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Community And Seniors Together presents:

Donovan’s Daughters

March 11, 2012
By Daniel Kerwin - Sports Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - If you're looking for something to put you in a bit of an Irish mood over St. Patrick's Day weekend, there will be a play in town that should do just the trick.

From Friday through Sunday there will be a production of the musical comedy "Donovan's Daughters" at the New Ulm Community Center, which will be presented by Community And Seniors Together (CAST), a United Way Agency.

The story channels elements of William Shakespeare's classic story "The Taming of the Shrew," with a setting of late 1880s Seattle, Wash. The plot centers on the Seattle-based Donovan family, which is comprised of Shamus Donovan, his wife Abigail and their five daughters.

Article Photos

Photos by Steve Muscatello
‘Sisters and Specter Ladies Waiting Out in the Rain’
Pictured from left: Miriam Henning, Sara Reckard, Cloe Cedillo, Catherine Miller, Marley Pietz and Mirian Jakel. In the back row are Rita Waibel and Sheryl Patricelli.

Shamus - an Irish fisherman - has excellent odds of successfully marrying off each of his daughters, since in 1880s Seattle there were about 10 men for each woman in the territory.

Several town council members immediately fall for the four younger daughters, but it is a Donovan family tradition that the eldest child must marry first. However, the eldest daughter - Katherine - is a wildcat of a woman and seems unlikely to marry in a timely fashion.

In a woman-starved town like Seattle there has to be someone desperate enough to take on Katherine, and so the men in town pin their hopes on federal marshall Danny O'Brien, whom they give advice as to how to successfully woo and tame the wild Katherine.

Fact Box

If you go...

What: The Community And Seniors Together

production of "Donovan's Daughters."

When: Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, March 18 at 2 p.m.

Where: New Ulm Community Center, 600 N German Street, New Ulm.

Cost: All tickets are $7 general admission and are available at the door or in advance at HyVee and Cash Wise Foods.

Cast and Crew


The Donovans

Shamus - father - Tom Kaehler

Abigail - mother - Deb Kaehler

Katherine - Maria Reising

Bridgette - Marley Pietz

Maeve - Miriam Jakel

Moira - Cloe Cedillo

Alana - Catherine Miller


Patrick - David Henning

Asa Mercer - Nicholas Wellmann

Judd Terwilliger - Steven Bode

Clive Giles - Colton Eckstrand

Danny O'Brien - Matt Rowley


Darien Specter - Craig Austinson

Agatha Specter - Monica Illikman

Specter Ladies

Bethany - Rita Waibel

Claire - Miriam Henning

Lucy - Sheryl Patricelli

Julia - Sara Reckard


Larry - Larry Wellmann

Moe - Vince Branch

Albert - Sam Wellmann

Native Americans

Running Bear - Quintin Branch

Lilly Blossom - Sophi Cedillo

Skulking Fox - Vince Branch

Morning Dove - Emily Miller


Director - Isla Hoffman

Assistant Director - Evie Domeier

Music Director/Pianist - LeAnn Ravenberg

Set & Lights - Phil Davis and Charles Waibel

Lights & Sound - Gabby Budenski

Stage Manager - Kris Wiley and Patricia Gthe

Choreography - Anna Laitinen, Edili Pichardo, Sara Reckard

Costumes - Rita Waibel

Props - Barb Reilly

Signs - Jesse Capparelli

Drums - Bob Apitz

Add to the mix two feuding Native American Duwamish and Suquamish tribes, three dim-witted lumberjacks and a botched kidnap scheme and you have all the elements for one of the most energetic romances the West has ever seen.

True to the nature of every CAST play, the cast and crew of "Donovan's Daughter" is comprised of both the young of age and the young at heart.

"We keep our shows intergenerational and we also try to choose shows that will attract audiences of all ages," said Isla Hoffman, who will be directing the play.

Whereas in most CAST plays about one third of the cast and crew are youths, this time around approximately half of the cast and crew are youths.

"They get great community theater experience doing this," CAST Program Director Kathy Austinson said. "Just think how that lends to them as adults, not hesitating to be involved in community theater."

Many of the people involved in CAST productions are regulars, but CAST always welcomes having new faces get involved. The current production includes eight brand new participants.

CAST's spring play is an important fundraiser for its senior programming. CAST - a non-profit organization - has a membership of around 700 and an annual combined attendance of around 14,000 at CAST events.

"That's the thing that it's so important for people to know, is that it's a fundraiser for our senior programming," Austinson said. "We so appreciate all the hours that these volunteers have put in."

CAST also usually produces two one-act comedies in the fall.

The play will have three performances at the New Ulm Community Center - which now boasts an updated sound system. On Friday night and Saturday night there will be 7 p.m. performances and on Sunday there will be a 2 p.m. matinee. All tickets are $7 general admission and are available at the door or in advance at HyVee or Cash Wise Foods.

The play was made possible by a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council from funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and will be produced by special arrangement with Eldridge Publishing Company.



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