MEMBERS OF THE CLEARWATER CAST OF CHARACTERS during a rehearsal of Deadly Ernest at the Clearwater Legion. (From left) Jack Schulte, Suesan Moen-Betzler, Trysha Tellers, Bruce Johnson, Rick Johnson, Brandi Badial, Jennifer Campbell, Gary Phelps, Liz Berg, Russ Moen and Grace Asheim. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

Dinner theatre is 10 years old

Staff Writer
Ken Francis
Clearwater Dinner Theatre celebrates its 10th Anniversary at the Clearwater Legion this April with the production of Deadly Ernest, a play written by Donald Payton.
“We’re really excited about the fact that we’ve been able to do this for 10 years,” says Donna Stai, who has been involved with the event since the beginning.
Stai is directing this year. It is the first time in eight years. She directed the first two plays.
“Most of these people were not involved when we started 10 years ago. We’ve got a nice big, talented group now. And I thought it would be fun directing them,” says Stai. “Every year we look for who’s going to direct. We left it up to the group and I’m honored to be the director again.”
This year’s play is a comedy/mystery, as described by Stai.
“A guy (Henry) is not really good at paying his bills or getting to work on time. One day he gets fired from his job, his fiancee dumps him and his aunt kicks him out of her boarding house because he doesn’t pay his rent on time.
“He goes to a park and meets up with a man who agrees to hire someone named Ernest to kill him to put him out of his misery.”
“All of a sudden his fiancee decides to take him back, his boss calls and hires him back and his aunt decides to welcome him back home.
“Life is really good, except for one problem -there’s still someone named Ernest who intends to kill him, and Henry has no idea who it is or how to stop it.”
Everybody Henry meets could be the killer, and the rest of the play centers around Henry’s interaction with the rest of the characters.
There are six productions this year - the first three  weekends in April.
The cast: Jack Schulte as Henry Gilcrest, Liz Berg as Aunt Ethel, Jen Campbell as Margie, Brandi Badial as Pumpkin, Erin Phelps as Jill, Suesan Moen-Betzler as Gladys, Grace Asheim as Aunt Stella, Bonnie Badial as Clarrissa, Trysha Tellers as Ernestine, Gary Phelps as Mr. Bumpus, Rick Johnson as Sleepy, Russ Moen as C. E. Grimm and Bruce Johnson as Dr. Earnest.


THE BIG LAKE LIONESS ANNUAL GARAGE SALE drew plenty of shoppers to Lions Park Saturday morning. The Lioness Club has been serving the Big Lake Community for 31 years. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

TREE EXPERT Gina Hugo works for the Sherburne County Soil and Water Conservation District.