Ready to go (copy)

In 2016, Joan Christiansen is costume-ready for her performance in “Room to Act.”

Dinner theater returns to the stage of Backus Community Center on April 27 when the center’s own Borealis Bards theater troupe presents the fifth annual “Room to Act.”

Once again, guests will be served a gourmet dinner followed by a wide-ranging selection of short plays and monologues, said a press release.

After a meal of chicken, wild rice, and vegetables on the main stage, the audience will visit side stages for dramatic selections that range in location from a front porch in the deep south to an English country home. The audience then gathers again on the main stage for dessert and more theater.

“The selections this year range from high comedy to parody to the sentimental,” said Beth Lowthian, a co-founder of the Bards. “We intend that everyone in the audience will find a favorite.”

Lowthian, for example, will be teaming up with Tracy Lunser in a comedic take on bureaucracy at its worst. Other pieces feature faded southern belles searching for love, a young couple in information overload, and a troupe of bad actors in a worse play.

“Past audiences loved the quick pace and changing stages,” Lowthian said. “The different casts rehearse separately then come together to make an even flow for the evening. It’s a fun process, and the fun is contagious.”

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6 p.m. A cash bar will be available. The $40 ticket includes dinner, dessert, and the show, and is available at Backus or City Drug. Seating is limited for this event. Audience members are encouraged to buy tickets in advance rather than wait to purchase at the door, said the release.

For more information, contact Backus Community Center, 900 5th Street at (218) 285-7225 or online at

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