A story to believe in; Riverland Theatre presents ‘Miracle on 34th Street, the Play’

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Just in time for the holidays, the second production of Riverland Community College Theatre’s hope-filled season of legends continues Dec. 5-9 with the classic family holiday show, “Miracle on 34th Street, the Play.”

Based on the classic movie, “Miracle on 34th Street, the Play” tells the story of Kris Kringle as he gets a job working as Santa Claus for Macy’s. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy’s customers and the commercial world of New York City. However, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing. At stake is one little girl’s belief in Santa and the possibilities of imagination.

“‘Miracle on 34th Street, the Play’ is a heartwarming holiday story that we want to believe in, where love and generosity of spirit are their own rewards,” said director and Riverland Theatre instructor Susan V. Hansen.

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“Miracle on 34th street, the Play” was adapted by Mountain Community Theater from the novel by Valentine Davies and based on the Twentieth Century Fox motion picture “Miracle on 34th Street.” The set, lighting, and sound design are by John Deyo, costumes are by Madlain Vander, and Emma Peterson is the stage manager.

The show calls for 27 performers at minimum. The company comes from across the southern Minnesota and Iowa areas, with 12 children under 12 years old.

“We have many new students on stage, as well as alumni, community members, and children,” Hansen said. “It is really a terrific mix. They can all learn from each other.”

Aubrey Ruzek (right) playing the part of Susan Walker, rehearses a scene with Sarah Brinza playing her mom Susan Walker. Riverland will present the play “Miracle on 34th Street,” starting tonight at Frank W. Bridges Theatre. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Not only is “Miracle on 34th Street, the Play” a family-friendly show, it also has two families performing in it.

“Kim Potter is performing with both of her daughters, Kalli and Emma Potter,” Hansen said. “Angie Bissen decided to join in the fun with her daughter Annabelle Kasel. Many extended family members and groups are coming to experience that wonder and joy of the holidays and spend a little quality time together. Come join us!”

There will also be an opportunity to take photos with Santa after each performance. Hansen asks that a small donation be made to the Theatre Scholarship fund.

“Miracle on 34th Street, the Play” will be performed at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5- 8 with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. All performances will be held at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre in Riverland’s Austin Campus’ East Building.

Individual tickets are $13 and are on sale at www.riverland.edu/tickets 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online ticketing system allows customers to choose their seats and pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Tickets may also be purchased at the Riverland Box Office, located in room E107 in the East Building of the Austin campus. Box office hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before performances. Riverland students receive two free tickets to each performance with a valid student ID. Contact the box office at 507-433-0595 or by emailing boxoffice@riverland.edu.

Cast List

  • Robert Johnson – Kris Kringle
  • Sarah Brinza – Doris Walker
  • Aubrey Ruzek – Susan Walker
  • Ethan Eriksmoen – Fred Gayley
  • Kayla Byram – Miss Sawyer
  • Jon Cochran – Judge Harper/Drunken Santa
  • KariLynn Finley-Cook – Mrs. Shellhammer
  • Brianna Ahlbrecht – Dr. Pierce
  • Kim Potter – Mrs. Mara
  • Lilla Parada – Mrs. Halloran/Johnny’s Mother
  • Connor Hanson – Johnny
  • Charli Martin – Mrs. Schoff/Louise
  • Noelan Riley – Mr. Straus
  • Paulina Aguirre Quijano – Jane Duncan/Bag Lady
  • Faith Rautenkranz – Miss Finley/Foster Mother
  • Payton Southard – Dutch Girl
  • Paige Smith – Rich Lady/Alice
  • Angie Bissen – Sharon’s Mother/Arleen
  • Annabelle Kasel – Sharon
  • Ashlynn Schewe – Elf Evergreen
  • Ava Golombowski – Elf Sparkleberry
  • Brynn Sathre – Elf Candycane
  • Kalli Potter – Elf Sugarplum
  • Adyson Wradislavsky – Elf Roseycheeks
  • Eva Taylor – Megan
  • Riley Szyszkowski – Rebecca
  • Jude Hovland – James
  • Emma Potter – Janet Mara