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.

Meet our Pick-A-Little Ladies

The first of our Pick-A-Little Ladies… these ladies know how to start the gossip wheels moving!

Vanessa Alm (Mrs. Fanny Squires) ~ This is my second Heritage Players production; the first being in conjunction with Pine City High School for the 2012 fall production of “the Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon”. I’ve also made appearances in PCHS “the Wizard of Oz”, “Alice in Wonderland”, and “Footloose”. I may also be found with a needle and thread in my hands, helping with costumes! (: I’ve really enjoyed this production, and I thank all of the people who have made it possible!!!

Jennifer Simonson (Maud Dunlop) ~ Jennifer Simonson makes her stage debut in this production. She has long dreamed of mustering the courage to perform in musical theater. With singing as her first love, Jennifer has performed as a soloist and in various ensembles. She also enjoys caring for animals and making people laugh. Jennifer would like to thank Becky, as well as the entire cast, for their warm acceptance of a newbie into the theater family.

Rebekah Lund (Ethel Toffelmier) ~ This is Rebekah’s first show with Pine City Heritage Players. She’s had a lot of fun preparing for the show and getting to know everyone. Thanks to her family for all their support.

Camille Miller (Alma Hix) ~ This is Camille’s first production with the Pine City Heritage Players.  She is excited to return to the stage, having previously performed in the PCHS production of “Wizard of Oz”.

The Traveling Salesmen

These three characters have one thing in common – they are (or were) a traveling salesman and according to Charlie Cowell, Professor Harold Hill is giving ‘every one of us a black eye’.  Decide for yourself if you love ’em or hate ’em!

Jon Bigelow (Professor Harold Hill) ~ This is Jon’s third play with Heritage Players. You may have seen him as Aarvid in Don’t Hug Me or as Freddy in Noises Off. Jon has a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota. He currently resides in Rush City where he has been working hard to restore his Victorian home with his wife, Rachel.

Sam Johnson (Marcellus Washburn) ~ m Johnson started his theater career as a 10 year old in the Mora community theater production of Charlotte’s Web. It’s been a long time since those days, and he has learned a lot about theater since then. Six years of theater in high school in such plays as Little Shop of Horrors, The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Man of La Mancha, two years of theater in college (mostly just classes), and plays in six separate community theaters in the area have kept him busy. All of this vast theater experience has culminated in Music Man, and he hopes that everyone can have as much fun watching as he has had being in it.

Kyle Peters (Charlie Cowell) ~ You may have previously seen him in Footloose as Reverend Shaw Moore. He recently graduated from Pine City High School and will be attending the University of Minnesota Duluth next year. He hopes to continue to participate in theater while he is there.

Meet the Shinn Family

Our lovable Mayor Shinn and his wife Eulalie along with daughters Zaneeta and Grace provide a little humor to our Music Man family!

Mike Gainor (Mayor George Shinn) ~ Mike was a theater kid back in high school, then took a 20-year hiatus before getting back onstage as Potiphar in 2011’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” He’s thrilled to be part of this great play with such an amazing, talented, hilarious cast (especially performing with stepson David Briski) and wants people to know that he doesn’t shout nearly as often in real life.

Laura Michels (Eulalie MacKechnie Shinn) ~ This is Laura’s first production with the PCHP. She attended college at BYU-Idaho where she majored in Technical Theatre, specializing in scenic art. She has worked backstage and painted for a variety of shows including: Annie, You Can’t Take It With You, Romeo & Juliet, & Something’s Afoot. More recently she has been performing vocally with the Minnesota Mormon Chorale and is the President of the choir. Laura wishes to thank her husband for his encouragement and support during this production.

Emily Elliot (Zaneeta Shinn) ~ Emily is 15 and plays Zaneeta Shinn in the show. Some past roles include Wiley in Wiley and the Hairy Man and Rusty in Footloose. Her favorite part of this show is working alongside such talented mentors. She aspires to become a professional actress, and she would like to thank Becky, her friends, and her family for supporting her.

Lydia Blatz (Gracie Shinn) ~ My name is Lydia Blatz, I’m 11 years old this is my second production. My first production was Schoolhouse Rocks Jr. My talents are softball,volleyball, and singing. I like to go camping with my family and going on bike rides. My favorite song from the show is the Wells Fargo Wagon. I would like to thank my parents for giving me rides to practice.

Meet the Quartet

Nathan Kleppe, Scott Kleppe, Glen Kleppe & Ken Southorn bring together four amazing voices in the Music Man Quartet.

Nathan Kleppe (Jacey Squires) ~ I’m really loving being on stage and singing and Music Man is no exception! I’ve also been in Snow White, Joseph and Footloose! When not singing I’m shooting hoops which is my other love! Thank you for joining me family!

