You can see the joy and the excitement among the actors as the Elk Point Regional Allied Arts theatre troupe rehearses In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other People (Who Should Be Shot!).

The play will run for six shows starting November 28 (please see their ad on this page).

The Christmas dinner theatre production is an annual highlight in Elk Point, and draws audiences from great distances. Last year, Covid restrictions made it impossible to mount a production.

“It’s been a long time,” said Udo Mueller, one of the actors. “Everybody has a pent-up urge to get back and do stuff on stage.”

Mueller says rusty acting chops haven’t been an issue—as amateurs, the company has always come into the process “cold” and developed their shows over several weeks.

“It’s a lot of fun because I guess we operate ‘seasonally’ is the word. You do a couple of productions a year and start fresh each time.

“I think we’re a little bit further ahead than where we thought we might be at this point. It’s actually very promising and encouraging,” he said.

The Covid experience has brought home the importance of art and entertainment, for the performers as well as for audiences. Mueller says the choice of a comedy is perfect, and he invites people to come out and enjoy themselves.

“I think it’s important just for socializing, to get out of the house that you’ve been stuck in for the last year and a half and to get some belly laughs. So to look at life in a different way and not be quite so serious, you know, to have fun,” he said.

The cast is taking that approach. Mueller says it’s too bad there’s no out-take reel so audiences can see how much fun the players are having in rehearsal.

“It is a funny play, and it’s a lot of fun—and funny!—at rehearsals,” he said.

Tickets are on sale now. In addition to four dinner theatre presentations, there is a matinee brunch show and a family night option with no meal served.

The company is onstage twice a week as rehearsals continue. JEFF GAYE