andrews Sisters music, and the Hormel Girls. Watch Disney movie clips created by local artist Rudy Elstad in our vintage St. Mane Theater. Cast includes 38 area actors, musicians, and singers, both professional and volunteer. Jane Peck is the playwright and artistic director.
This will be the sixth show by History Alive Lanesboro, each a unique production of a different era of local history. The audience moves around our historic southeast Minnesota town with character guides to outdoor and indoor scenes in locations of the actual events. This year all locations will be handicapped accessible. All shows will move indoors if it rains, and in the event of a local Covid surge, all scenes will move outdoors and follow CDC advice.
History Alive Lanesboro’s Pop-up Plays highlight a new era of Lanesboro and southeast Minnesota history each year. The various scenes of acting, music, and dance occur in sites that hosted the original events they portray. This is possible because Lanesboro has so many lovely historic buildings and spaces. Performances begin at the Sons of Norway Lodge before moving to other locations. Walking distance is four blocks and the show is 1.5 hours. The plays are researched by Jane Peck with the assistance of the Lanesboro History Museum’s extensive archives of photos, obituaries, and newspapers. Jane interviews many local residents about their memories or their ancestors.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Many thanks to our individual donors.
History Alive Lanesboro is a Minnesota non-profit, 501.c.3 educational and performance group that tells stories of families from Lanesboro and the region. The group was incorporated in 2016 by supporters and cast members after popular responses to the first Pop-up Plays. Jane Peck continues to be the playwright as well as artistic and managing director, creating new plays each year with very talented local and guest artists. Prior to this, she created active history performances for 20 years in the Twin Cities and across the Upper Midwest, working with her own group, Dance Revels Moving History, and Arts MIA, MN History Center, and area schools. See more at historyalivelanesboro.org and Facebook.