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'Swiss Family Robinson' musical to christen renovated Nary School stage

The Beltrami Area Theater Club will perform “Swiss Family Robinson” at the newly renovated Nary School this weekend, with 24 cast members on stage in the popular musical.

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Beltrami Area Theater Club members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “Swiss Family Robinson” to open May 13 at the newly renovated Nary School.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI — The Beltrami Area Theater Club will perform “Swiss Family Robinson” at the newly renovated Nary School this weekend, with 24 cast members on stage in the popular musical.

“I know everybody there is pretty excited to have a premiere play going on,” said Kate Riggs, the play’s director. “It’s kind of a kickoff to have the building functional again. We’ve had to get the lighting and sound back up to speed. It’s still a work in progress.”

Performances will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 15.

Tickets are $13 for adults and $6 for children, and may be purchased from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday at Your QFM Radio, 206 Fifth St. NW, or from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at SND Appliances, 3481 Laurel Drive NW.

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Beltrami Area Theater Club members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “Swiss Family Robinson” to open May 13 at the newly renovated Nary School.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Just when the Robinson family is settling in on their island, they discover pirates have arrived there, too, and they're holding an innocent girl captive. Will the family be able to save her? And will they ever find their true home?

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“There’s a storm brewing, Mr. Robinson. I can feel it in my bones.” Those fateful words would alter the course of the Robinson family for the rest of their lives.

The story begins in Europe in the early 1800s with the Captain (Ben Caron) and his crew getting ready to set sail on the open seas and help with establishing a new colony.

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Beltrami Area Theater Club members Steven Scherling as “Father Robinson” and Ben Caron as “Capitan” rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “Swiss Family Robinson” to open May 13 at the newly renovated Nary School.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Father Robinson (Steven Scherling) and his family are passengers aboard the ship when a storm rises up causing the ship to crash among some rocks. The crew and other passengers abandon the Robinsons and the ship in their mad dash to save themselves from the violent storm.

When morning comes and the storm breaks, the Robinsons see an island not far away.

Firstborn son Fritz (Anakin Riggs) and youngest son Jack (Truett Riggs) help Father and middle son Ernest (Noah St. Peter) fashion barrels into a raft, carrying the whole family safely to shore.

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Beltrami Area Theater Club members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “Swiss Family Robinson” to open May 13 at the newly renovated Nary School.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Francis (Rosa Scherling), the youngest, is very excited to explore their surroundings and makes friends with the native wildlife found on the island. While Mother Robinson (Joy Paavola) gathers resources from the island to make meals and turn the family's treehouse into a temporary home.

All is going well until Fritz and Ernest discover a fierce pirate captain (Mara Pope) and his band of pirates who have been marooned on the island after a storm.

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Beltrami Area Theater Club members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “Swiss Family Robinson” to open May 13 at the newly renovated Nary School.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

The pirates have with them an English girl, Emily Montrose (Rebekah Helweg), whom they have kidnapped and are holding for ransom after attacking her parent's ship.

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The Robinsons rescue the girl and capture the band of pirates. Emily can only hope that one day she will see her mother (Bethany Fowler) again.

One morning, a ship is seen in the distance. Is it Emily’s family searching for her? Is it more pirates in disguise? Will the Swiss Family Robinsons finally be rescued? Will they find their true home? You’ll have to come to the show to find out.

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Beltrami Area Theater Club members rehearse a scene from their upcoming production of “Swiss Family Robinson” to open May 13 at the newly renovated Nary School.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

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