shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

News Highlights

Page address:

Highland Summer Theatre celebrates its 45th season

Highland Summer Theatre kicks off its 45th season next week with “Almost, Maine.” The comedy opens Wednesday, May 25, in Andreas Theatre.

By Jane Laskey, Free Press Correspondent [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 5/20/2011]

Professional actors and Minnesota State Mankato students have arrived on campus for another season of Highland Summer Theatre. Before they even get there, they’ve memorized their scripts so the actors can jump right into their parts.

That’s because the summer stock season is a fast-paced process — one that Artistic Director Paul Hustoles has enjoyed for 25 years.

Highland Summer Theatre kicks off its 45th season next week with “Almost, Maine.” The comedy opens Wednesday in Andreas Theatre.

The plays are traditionally lighter fare and include two Highland premieres and two popular favorites. The 2011 season includes “Almost Maine,” “Clue: The Musical,” “The Owl and the Pussycat” and “Annie.”

In "Almost, Maine," playwright John Cariani explores the mysteries of the human heart. The play is set in the tiny town of Almost, Maine, where nine couples fall in and out of love on a cold winter night.

Hustoles will direct a cast of four, which includes three Minnesota State Mankato students, Alex Coe, Jessica Dougherty and Megan Volkman-Wilson, and one alumnus, Mathias Becker.

The audience decides in “Clue: The Musical.” The second show in the Highland season is another premiere for the theater, and it opens June 8 in Ted Paul Theatre.

Some audience members will remember the original Parker Brothers board game; the current generation may play the popular whodunit on their Xbox or iPod.

The script has over 100 possible endings. Audience members draw cards from a giant clue deck to determine how the play will end.

“Clue” is directed by Michael James with book by Peter Depietro, music by Galen Blum, Wayne Barker and Vinne Martucci and lyrics by Tom Chiodo.

Next up is “The Owl and the Pussycat” -- the theater’s third production of the romantic comedy, also featured in its 1968 and 1970 seasons.

It is directed by Paul Finocchiarro and opens June 21 in Andreas Theatre.

This will be the third time Highland Summer Theatre produces “Annie.” It will be the big production number of the season, and Hustoles plans to pull out all the stops.

"Annie" the book is by Thomas Meehan, music is by Charles Strouse and lyrics are by Martin Charnin. It opens July 7 in Ted Paul Theatre.

For the complete Free Press story, read Friday's print edition, or go to

For more Free Press news click on

For a Theatre & Dance Department news release about the summer season and how to get tickets, click on

Email this article | Permanent link | Topstories news | Topstories news archives