Bye Bye Birdie will hit the Pine City stage in July

The 2017 Summer Musical in Pine City will be “Bye Bye Birdie”, directed by Rachel Bigelow. Performance dates are July 13 – 16 with three evening performances and the closing matinee on Sunday.

The show is set in 1958 and the story was inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the Army in 1957.  Teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie has been drafted, so he chooses All-American girl Kim McAfee for a very public farewell kiss.

Audiences will love the rock-n-roll sound, loveable and laughable characters, and truly have a good time this summer with the cast and crew of “Bye Bye Birdie”.

We are welcoming back a few returning actors and actresses from last summer’s musical “The Music Man” and welcoming many new faces from the Rush City and North Branch communities this year!



ROSE ALVAREZ – Allie Gosen
CONRAD BIRDIE – Paul Willard
MRS. MAE PETERSON – Laura Michels
KIM MACAFEE – Emily Elliot
MRS. DORIS MACAFEE – Miranda Burger
MRS. MERKLE – Jenny Simonson
HUGO PEABODY – Nathan Kleppe
GLORIA RASPUTIN – Allison Hammill
MAYOR –  Brian Scholin
MAYOR’S WIFE – Elisa Mill

NANCY- Laura Meissner
ALICE- Emily Schueller
MARGIE- Kodie Maki
DEBORAH SUE- Lydia Struss
HELEN – Sarah Schmidt
SUZIE – Alixe Waxberg
PENELOPE – Emma Johnson
RUTH – Anna Savage

Lena Roubinek
Hannah Theisen
Alana Mangan
Carolyn Mangan
Ashley Peters
Gavin Schueller
Robert Sandell
Andrew Belland
Mikayla May
Kyle Peters
Brandon Strohecker

Up Next: Songs of the Stage ~ April 8th

Our next Songs of the Stage fundraiser concert at the Pizza Pub of Pine City is going to be great! Be sure to join us to hear music from:  Hamilton, Beauty and the Beast, Music Man, Chess, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Shrek, Guys and Dolls, Wicked and many more!

Tickets are now available at Cabin Coffee’s and the Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce office.  Advance ticket discounts are available through Friday, April 7th.


Nunsense Returns to Pine City Stage

It was 1995 when “Nunsense” was first performed on the Pine City stage.  The original script was performed and 5 fabulous ladies were cast as Mother Superior and the Little Sisters of Hoboken.  The show had great success and is remains a favorite for many long-time members of the Heritage Players team.  Just a few short years later, the organization would experience a drop in participation that resulted in a five year hiatus from the stage.

In 2005, a small group of theater-lovers began cooking up a plan to bring the Heritage Players organization back to life and jump start new interest in the arts and community theater.  Interestingly enough, a few of those same ladies approached a novice director about putting on a show…. and in December of that year, “Nuncrackers” was performed with a few of the same faces.

Fast forward to 2017 and the “most popular musical series in theater history” will make a return to the stage.  This time around the show will be directed by Jay Schueller with vocal direction by Laura Michels and orchestra direction by Joni Nelson.  The Heritage Players have also chosen to perform the “Nunsense: Mega Musical Version” this year to allow for more cast members to join the fun!

The cast includes:

  • Elisa Mill as Reverend Mother Mary Regina
  • Mary Ellen Sauser as Sister Mary Hubert
  • Dawn Barstad-Carpenter as Sister Robert Anne
  • Jennifer Hansmann as Sister Mary Amnesia
  • Vanessa Alm as Sister Mary Leo
  • Dennis Howard
  • Cassandra Olson
  • Bethany Cleary


Auditions for “Nunsense” THIS WEEK!

The Heritage Players are excited to share details about the upcoming auditions for the winter production this year.  “Nunsense ~ The Mega-Musical” will perform for ONE WEEKEND ONLY in February 2017.

Auditions for the production are scheduled for this week, December 14th or 15th, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.  Auditions will be held in the Pine City High School Auditorium.

Auditions Details:

  • Prepare to sing a song of your own choosing, 16-32 measures is sufficient.
  • Bring a copy of your theatrical resume (if you have one).  If you don’t have one, an audition form will be available for you to complete.
  • Reading of scene or two with others

Those interested in auditioning are asked to arrive at 6:00 PM on either Wednesday or Thursday evening and plan to stay for the 2-hour time slot.  If you are not able to arrive at 6pm, please be sure to let us know so that we plan accordingly for staff.

If you have questions regarding the audition process, please email us at

Nunsense ~ The Mega-Musical will be directed by Jay Schueller, with musical direction from Laura Michels.


Tickets on sale for “Songs of the Stage”

Tickets for the next “Songs of the Stage” event are now on sale at More Than Sprouts, Cabin Coffees or the Chamber Office.  Advance ticket purchases provide guests with a $5 discount per ticket as long as they are purchased by Friday, December 2nd.

