Two recent graduates of just couldn’t stay away from their alma matter. Kara Schwartz and John Neumann say their high school theatre program was so influential they couldn’t give it up after graduation.
“I remember being really sad when I left high school because I thought I would never be on stage again,” Schwartz said. After graduating in 2008 she went to Concordia University, but never lost touch with one her theatre buddies John Neumann.
“He and I started talking about how much we missed being on stage and how much we missed working with our high school teachers and friends,” Schwartz said. “That’s when we decided to start our own theatre group.”
The two formed Home Base Theatre, a group strictly for Maple Grove alumni to perform top quality shows. The group will tackle its first play this summer.
“Theatre is something we love doing and we’re anxious to be part of another show,” Neumann said. The 2009 graduate of Maple Grove Senior High now attends the University of Minnesota, but plans to spend his summer on stage as Home Base Theatre puts on its first production, "13."
“The show is about life as teenager,” Schwartz said. “It captures all of those awkward stages of being young.” Neumann adds, “The musical has a lot of energy and we think it’s a good size show for us to start with.”
The cast will be 13 people. Plus, Schwartz and Neumann pulled in some expertise to help them. Two musical directors from Maple Grove High School are the show’s directors and will handle the casting.
Though they may be the group’s founders, Schwartz and Neumann plan to audition just like everyone else. Aside from auditioning, the two have been busy drumming up support for this new endeavor.
“We have been so amazed at the amount of support we’ve gotten from the community,” Neumann said. “It’s really amazing.”
Local donors have helped cover start up costs like buying the rights to the play. A local dance company, Escalate Dance and Theatre Studio, is allowing the group to host auditions and rehearse at their place and the show will be on stage at Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo.
“It’s all becoming a reality,” Schwartz said.
The group will have one month to put the show together. There is another round of auditions happening this Saturday, May 28. After that, the group starts an intense rehearsal schedule, with opening night scheduled July 7. The show will run through July 10, tickets are available online.
“We really hope this becomes a huge success,” Schwartz said. “I hope people will eventually look forward to the shows Home Base Theatre will put on,” Neumann added.
If you graduated from Maple Grove Senior High and are interested in auditioning for the upcoming show, there is still audition space available. You can contact Home Base Theatre via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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