TELLING A TALE AS OLD AS TIME Prairie Fire Children’s Theater actors Bryan Farthing and Carly Johnson, along with a cast of Big Lake students, presented the play Beauty and the Beast, as only Prairie Fire can tell the story Friday and Saturday. (Submitted photo).

Kids play Beauty and the Beast

Staff Writer
Jennifer Edwards


Big Lake students put on the Prairie Fire Theater play Beauty and the Beast Friday and Saturday. Sponsored by Big lake Community Education, 58 students took part in the production.
Prairie Fire Theater was founded in 1987 and tours year-round to more than 200 communities to give children a week-long theater experience. Two actors rehearse the young actors for a week prior to each presentation of a classic fairy tale with a unique, Prairie Fire twist.
In this production, Jessica Stenberg took the title role of Beauty. The Beast (and the role of father), were played by Prairie Fire actor Bryan Farthing.
Beauty’s brothers and sisters were Trent Ramert as Jules, Noah Kuehn as Jacques, Josi Luetmer as Claire, Tori Luna as Lucretia, Emma Thompson as Morticia, Beth Davis as Laticia, Clarissa Olson as Ambitia, Morgan Payne as Narcissia and Brianna Albrecht as Ischischia. 
Serafina, Queen of the Gypsies, was played by Prairie Fire actor Carly Johnson. Other leaders of the roving band of gypsies were Sarah Ekeren, Janae Johnson, Macy Farrier, Kayli Luna, Hailey Crowe, Talyhr Hahn and Sierra Stromberg. 
Members of the gypsy band were Kendall Benner, Shae O’Neal, Josephine Green, Emily Selbitschka, Teagin Hahn, Sedona Maag, Isabella Royce, Emma Forpahl, Riley Sofka, Maya Tvrdik and Elena Cox.
When Beauty wanders into the Beast’s garden, she finds the talking roses who ask, “Why?” The flowers were played by Sophie and Allie Cross, Dylynn Bailey, Kyarah Hahn and Grace Gjerstad.
Jack Hagberg played the role of the prince. Alexander Prom was his Major Domo and Nick Gjerstad the Minor Domo. Other servants of the prince were the gardener, Morgan McAlpine, the painter, Mary Carlin, the doctor, Emma Shiota, the maid, Salene Krueger, and the cook, Kylee Choate.
Other featured performers were the Madrigals, Kirsten Olson, Grace Green, Annie Foner, Morgan Benner, Whitney Griffin and Katie Olson.
Playing the Gargoyles Cementhead and Redimix were Sam Hagberg and Aubri Prom. Other Gargoyles were Isaiah Prom, Carly Hagberg, Asher Hahn, Josh Miller, Tyler Heyen, Bob Benner, Rose Bailey and Taylor Edmondson.
The production included original songs with music and lyrics by Daniel Norquist and Deborah Pick. These included Rich, Rich, Rich, Poor, Poor, Poor, sung by Beauty and her family, The Curse, sung by Serafina and the gypsies, Everything You Are, sung by the father, Beauty and the chorus, and When You Are So Ugly, sung by the Beast, Beauty and the Chorus.
Prairie Fire’s next production in Big Lake will be Pinnochio. See the Big Lake Community education winter course catalogue for more details.


(From left) Lexi Freund (Big Lake), Betsey Cornelius and Ben Cornelius (Nowthen), Gunner Dorweiler and Colton Dorweiler (Princeton), Ben Manning (Zimmerman), Bailey Dorweiller (Princeton) and Salene Krueger (Big Lake.) The county fair runs from July 16-19. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

Dr. Lola Sutherland is retiring from clinical practice after 33 years in the Big Lake community. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards.)

SMITTY’S AMATEUR FIDDLERS CONTEST drew 22 musicians to compete in Big Lake this year. They were accompanied by Gilmore Lee.

LEE GERHARDSON, 47, from New London, was found dead in Big Lake near the swimming beach in 10 feet of water Monday. Cause of death is unknown at this time but foul play is not suspected.

Adopt-a-Road participants volunteer for Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and work to clean roadsides that border and bisect refuge land. This spring, from April to June, approximately six individuals, three families, and seven groups, such as boy and girl scouts and 4-H groups, volunteered to clean countless miles of roads. (Submitted photo.)