The story by Mary Mapes Dodge and adapted by James L. Walker is set in early 19th century Holland. As the show opens, the father has fallen from the dikes in a storm and for ten years sat insensible in the Brinker home, leaving the mother and the two children struggling to make ends meet. Neighborhood children mock the Brinker children’s poverty. The industrious and honorable young Hans yearns to participate in December’s great ice-skating race on the Canal. He and his younger sister, Gretel, have little chance of winning on their handmade wooden skates, but with a little hope and hard work, Hans aims to purchase a set of steel skates that will aid him in chasing down the illustrious prize. But Hans' and Gretel's father has fallen very ill, and the tenacious young man must first find a way to have his father seen and helped by the famous surgeon, Dr. Boekman.
This story is neither quaint nor outdated. Poverty remains a reality all around us. When illness or disabilities are present within the household, the percentage of children who live with hunger insecurity increases dramatically. The Brinker family, proud and stoic, makes the best of their life in spite of the odds. Director Ed Moersfelder adds, "On paper, this show is about hope, dignity, compassion, love and honor. With the innocence and exuberance of our two amazing youth casts, plus the expertise and nuance of our guest and community artists, the show becomes a poignant reminder of the fragility, and beauty, of being human."
The role of Hans Brinker is played by guest artist Jerry Kurek (shown above). Joining Kurek in the cast are professional and community artists Kathryn Cesarz as Annie, Deanna Davis as Dame Brinker, Bob Fedderly as Raff Brinker, Sherry Pearce as Dame Van Gleck, and Paul Steffens as Dr. Boekman.
The two casts of youth actors are each scheduled to perform in fourteen shows, and individuals sharing a role provide coverage for each other when necessary. The Red Cast is comprised of Zoe Allen, Kelsey Cooper, Britta Dueholm, Sidrah Edwards, Brita Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Lucy Herman, Katie Herrick, Andrew Lewis, Christopher Lewis and Elliana Naegelen. The Green Cast is Ella Anderson, Nicholas Borne, Anneka Cress, Jade Fehlen, Megan Hankel, Allie Nelson, Catelyn Rice, Stephen Rice, Abby Ruona, Claire Scharfenberg and Josh Stirrat.
Festival Theatre is holding a fundraising raffle during the run of “Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates.” Items in the raffle include tickets to a Minnesota Wild hockey game, a Wild Mountain family four-pack, and a 2015 Flex Pass to Festival Theatre's 25th Anniversary Season. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20, and will be available at every show through December 28th. Winners will be drawn during the talkback session after the matinee on the 28th.
Single tickets for “Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates” are $26 for adults, and $13.50 for our expanded youth category of ages 5 to 25. Ticket packages are sold as Flex Passes, and offer significant savings on six or ten seat bundles. 2014 Flex Passes are still available and 2015 Flex Passes are now on sale.
Reservations are recommended and can be made by clicking HERE, by calling the box office at 715-483-3387 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Festival Theatre is located in downtown St. Croix Falls, inside the beautifully decorated Civic Auditorium at 210 North Washington Street.