Meet the Cast: a Prince, a Princess, a Lady and her Knight

Join us TONIGHT for the opening of “Once Upon a Mattress” with the Pine City Heritage Players and you can meet these hilarious and talented cast members!  Show begins at 7:00 PM…. and don’t be late!

Nathan Kleppe as Prince Dauntless

Nathan is a persistent theater goer and performer. He is acting in his fourth show with the Heritage Players including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream-coat, The Music Man, and Bye Bye Birdie. Other shows Nathan has performed in include, Beauty and the Beast, and Footloose. Nathan would like to thank his family for their constant support of his theatrical endeavors, Katy and Nick for putting up with his high emotions, and finally Scott Tolzmann for his hard work and leadership through this process.

 Miranda Burger as Princess Winnifred

This is Miranda’s 4th show with PCHP including “Shrek: The Musical,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” and “Bye Bye Birdie.” She relishes her time on stage, but is active behind the curtain as well assuming her role as president of the Village Players board near her hometown in Wisconsin. Where she will be making her directorial debut this Summer with “The Grimm Brother’s Spectaculathon.” With a Major in Film and continued theatre experience under her belt, she plans to pursue both in her future. She’d like to thank her family for their reinforcement of her theatrical goals, her WI friends and co-workers for their never ending support (I love you Olivia!), and her Pine City folks for putting up with her in general. Miranda would also like to thank Nathan Kleppe for his incredible work ethic through this entire process. This has been one of her favorite groups to collaborate with on this roller coaster called “Once Upon a Mattress.” She’s beyond excited to bring Fred to life for you and she hopes you enjoy the show!

 Emily Elliot as Lady Larken

This is Emily’s third production on stage with the Heritage Players, and she’s excited to be back. Emily is a senior at Pine City High School and plans to pursue a degree in musical theatre after high school. Some of her previous roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka. Emily’s has had a fantastic few months working with her talented cast and crew on this crazy show! She can’t wait for you to enjoy the show “In a Little While”!

 Calvin Cheney as Sir Harry

Calvin returns to the Pine City stage for his third   production with the Heritage Players.  He played the role of Mortimer Brewster for Arsenic & Old Lace and the Big Bad Wolf for Shrek: The Musical.  He has also performed with Play, Inc. Performing Arts out of Cambridge.


Meet the Cast: a King, a Queen and 2 wandering Minstrels

One that never speaks, one that doesn’t stop talking, and two best friends ready to cause a little trouble wherever they go….

Keith Bredeson as King Sextimus

This is Keith’s third production with Heritage Players. He has also worked with Play Inc Arts and ABC Theatre. Previous roles he has had include: Captain of the Guard in Shrek, Dr Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace, Captain Keller in The Miracle Worker, Old Joe in A Christmas Carol and Dr.  Chausible in The Importance of Being Earnest. He has also been in the Chorus for My Fair Lady and The Producers.

Laura Michels as Queen Aggravain

Laura is very excited to be part of her favorite musical production! You may have seen her previously in PCHP’s Shrek the Musical, Bye Bye Birdie, or The Music Man. She is also one of the directors for North Branch Area High School, and is currently co-directing their musical set to perform in May. She majored in Technical Theatre at BYU-Idaho and is currently going to school to advance her degree. Laura works at Pine City High School in the Media Center and loves anything to do with music or theatre. She would like to thank her husband for being amazingly supportive (as always).

 Elisa Mill as Minstrel

Elisa has been a member of the Heritage Players since the original show depicting the first 100 years of Pine City.  She has been in too many productions to even count. Her acting experience began on the stage of Woodbury Jr. High School.  After teaching for 34 years in Pine City Elisa retired in 2012. She fills her days planning adventures and trying to do something productive everyday.

Mary Ellen Sauser as Minstrel

Mary Ellen began her acting career in high school as Juror #10 in Twelve Angry Jurors. She eventually graduated to named roles with the Heritage Players! Mary Ellen has performed in over a dozen shows such as Quilters, Nunsense, South Pacific, Steel  Magnolias, State Fair, and most recently in Arsenic and Old Lace.   A retired American History teacher, Mary Ellen enjoys knitting, golfing, reading, gardening, and walking in her free time. She’s excited about her sidekick in real life, Elisa, being her sidekick in this show!


A Wizard, a Jester, and 2 Knights to Meet

No Kingdom would be complete without a little bit of fun… and these four seem to have a lot of it!  Magic tricks, dancing shoes and a bit of laughter!

Jared Dyrdahl as Wizard

Jared decided to wade back into the theater pool after performing in Arsenic & Old Lace last year. A musical was a bit off his deep end and therefore he would like to thank everyone involved with the show for all of their patience and wisdom.   After the show he looks forward to spending copious amounts of time with his dear Miranda and Effie plotting summer shenanigans and scouting new foods for the impending MN State Fair (see you there!)

Mac Lucking as Jester

This is Mac’s first endeavor with PCHP, but has worked with local companies like Mora Area Community     Theatre, Play Inc. Arts, the Baker Street Irregulars, and Lesser Mortals over the last decade or so. In addition to acting onstage, Mac is also a playwright and director who has written and directed a variety of short works through a variety of channels, each experience more delightful and fulfilling than the last. On top of all of that, Mac has a day job as a Branch Assistant at ECRL and greatly appreciates how flexible everyone in the rehearsal process has been, and hopes to participate in many more productions with the Heritage Players and all the new friends made in the process.

