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Community theatre group to present "Last Will & Testament"

Performances are March 20-21 and March 27-28 at the Greater Round Lake Community Center.

ROUND LAKE — One year ago, the Grassroots Community Theatre managed to get its last performance in just two days before COVID-19 precautions shut down all such gatherings in the state.

Now, as gathering restrictions continue to be lifted, the theatre troupe is ready to entertain audiences once again. After a year-long hiatus of such productions, it’s safe to say audiences are ready for an evening of comedy and hijinks as well.

Now with JD Productions, Jeri Sirovy is directing the play, which is set to take the stage March 20 and 21 and March 27 and 28 at the Greater Round Lake Community Center. The production, “Last Will & Testament,” written by Lisa Patrick-Wilkinson, is part-script, part-impromptu, part-audience participation and pure fun, according to Sirovy.

“With this whole COVID, we got the rug pulled out from under us so many times,” Sirovy shared. “We were going to do this in January and the event got cancelled. When they announced the loosening of restrictions, we decided to do it in March. Our first rehearsal was back in October.”

Scheduling play practice on the weekends, with a month off during the holidays, the cast and crew is now in full rehearsal mode.

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The production is set in Texas, with the tagline that Texas was never this fun — or deadly. The play revolves around Jonas Carmody, president and founder of Carmody Oil, who dies suddenly and leaves an estate valued in excess of $30 million.

“There’s a memorial dinner and the family doesn’t know it’s also the reading of the will,” detailed Sirovy. “Everybody thinks they should be the sole heir. They want to eliminate the competition, and they all think they deserve the biggest piece of the pie.”

Needless to say, murder is a la mode, but who is willing to kill for the inheritance?

Audience members will get to share their opinion on the guilty party.

The cast features an assortment of first-time thespians to individuals who are theatre regulars who have been in 20 to 30 plays. Among the cast members are two mother-daughter duos in Sol and Genevieve Miller and Tory and Peyton Bohlke, as well as one sibling pair in Sirovy and her sister, Amy Stefferud.

“It’s fun that everybody has ideas and contributes,” Sirovy said of the feedback they provide each other during rehearsals. “We had a lot of rehearsals where we didn’t get much done because we talked about what-ifs.”

Due to current restrictions, performances will be limited to 60 attendees each. Tables and chairs will be set up, as people will get complimentary popcorn and soft drinks.

“We’re going to pass out kazoos and tambourines, as there are places they’re going to play along with us,” Sirovy added.

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Following each performance, attendees are welcome to greet the cast if they feel comfortable doing so.

The Saturday evening performances will begin at 7 p.m., while the Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. For ticket reservations, contact the Greater Round Lake Community Center at 360-0733, The Hair Gallery at 376-6100, Sirovy at (507) 841-0140 or BTU at 360-5288.

030321 N DG Grassroots Community Theatre S1.jpg
The Grassroots Community Theatre cast for “Last Will & Testament” includes Adam Koch (front, from left), Darin McGuire, Genevieve Miller, Tucker Kern, Peyton Bohlke and Sol Miller, and (back): Amy Stefferud, Maryellen Suhrhoff, Denise Deitchman, Laura Svoboda, Tory Bohlke and Jeri Sirovy. Missing from the photo is Jackie Baumgarn. (Julie Buntjer/The Globe)

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