January 2019

January 2019 Mouse River Players Newsletter #3


The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
Show dates
Mar 8-10, 15-17

Be Prepared to laugh!

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

THE STORY: The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher”) assemble for a backer’s audition of their new show at the Westchester estate of a wealthy “angel.” The house is replete with sliding panels, secret passageways and a German maid who is apparently four different people—all of which figure diabolically in the comic mayhem which follows when the infamous “Slasher” makes his reappearance and strikes again—and again. As the composer, lyricist, actors and director prepare their performance, and a blizzard cuts off any possible retreat, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions. However, and with no thanks to the bumbling police inspector who snowshoes in to investigate, the mystery is solved in the nick of time and the “Slasher” unmasked—but not before the audience has been treated to a sidesplitting good time and a generous serving of the author’s biting, satiric and refreshingly irreverent wit.

March 8th-10th and March 15th-17th

Reflection from the Director

Fox on the Fairway

By Krys Zorbaugh, Director

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my directorial debut at Mouse River Players. Directing Fox on the Fairway has been a wild ride from start to finish. Putting together a production over the holidays , with less than a month of rehearsal time, this process truly wasn’t for the faint of heart. There are so many challenges as a director and juggling schedules of busy actors was just one of them. But like with every challenge, I just sort of face it head-on and collaborate with others to creatively resolve anything that comes up. I think “lucky” is the best way to describe how I feel about directing this particular production. From finding the right cast of actors, to finding the perfect crew members – everything just sort of fell into place when I needed it to. To say I feel “lucky” might be an understatement.

I’ve been both on stage and backstage, but for me, there is just something intrinsically magical about being a director. When the opportunity to direct Fox on the Fairway came up, I had to leap at the chance. As a director, I strive to provide a creative safe space for my actors and crew to bring their very best to the stage – and they truly surpassed all my expectations.

I couldn’t have hoped for a better or funnier way to usher in the new year or for a better cast and crew. Everyone gave their all to their respective roles, actors, designers and crew alike, and in many cases – multiple roles. Everyone directly involved with this production has been with me every step of the way. This show is really all theirs. I’m just lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such wonderful people from our community.

John Fishpaw: Backbone of Mouse River Players

John Fishpaw counts his membership at MRP in almost four decades. John’s first show was, ‘Side by Side by Sondheim,’ in the 1979-1980 season. He has been involved in many capacities ever since.

John’s involvement stemmed from his talents at the Minot Air Force Base’s theatre program where he played Sky in ‘Guys and Dolls.’ Since then, he has been on-stage in over 20 productions for MRP.

In addition to on-stage productions, John is a past president and a current member of the MRP Board of Directors. He worked with many notable visionaries such as: Vern Reardon, Marilyn Mattson, Jerry Jorgenson, Carol Shirley, and Arlene Saugstad to name a few.

Probably the board’s major accomplishment was acquiring our current home in the building at 115 1st St. SE. The 1st season was 2004-5 in this location. We opened with no heat and no stage. ‘Prisoner of 2nd Avenue’ was played from the floor.

The summer included cleaning, painting, and “moving all that crap from the basement of our previous location.” Since then, MRP’s volunteers have rebuilt the stage, seating, backstage, sound and lighting booth, and the front foyer. These volunteers have made our theatre financially sound.

John says he has many great memories. “Of course, my favorite memory is meeting my wife, Dr. Kim Krohn, during, ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ (‘80-’81). “She about killed me because I didn’t know my lines, and she would have to cover for me.” However, she did continue to do shows with John anyway.

Music Revue shows were special favorites. Revue traveled all over the state and Canada in the bus performing 50’s, 60’s or country music. “I remember late cold nights unloading heavy equipment, but it was always worth it as I made great friends.”

My most challenging roles became my favorite shows. “My favorite was ‘Godspell’ (’87-’88). I played the role of Jesus. Sandie Karnack directed this show, and I feel that she was able to bring out the ‘essence’ of what the writers had in mind as she personally knew them and was present when they wrote the show. It was a powerful experience.”

Additional challenging but favorite roles include the crazy dentist in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ (’04-’05), and Charlie Brown in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’ (’13-’14). “Charlie Brown was a vocal stretch for me, and I enjoyed working with Kena Davidson as Lucy.”

John’s biggest influence was Sandie Karnack. “She had a great grasp of her craft. She even taught us how to tap dance for a show. Sandie had a knack for finding the right person for the right role. Music Revue was Sandie’s forte as she wrote the show, chose the music, cast it, and inspired us.”

Hats off John! Looking forward to your next performance.