 Shane Korte as Sir Studley

Shane first began his theatrical career when taking a Theatre Arts elective in high school in a highly misguided attempt to avoid the public speaking in Debate class. A mock audition lead to his peers press-ganging him into an actual show, and since then Shane has been seen in productions ranging from Mora to Cambridge to Braham to here in his first show with the Heritage Players. He is very glad to finally get the chance to work with this talented company and hopes you enjoy the show!

Steve Clemens as Sir Luce

This is Steve’s first show with PCHP and he is super excited! You might have seen him performing in other shows such as Beauty & the Beast, Footloose, The Dining Room, and First Person Shooter. Steve would like to thank all his friends and family members supporting him throughout all of the rehearsals during these horrible winter months.   Steve would also like to thank the Heritage Players for letting him be part of such a fantastic show. He hopes everyone who sees the show has a great time!


Meet the Cast: Our Ladies in Waiting….

These amazing “Ladies in Waiting” have been working hard on learning lines, music & choreography for the upcoming show…. we can’t wait to share their talents with you this Thursday through Sunday at one of the 4 public performances for Once Upon a Mattress.

Carmell Kenley as Princess #12, Lady in Waiting

Carmell began her theater involvement about three years ago at the encouragement of one of her children (ahem, Sir Studley) and has never looked back. Having been in various productions in the area, she is excited to be working for the first time with Heritage Players! The group is wonderful and wonderfully talented, and the show has been terribly fun to put together for you, so she hopes you enjoy it ever-so-much!!!

 Jennifer Simonson as Lady Rowena

This is Jennifer’s third time performing with Pine City Heritage Players. Her previous appearances were in Bye Bye Birdie and The Music Man. Jennifer has had a lifelong passion for music, laughter, and learning. She deeply appreciates the opportunity musical  theater affords her to explore these pursuits. Jennifer would like to thank the entire cast and crew for all of their hard work and dedication to the show. She has enjoyed every minute of rehearsals and considers it a true honor to be a part of this production. She hopes you all enjoy the show!

BeckaJo Bredeson as Lady Merrill

This is BeckaJo’s second production with PCHP having performed in Shrek: The Musical last summer as Mama Bear & Chorus Member.  Other recent shows include “A Christmas Carol” as the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come, “The Importance of Being Ernest” as Miss Prism, the “Gift of the Magi” as   Madam Vodskya, and the Producers.

Becci Palmblade as Lady Lucille

This is Becci’s first Heritage players production in nearly a decade. She was in the Summer production of Joseph in 2010, and has been involved in a few Christmas fundraisers for the Heritage Players. She is very excited that the stars aligned and she was able to be part of this show. When she’s not on stage, she’s chasing her 3 small children, or putting together a community event with the Pine Area Lions. A huge thank you to her knight in shining Carhartts, who holds down their fort. She appreciates it more than he knows! Her only regret with auditioning for this production is she won’t get to be in the audience to see it! She hopes you all enjoy the show!

Cassandra Olson as Mabelle

Cassandra is excited to be back on stage with the Heritage Players. You may have seen her in Nunsense or one of the Songs of the Stage fundraiser concerts. She enjoys working behind the scenes as a Board Member. Cassandra also sings professionally with DeCantus, a Victorian caroling group based out of St. Paul. She also stays busy with work, her local business, and Pine Area Lions, and her family. She is thankful for the support to be able to be in this fun production and grateful for the entire cast, crew and musicians for sharing their time and talents.


Once Upon A Mattress Cast

Our thanks to all that auditioned for the spring production for the Pine City Heritage Players, we are thrilled to see so many talented folks that are joining the cast for this production.  According to Director Tolzmann, it was a tough task in finalizing this ensemble, but he is excited to begin rehearsals after the Christmas holiday.

Congratulations to all…

Minstrels………………………………..Mary Ellen Sauser & Elisa Mill

Jester…………………………………….Mac Lucking

Wizard…………………………………..Jared Dyrdahl

King Sextimus the Silent…………..Keith Bredeson

Queen Aggravain…………………….Laura Michels

Prince Dauntless the Drab………..Nathan Kleppe

Princess Winifred…………………...Miranda Burger

Sir Harry…………………….…………Calvin Cheney

Lady Larken…………………………..Emily Elliot

Sir Studley-1st Knight……………..Shane Korte

Sir Luce-2nd Knight………………..Steve Clemens

Lady Rowena…………………………Jennifer Simonson

Lady Merrill…………………..……..BeckaJo Bredeson

Lady Lucille…………………..………Becci Palmblade

Mabelle…………………..…………….Cassandra Olson

Princess No. 12……………………….Carmell Korte

Auditions set for “Once Upon a Mattress”

The Heritage Players will audition for the spring production of “Once Upon a Mattress” on December 9th & 10th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM each night.  Those interested in auditioning are asked to sign-up for a one hour time slot on just one of the two audition nights.   Find all the audition details on the website on the Auditions page.

This year the Heritage Players choose a musical for the spring show with a medium to large size cast.  “This show will need 2-3 times the number of cast members that we have for a typical spring show, so we want to have plenty of time to cast the show and coordinate schedules before rehearsals begin in January,” says Becky Schueller, Production Manager for the show.

Scott Tolzmann is excited to begin the process of casting the show as he makes his directing debut with Heritage Players.  The next several weeks will also include putting the remaining Production Team members in place.  If you’ve ever been interested in being part of a community theater production, now is your chance!  Contact us at with your contact information and area of interest and we’ll get you added to our volunteer list!