The “Songs of the Stage” series has been hosted as a fundraising night to provide us with the opportunity to produce additional theatrical shows throughout the year.  Be sure to attend on December 3rd as we’ll make the “official” announcement of our next production!


‘Songs of the Stage’ Planning Begins

The Heritage Players are excited to announce our next Songs of the Stage event, coming up on Saturday, December 3rd at 7:30pm. We are looking for singers to join in on this fun concert.

Our theme for this show is a bit different than usual. Think “A Very Forties Christmas.” In honor of the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, we will be highlighting music from the 1940s, along with Christmas songs.

If you are interested in performing for this fundraiser performance, please respond to this email or call Cassandra Olson at 612-616-3748 by this Sunday, October 23. Please include which song you would like to sing.

We will be planning a couple rehearsals with our accompanist, dates to be determined. Participants must be 16 or older. Anyone underage must have parental consent and a parent/guardian must be present at the Legion for the event on the day of performance.

Thank you for your participation with the Heritage Players. We are happy to support the Arts in our community and could not do it without you!

The Young Ladies of River City


The young ladies of River City will bring a smile to your face as you enjoy the show!

Ashley Peters (Amaryllis) ~ This is Ashley’s third production. You might have seen her previously in the 5th & 6th grade musical School House Rock Live Jr. or the Rockin Tales of Snow White. Ashley enjoys playing Basketball, drawing, and playing outside. Ashley would like to say thank you to family and friends who supported her.


As singers and dancers these girls  have an enormous amount of talent and we look forward to many future productions with these young ladies in them!

Stella Helseth ~ My name is Stella and I am 9 years old. I will be starting fourth grade this year. Some of the things I enjoy are competing with my dance team, singing and playing the piano. I have enjoyed being in the Music Man- this is my first show with the Heritage Players. I would like to thank Becky Schueller, Jennifer Hansman and my parents for bringing me to practice. And thanks to the cast for being so funny and fun to be around. I hope you enjoy the musical- I know I will!

Emma Johnson ~ Emma is excited for her upcoming appearance in the Heritage Players production of “The Music Man”, having previously made her acting debut with Pine City Elementary fifth and sixth grade performance of “Schoolhouse Rock Live Junior”. In addition to acting and singing Emma enjoys photography, snowboarding, hanging out with friends, and playing the piano, French horn, and trumpet. Emma would like to thank her family and friends for all their support and encouragement.

Lena Roubinek ~ I am very excited to be part of my first Heritage Players Musical! I am going into the 5th grade and LOVE everything about Science. I hope to be on TV as a Meteorologist. I also LOVE hockey and everything about our farm. A BIG shout of thanks to my Mom for letting be part of the show and getting me to practices and to the best Director and cast ever!!!!

Neveah Anderson ~ This is her first performance and she is quite enjoying it. She is new to the area and will be entering 4th grade in North Branch. She took a year of hula lessons in Lehi Utah that gave her a love for dancing. She’s passionate about art of all kinds…drawing, painting, clay, and just creating. Along with art she enjoys reading and spending time with her 3 brothers, sister, and parents.

Peyton Perreault ~ This is my first time being part of a play. I have always wanted to try being on stage and with friends in the show, I finally decided to give it a try. I loved learning the Shipoopi song and dance it has been so much fun. I am also active in Girl Scouts, Gymnastics, Hockey and Religious Ed. Thank you so much to Mom and Dad for getting me to rehearsals and thank you to Becky for giving me this opportunity.

Madison Perreault ~ I love being a part of a team so I was very excited to join this show with my sister and friends. This is my first play and I have loved everything about it so far. I am also in Girl Scouts, Gymnastics, Hockey and Religious Ed. Thank you to Anna Reiser for asking me to join the cast and to Becky for finding a place for me. Also, thank you to my Mom and Dad for driving me to play practice.

Brynna Reiser ~ Brynna has been growing an love of the stage since her early on-stage experience as Little Miss Pine City Princess. She absolutely loves performing and is very happy that the Music Man has introduced her to such a wonderful group of actors and musicians, from who she is learning so much!

Brecken Reiser ~ Brecken has been having so much fun being part of The Music Man. Her favorite song is The Shipoopi. Her most memorable role on stage was as Joy, a spiderling, in Charlotte’s Web. Brecken is very thankful to her family and friends for attending the show and hopes they all love it! Shipoopi!

More Pick-a-Little Ladies

River City wouldn’t be complete with out these lovely ladies!  They add a motherly touch to the action and enjoy sharing their love of being on stage with others!

Anna Reiser (Townsperson) ~ Anna has been involved with the Heritage Players for several years and has enjoyed roles on-stage and behind the scenes. She is very excited to be sharing the stage with her daughters, Brynna and Brecken, in The Music Man. Sharing her love of theater with her family and friends has brought her great joy and she hopes that everyone enjoys this production as much as she has enjoyed being part of it.

