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James and the Giant Peach Presented by SMSU Theatre

Published Thursday, February 05, 2015

The SMSU Theatre Program will present Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach as its first spring semester production.

Public performances will be Feb. 19-21 and Feb. 27-28 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m. Dinner theatre will be offered on Saturday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, February 28. All performances are in the SMSU Fine Arts Theatre.

Based on the beloved children's story by British author Roald Dahl, this production will use puppetry and the magic of theatre to tell the delightful story of nine-year-old James Henry Trotter. Come witness the excitement as James escapes his dreary home life via a miraculous giant peach that carries him and several larger-than-life insect friends on a great adventure across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City.

The show is best suited for ages 7 and up. Younger audience members are welcome, though they might find some parts scary!

James and the Giant Peach is directed and costumed by Sheila Tabaka, professor of theatre, who is also the producer. Leazah Behrens, assistant professor of theatre, is the scenic and lighting designer, as well as the technical director. Tyler Hruby, a junior Justice Administration major with a Theatre minor from Hutchinson, Minn., is the sound designer. Anna Polak, a freshman Education and Theatre Arts major from Redwood Falls, Minn., is the stage manager.

The cast and crew includes:

  • Thomas Knudson, a sophomore Theatre Arts major from Tracy, Minn., as James.
  • Mark Bosveld, a community member from Marshall, Minn., as Old Green Grasshopper.
  • Jacob Fager, a History major from Mankato, Minn., as Earthworm.
  • Jen Keohen, a Marketing and Theatre double major from Shakopee, Minn., as Centipede.
  • Emily Mortier, a freshman Elementary Education major from Marshall, Minn., as Miss Spider.
  • Sydney Stewart, a freshman Marketing major from Rockford, Ill., as Miss Ladybird.
  • Emilie Baartman, a sophomore Theatre Arts and Broadcast and Digital Media double major from Brandon, S.D., as a puppeteer.
  • Joel Gay, a sophomore Theatre Arts major and Creative Writing minor from Lake City, Minn., as a puppeteer.
  • Kyle Havlicek, a senior Theatre Arts major and Creative Writing minor from Redwood Falls, Minn., as a puppeteer.
  • Turi Jystad, a junior Theatre Arts and Communication Studies double major from Zumbrota, Minn., as a puppeteer.
  • Alexander Pikala, a senior Management major with a Theatre minor from Columbia Heights, Minn., as a puppeteer
  • Sara Marie Mills, a SMSU Theatre Arts and Communication Studies alum from Thief River Falls, Minn., as Aunt Sponge and a puppeteer
  • Kayla Lindberg, a community member from Marshall, Minn., as Aunt Spiker and a puppeteer
  • Michael Dumbrowski, a freshman Psychology major from Portland, Ore., is the Assistant Stage Manager.
  • Theresa Ehnert, a senior Biology major from New York Mills, Minn., is the Assistant Stage Manager.
  • Payton Shively, a sophomore Theatre Arts major from Council Bluffs, Iowa, is the House Manager.
  • Anna Gwendolyn Eben, a senior Theatre Arts major from George, Iowa, is the props master and wardrobe supervisor.

The SMSU Student Hospitality Opportunities (SHO) Club is hosting dinner theatre on Saturday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 28. The menu consists of cabbage minestrone soup, pork with peach glaze and spicy habanero chutney (or, the vegetarian option of crispy cauliflower steak with white wine peach and onion sauce), cornbread dressing, lemon green beans with almonds and oven dried tomatoes, and dark chocolate cake with mocha mousse layers, New York-style vanilla ice-cream and raspberry coulis topped with a chocolate stencil.

Dinner theatre tickets require a minimum of five days advance notice. Dinner seating is from 5:45-6:15 p.m. in the Culinology Restaurant located in IL 117.

Tickets are available at and at the door. Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for students (k-college) with ID. Dinner is optional and tickets are $22 per person. The performance on Thursday, Feb. 19, is free to SMSU students with a valid student ID.

For more information, please call the Theatre office at (507) 537-7103.

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