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Madhatters prepare for upcoming 'Whales of August' performance

Maranov (Kevin Tendall), center, sits down to lunch with Sara (Heather Pearson), left, and Libby (Deb Gleusing). Anna Erickson/Pioneer Journal1 / 4
Sara (Heather Pearson) rehearses a monologue in preparation for performances beginning Nov. 3. Anna Erickson/Pioneer Journal2 / 4
Castmembers rehearse a scene in The Whales of August. From left are Maronov, played by Kevin Tendall; Joshua, played by Dan Touchette; Sara, played by Heather Pearson; Libby, played by Deb Gleusing; and Tisha, played by Carol Aspergren. Anna Erickson/Pioneer Journal3 / 4
Kevin Tendall works on the lines for his character Maranov. Anna Erickson/Pioneer Journal4 / 4

The Whales of August, Madhatters Community Theatre's upcoming play, opens Thursday, Nov. 3 in the historic A.H. Bernauer Building in downtown Wadena.

Two elderly sisters deal with growing older as they continue the tradition of traveling to Maine to watch the whales. The cast includes Libby, played by Deb Gleusing; Sara, played by Heather Pearson; Tisha, played by Carol Aspergren; Maronov, played by Kevin Tendall; and Joshua, played by Dan Touchette.

Mary DuBois is directing the play. She described the play as being about the promise of changing life at any age. By having the play at the former Masonic Hall in the Bernauer Building, the audience will be seated on three sides of the stage.

"It gives a different experience to the actors and the audience," she said. "It's the way it was meant to be viewed."

DuBois' claim to acting fame is serving as Sissy Spacek and Francis McDormand's stand-in for the movie Up North. Her many acting roles include Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Madamme Parnell in Tartuffe and she has done several television ads and commercials. A teacher and writer, she writes children's books using the name Mary Koski and is a fiction writer, using the pen name Bernie DuBois.

She was assistant director in the production of 12 Angry Men, produced by the Madhatters of Wadena and the Lamplighters of Staples. This is her directorial debut.

"It's an incredible gift that people give you — their time, their lives and their hard work for many weeks — in order to create something magical for an audience," DuBois said of this play. "I'm so grateful to the cast and crew for giving me that gift and I hope the audience appreciates their talents and the way they have become a team."

Performance dates for The Whales of August are at 7 p.m. Nov. 3-6 and 2 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Bernauer Building next to the Pizza Ranch in downtown Wadena. In addition, a free performance will be done Nov. 13 at Fair Oaks Lodge for residents and their family and friends. This is being done with support from the Five Wings Arts Council.

For more information, go to www.madhattersinc.org or check out their Facebook page.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561
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