BEMIDJI -- Fourteen young people under the age of 14 will be on stage at the Lake Bemidji State Park Amphitheater on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 9-10, for the Bemidji Community Theater’s production of “Mother Knows Best,” a comedic new take on Mother Goose nursery rhyme characters.
Shows will be at 7 p.m. both nights, and also on Aug. 16 and 17. There is no admission fee, but a state park sticker is required for each vehicle. The play runs 50 minutes to an hour long.
“It’s the youngest cast BCT has had for quite some time,” said Melissa Quinn, who directs the play and also is a parks and trails associate at the park. “We have a few new actors and a few who have been in other shows. Eight of the 14 are completely new to BCT shows.”
Quinn came to Bemidji in 2009 to attend Bemidji State University. She has been involved in Bemidji Community Theater activities since 2013 and joined its board of directors in 2014. This will be her fourth directing play, all collaborations between the BCT and the state park.
“Mother Knows Best” puts Mother Goose characters in a whole new light. Little Miss Muffet wants something besides curds and whey to eat, Jack is suffering from a multiple personality disorder, Georgie Porgie won't stop stealing kisses, Mary's being very contrary, Tom the Piper's son shows up with his stolen pig, and everyone else is upset about something. During a mandatory therapy session, counseled by the Good Fairy, it is discovered that the lyrical land of enchantment is getting a better offer from a big competitor, and they are being swayed. What can Mother do to keep her disgruntled characters from jumping ship?
Benji Schoneck plays the multiple characters of Jack Be Nimble, Jack Spratt, Jack Horner and Jack (of Jack and Jill fame). Twelve-year-old Schoneck has been in all four of Quinn’s summer plays.
“He’s always been particularly gifted with facial expressions,” Quinn said, “so it's kind of fun to see how he gives the different expressions and body movements for each of the four. He’s most definitely a natural.”
If you go:
What: “Mother Knows Best,” children's play.
Where: Lake Bemidji State Park Amphitheater, 3401 State Park Road NE.
When: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Also presented Aug. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m.
Admission: State Park sticker required for each vehicle. No ticket charge for play.