Fifty-four actors. Ten creative team members (designers, choreographers, vocal directors). Three directors. Added up, this group of community members makes up the company for Brainerd Community Theatre’s 2021-22 season of theatre productions.
BCT Director Patrick Spradlin called it a truly impressive collection of talent. “We held our first-ever company auditions at the end of August,” he noted. “Our goal was to cast all four shows in our season at one time.”
Spradlin said there were several advantages to this approach. “It allowed our directors to see a large pool of talent at one time, so we were able to place actors in the respective shows in a more efficient manner. The actors are now clear on their commitments to a production’s schedule and can get a head start in things like memorization. Our designers are able to work in advance, especially with the later shows. It made the audition process more like a gathering of theatre lovers with a common interest rather than a competition.”
Seventy-four actors auditioned for the available roles in four productions. “As a director, it’s always difficult to tell someone we’re unable to use their talents on stage,” said Spradlin. “I always ask those I cannot cast if they are interested in being part of the productions in a support capacity, such as scenery construction, backstage crew, or other important functions. More often than not I get a ‘yes’ response.”
The BCT company hails from towns throughout the area. “We have members from Brainerd and Baxter, of course, but we also have several from Little Falls, Crosby, Pillage, Staples, Crosslake, Jenkins, Pine River, Nisswa, Fort Ripley, Breezy Point, Merrifield, Buffalo, and Minneapolis,” said Spradlin.
BCT’s season opens on October 21 with the suspense thriller ‘Wait Until Dark.’ The cast for the production includes Lily Cameron, Dave Endicott, Macy Judd, Nick Kory, Maren Martin, Brian Rhett, and Kevin Yeager. Spradlin will direct.
‘Elf: The Musical’ will premiere on December 9, directed by Travis Chaput. The cast includes Phyl Bell, Jesse Brutscher, Ryan Deblock, Jake Denning, Lindsey Derry, Mya Frank, Peyton Freeman, Jaydon Friedel, Lydia Jendro, Cy Johnson, Jana Johnson, Macy Judd, Rachael Kline, Maren Martin, Rachel Martin, Katie Nelsen, Regina Nelsen, Marc Oliphant, Maureen Paulus, Melissa Peterson, Abby Pratt, Emily Pratt, Mackenzie Pratt, Brian Rhett, Martha Rustad, Elli Salo, Rhonda Schmidt, Anika Seitzer, Attly Speer, Krystin Wiseley, and Lauren Yeager.
‘Amadeus,’ a drama based on the last 10 years of Mozart’s life, will open on February 10 under the direction of Spradlin with a cast of Isaak Anderson, Phyl Bell, Deb Binda, Gary Binda, Alan Bock, Brianna Engels, Sharon Hartley, Larissa Hynes, Bri Keran, Kevin Klawitter, Nick Kory, Lisa LeBlanc, Maren Martin, Matt Munoz, Shelly Munoz, C.J. Nichols, Marc Oliphant, Mike Paulus, Nicole Rothleutner, Erik Sanbeck, Patti Scott, and Kevin Yeager.
The history-based drama ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ will conclude the season when it opens on April 21. Directed by Beth Selinger, the cast is comprised of Isaak Anderson, Alan Bock, Jesse Brutscher, Dave Endicott, Mya Frank, Jaydon Friedel, Macy Judd, Jenny Kiffmeyer, Nick Kory, Marc Oliphant, Mike Paulus, Rhonda Schmidt, Rebecca Timmins, and Kevin Yeager.
The creative team for the company consists of Heidi Eckwall (lighting design), Tim Leagjeld and George Marsolek (scenic design), Dawn Krautbauer, Heather Pearson, and Ruthie Gmeinder (costume design), Curtis Jendro (sound and video design), Gina Singer (specialty props), Amy Borash (choreographer), and Koreann Martin (vocal direction). Lorri Jager is company manager. Lucy Peterson is box office manager. John Erickson is company photographer.
“This is an ambitious season,” said Spradlin, “and I know we have a terrific collection of talent, both on stage and behind the scenes. I know our community of theatre-goers will be truly impressed by what they experience this season.”
Information on the shows of the BCT season, ticketing, and COVID protocols is available on the Central Lakes Community Performing Art Center website: www.clcperformingarts.com