Emily Schueller (Townsperson) ~ I love being in productions in Pine City. So far, I have been a part of many shows including the Evil Fairy in Princess Whatshername, the Cheshire Cat in Alice In Wonderland, a chorus member in Footloose, backstage crew for Noises Off, and a River City Teen in Music Man. My favorite song from the show would most likely be “The Wells Fargo Wagon” because I love the energy that it gives off during rehearsals.

Linda Kleppe (Townsperson) ~ Linda Kleppe, mother of six. Usually I’m the one saving seats in the audience. This is only my second time on stage, the first being Joseph! I love to sing and be with my family so this has been a blast! Peyton and Maddi thanks for being great stage daughters!Thank you Becky and Jennifer for all your hard work! Thank you Nathan for bringing us along for the ride!

Melanie Hedberg (Townsperson) ~ Melanie is a native of Rush City. Previous roles with the Pine City Heritage Players include Marian the Librarian in the “Music Man” when it was first produced in 1993 and Annelle in “Steel Magnolias”. As a townsperson, she loves her stage family, singing with the Pick a Little ladies, and watching the action behind the scenes. Melanie is excited to step back on the stage after twenty-plus years and enjoys dinosaurs, photography, and working with children.

Laura Anderson (Townsperson) ~ She is not only excited to be on stage again after a 9 year break, but she’s very excited to be on stage again back in Pine City! She’s a member of the Minnesota Mormon Chorale and serves in different roles at church…She enjoys being with her 5 children and husband, reading, yard work, swimming, and going on walks. Big thanks to her husband Justin for supporting her, Kai, and Neveah in doing this!

Jeannie Montague (Townsperson) ~ This is my first experience in theater. I am enjoying the experience but have a ton to learn. I’ve been apart of theater though my kids & taking lots of pictures. I’m married to my best friend, Kurt & mom to Jared (wife Shannon) & Kaleb. In December we will welcome our 1st grandchild. I love my job working with Foreign Exchange Students, taking photos, crocheting and being with my family. Hope you enjoy Music Man! Its been so much fun!

Elisa Mill (Townsperson) ~ Elisa has done a LOT of Heritage Player shows, including the original show. Her first stage role was the role of grieving widow Edna in the play “A Man Called Duddy”. A remarkably capable performance considering she was not allowed to wear her 1972 octagonal shaped glasses and they were desperately needed. Sometimes one has to make sacrifices for their craft.

Mikayla May (Farmer’s Wife/Townsperson) ~ Previous on stage appearances for Mikayla include PCHS productions of: “Footloose”, “Wiley and the Hairy Man”,  “Alice in Wonderland”, as well as “Wizard of Oz” and “Murder at the Banquet”. My favorite thing about being in theater is that its like a second family. I want to say a huge thank you to Becky for directing and giving me this part. Also Mrs. Hansman and the rest of the musicians. And to my family and friends for supporting me.

Jaci Nelson (Townsperson) ~ Jaci has previously been in “Little Women” and “The Secret Garden.” Her hobbies include singing, photography, and writing. She has enjoyed being in this play with her brother and mother. Her favorite song from the play is “Seventy-six Trombones.”


Traveling by Train

These 5 characters have a lot to say about the life of a traveling salesman… but we love what they have to say!

David Briski (Salesman & Tommy Djilas) ~ Although I’m a newcomer to the Heritage Players, you may recognize me from several shows with Pine City High School. My most prominent role was playing Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) in the Fall production of Footloose. As a recent high school graduate, I plan on attending UMD this fall where I hope to study Computer Science.

Allen Ramstad (Salesman & Constable Locke) ~ Allen is 18 years old and plays two roles for this production. Previous show experience includes the PCHS production of “Footloose” back in 2015. Allen joined the show when asked by another performer. Special thank you to the amazing cast for the chance to learn and act with them.

Rich Elliot (Salesman & Townsperson) ~ Rich is 46 and plays a Travelling Salesman, and one of the Townspeople in the show. This is his first experience in the theater but he was excited to join his oldest daughter Emily in the production, and he is truly enjoying the experience. He teaches and coaches girls soccer in the Forest Lake School district, but he and his wife and 3 daughters have lived in Pine City since 2003.

Andrew Belland (Salesman & Townsperson) ~ This is my 5th play. I go to Pine City High School and will be starting the 10th grade. In my spare time I raise endangered goats, am manager of the Dragons football team, on the Dragon trap shooting team, Vice President of Pine County 4-H & 4-H ambassador. I love hunting, demolition derbies, getting muddy, spending time with family & of course goats!

Celia Ausmus (Salesman & Townsperson) ~ When Celia isn’t in school or at rehearsal, she enjoys painting, baking, and enjoying time with friends. In the past she has been in the Pine City High School’s production of “Footloose” and “Wiley and the Hairy Man”. Her favorite scene in “The Music Man” is the first scene on the train.