GEP brings melodrama to Palace Theatre stageLUVERNE — For the first time in 30 years, the Green Earth Players will perform a melodrama on the stage of the Palace Theatre in Luverne.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — For the first time in 30 years, the Green Earth Players will perform a melodrama on the stage of the Palace Theatre in Luverne.
Performances will be offered Friday through Sunday, and again March 27-29. Friday and Saturday shows start at 8 p.m., while Sunday offers a 2 p.m. matinee.
Former Luverne High School theater director Carol Ceynowa is directing the cast of 13 in GEP’s rendition of “Dirty Work at the Crossroads.”
“It’s a traditional melodrama,” said Ceynowa of the production originally performed back in 1944. “This is an old, more traditional one. The wording is a little bit more elaborate.
“We had to look up a few words because we didn’t know what they were talking about (in the script),” she added with a laugh.
The cast includes country girl Nellie Lovelace, Monroe the viper and his wife, Ida Ringold, Adam Oakhart the blacksmith’s son and hero of the melodrama, Mrs. Asterbil and Leonie, among others.
“There’s old-time music and songs that are sung during the production,” said Ceynowa. “We have a live piano player and a comedy crew that comes in, in between the scene changes.”
While most of the cast members hail from Luverne, Ceynowa said a couple of actors travelled from Sioux Falls, S.D., for the two-hour practices three nights a week since mid-January. Many of the cast members are former students of Ceynowa’s from her years in the local school district.
“Because I was at the high school for 11 years, I end up working with a lot of my old students who have moved back to the area,” she said.
This is the second time Ceynowa has directed “Dirty Work at the Crossroads.” Fifteen years ago, the melodrama was performed at Luverne High School.
“I love melodrama,” she said, adding that she had seen this particular production for the first time in Utah.
An artist in residence in Augustana College’s ceramics department, Ceynowa designed all of the props for the production, redesigned costumes and designed Victorian hats for all of the women.
Tickets remain for each performance and may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the box office at the Carnegie Cultural Center, (507) 283-8294, from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The GEP, in existence for 30 years, does both a spring and fall production and hosts a theater day camp for kids during a week each summer.