Scott Kleppe (Oliver Hix) ~ This is only my second time on stage!!( I LOVE singing not acting) I am going to be a junior at Concordia University. I’m studying music education with the plan to be a choir director. Singing with my family in church has always been a favorite . A special shout out to my girlfriend Carrie for her love and support!

Glenn Kleppe (Ewart Dunlop) ~ Mostly known as Pastor Kleppe or ‘dad’ to my six children! I love to sing and have been in many shows over the years. Joseph,the most recent, was a summer family favorite in 2011. Singing with two of my sons Scott and Nathan has been a joy!

Ken Southorn (Olin Britt) ~ Ken has a long singing career as a soloist and with The Apollo Male Chorus, South Metro Chorale, Suburbans Quartet, and East Central Chorale in Minnesota. In the Winter months he sings with the West Valley Chorale, the Westernaires and previously with Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix. His last role was Jacob in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.

Meet the Paroo Family

The Paroo Family

Rachel Bigelow (Marian)  ~ Rachel is excited to be performing in her second Heritage Players production, having previously played Belinda in Noises Off last Spring. Rachel has a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota where she studied acting, scenic artistry, and stage management. She currently works as a special education teacher and directs high school plays. She has enjoyed playing opposite her husband, Jon, (for the first time ever!) and thanks you for supporting Heritage Players.

Gavin Schueller (Winthrop) ~ The Heritage Players welcomes Gavin for his first on stage role in a community theater production. Although he is no stranger to volunteering with this group! Gavin has spent many hours helping with stage crew work and set construction. He previously performed in “School House Rock Live, Jr”, the elementary musical earlier this spring. His favorite part about this show… having Rachel play his big sister “Marian”.

Joni Nelson (Mrs. Paroo) ~ Joni’s previous plays with Heritage Players are “She Loves Me” and “Quilters.” She has been playing piano and singing for what seems like forever. Including doing music ministry and giving piano and voice lessons. She has enjoyed doing this play with two of her awesome children and she would love to thank the rest of my family for painfully listening to her experimentation with an Irish accent.

Be part of your Community Theater

As of today we have just one month remaining before our summer production of “The Music Man” hits the stage for opening night in Pine City.  We’ve been in rehearsals now for about three weeks and we’ve come a long way in just three weeks.  But the real work begins now…

As your local community theater, we want to continue providing great theater opportunities for the area.  But launching a full scale musical is a lot more work than just the two hour show that we all enjoy at the end of the process.  We’ve got sets to build, costume to find (fit to the cast, or sew something new), posters to distribute, ad space to sell, photos to take, program to design, t-shirts to order, and the list goes on…

Don’t get me wrong… WE LOVE THIS… it’s the reason that we do what we do each year.  Even with a cast of 40 people there is room for even more volunteers!

So… consider this your invitation to BECOME PART OF THE COMMUNITY… and join the Heritage Players for a summer of adventure… behind the scenes in creating Music Man!  We aren’t asking for a lifelong commitment, an hour or two of your time makes all the difference in the world.

Your first opportunity?   Here are a few ideas:

  • Distribute and hang posters at locations around the community.
  • Set construction begins this weekend:  Friday, July 22 from Noon – 8:00 PM or Saturday, July 23rd from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM.   (No skills in building or painting?  We’d love a few volunteers to organize a potluck meal or snacks on Friday or Saturday)
  • We will be looking for box office ticket sale crew, ushers, concessions, lobby decor team, etc for the run of the show as well.

If you are interested in helping out in any way, simply use the contact us form on this website or email me at

Look forward to hearing from you!

Becky Schueller, Heritage Players President


Music Man Auditions

MusicMan Auditions

The first evening of auditions went well, but we’ve still got a lot of room for more community members to join us.  We selected “The Music Man” as our show this year in order to encourage a diverse group of actors to hit the stage.  Young or old… new to the stage or veteran actors… there truly is room for any talent level to be a part of this show.

We’ll be back in the 7th Grade Commons tonight from 6:00 – 8:00 PM looking for YOU to join us for auditions!

A few questions that we’ve been asked this week:

Q: When does the show perform?

A: We are planning to have 4 performances: August 18 – August 21.  Three evening performances and a matinee on Sunday afternoon.

Q: What does the rehearsal schedule look like?

A: We’ll be rehearsing 3 nights each week.  It will vary a bit with a few Sundays OR a few Mondays, plus every Tuesday and every Thursday.  We won’t start until June 27th.  The first few weeks will be learning music, and we’ll try to group songs for the same actor into as few nights as possible.  The same will be done as blocking starts.  August rehearsals will be for the FULL cast.

If you have more questions… email us:

Hope you’ll consider joining us!