‘Hormel Girls’ grace Lyric Arts Main Street Stage

How’d you like to read a play before it hit the stage? Imagine how actors and actresses will interpret the lines, predict characters’ use of props and movement – even facial expression and prognosticate about the treatment and outcome of issues depicted in the play …

Though Jay Hormel founded the Hormel Girls to create jobs for women veterans of World War II, the troupe eventually consisted of just professional performers. Still, they carried on the regimented attitude of their military predecessors.  Lyric Arts Main Street Stage presents “Hormel Girls” Oct. 11-27. Photo courtesy of MinnPost

Though Jay Hormel founded the Hormel Girls to create jobs for women veterans of World War II, the troupe eventually consisted of just professional performers. Still, they carried on the regimented attitude of their military predecessors. Lyric Arts Main Street Stage presents “Hormel Girls” Oct. 11-27.
Photo courtesy of MinnPost

Well, with Lyric Arts’ Oct. 20 performance of “Hormel Girls,” you could do just that.

For the second time this season, Lyric Arts, in partnership with the Anoka County Library, offers a Page & Stage program to go along with a play currently on stage.

“By discussing the play before you see it, you get a chance to think about how you think characters are going to be portrayed, and a chance to talk about what you think the issues and conflicts in the play are. It is like a book club, with the opportunity to see the script come to life,” said Jill Smith, adult services manager for the Anoka County Library.

The Page & Stage program offers a unique experience for theater and book lovers to dig deeper into a Lyric Arts production by reading a play, discussing and interpreting it and then seeing the play performed on Main Street Stage.

Thanks to the Legacy Amendment and Lyric Arts’ partnership with Anoka County Library, the program is free. However, it is open to just 40 participants, each of whom receive a copy of the play’s script and a ticket to the 2 p.m. Oct. 20 performance of “Hormel Girls.”

Participants must register in advance and will meet for a facilitated group discussion at noon on Oct. 20.

After the curtain closes that afternoon, participants are invited to stay for a 30-minute question/answer session with the cast and director of the show.

Discussions will be facilitated by Cassandra Proball, education director at Lyric Arts, and two of the original “Hormel Girls” will be in attendance: Carolyn Eklin and Shirley Santoro.

“The post show discussion is great because you get insight into what the actors and actresses were thinking as they created their characters, and you get to hear the ‘whys’ straight from the director,” said Smith.

Smith said that the Page & Stage program is meant for adults and “we generally limit to ages 15 and up, because contributing to the discussion is a vital part of the program,” she said.

Participants have asked very thoughtful questions and “really discussed the meaty issues in previous selections,” Smith said.

To reserve a spot in the “Hormel Girls” Page & Stage program and order a script, contact Lyric Arts Education Director Cassandra Proball at 763-433-2510, ext. 106 or email her at cassandra@lyricarts.org.

Sue Austreng is at
sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

‘Hormel Girls’ takes the stage

The Hormel girls are a true treasure of Minnesota history, a regiment of 60 gorgeous women who made their way across the nation to sell Hormel products with a song and a smile. Many consider them one of our nation’s first symbols of the independent woman.

The “Hormel Girls” musical follows the adventures of J.C. Hormel’s all-girl sales squad as they charm their way across the country, evolving from a “G.I. Jill Drum and Bugle Corps” to the glamorous stars of a nationally-syndicated radio show.

“Hormel Girls” takes Lyric Arts Main Street Stage Oct. 11-27 and is directed by resident director Scott Ford.

Curtain opens at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 11, 12, 18, 25 and 26; 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 and 24; and 2 p.m. on Oct. 13, 19, 20 and 27.

Tickets range from  $17 to $26 and are available online (at www.LyricArts.org) or by calling the box office at 763-422-1838.

 
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