By Elizabeth Sias
On a quiet Thursday morning, a mother and daughter sit with scripts in hand reading lines.
They were practicing for the upcoming performance of ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,’ produced by the local ABC Theatre Company.
The play, to be performed four times Oct. 27 through 29 at Spectacular Events Banquet Center in Isanti, is the second produced by the company. ‘I Remember Mama’ was the first.
Formed in 2008, founder Dawn Holmquist is excited to be back in the director’s shoes and hopes this play will generate interest in the community.
The mission of ABC Theatre Company, which stands for “A Bunch of Characters,” is to produce plays that provide opportunities for inter-generational involvement and family participation.
The mother-daughter acting together is just one example. Debbie Snell will play Mrs. Beaver in the upcoming play, while her daughter will play Susan.
“I’m so excited and want to share the message that it’s never too late,” Holmquist said. “There’s no such thing as ‘too young’ or ‘too old.’ Let’s all work together — there’s so many plays that have all different ages, so let’s do plays that have inter-generational themes.”
Recently, Springboard for the Arts of St. Paul accepted ABC Theatre Company into their fiscal sponsorship program, meaning the company is a nonprofit under their umbrella and can receive tax deductible donations.
Holmquist currently does fundraising, auditioning, directing and much more, but hopes the company will grow and eventually there will be more people on board.
A fundraiser for The ABC Theatre Company will be held at Spectacular Events Banquet Center in Isanti on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. An $8 taco/fajita bar will support the nonprofit.
Holmquist first became interested in theatre when she took acting classes at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Cambridge and got a part in a community play. She decided to start her own production company to provide a venue to educate and train those who may not have had the opportunity to be involved in theatrical productions in the past.
“Maybe they’re an adult and they’ve never auditioned,” she said. “We want to make the whole thing be a very comfortable, friendly experience, while still making them stretch and grow.”
She has a preference for historical and classic productions — if the fall play does well, she’d like to produce ‘Pride & Prejudice’ in the spring. Holmquist urges everyone to buy tickets right away, as they are selling quickly.
For more information about The ABC Theatre Company, to give a tax-deductible donation or to purchase tickets for ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,’ visit www.abctheatrecompany.com. Performances are Oct. 27, Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. There is also a matinee performance at noon on Oct. 29.
Cast List of ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe:
Aslan: Scott Walburg; White Witch: Kathy Ebner; Tumnus: Becka Jo Bredeson; Fenris Ulf: Charles Johnson; Mr. Beaver: Rick Holmquist; Mrs. Beaver: Deb Snell; Unicorn: Maddie Simon; Centaur: Justin Cleary; Dwarf: Regina Zabinski; Father Christmas: Steve Rod; Elf: Jake Zacharias; White Stag: Rachel Fager; Forest Animals: Bella Bredeson, Dalton Felt and Eliana Ebner; Wood Nymphs: Moriah Ebner, Emily Goetz and Hailey Johnson; Lucy: Raeann Goetz/Cecelia Bredeson; Edmund: Mason Felt/Hans Boyum; Susan: Emily McLean/Sara Snell; Peter: Jared Zacharias/Rio Hindami.