Profile: Richfield Lutheran Church Community Theaterby Molly Bloom, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — They are a lawyer, a social worker, and a sound equipment salesman by day. But during their evenings spent at the Richfield Lutheran Church Community Theatre, they are better known as a set painter, a director and a sound engineer, respectively.
The all-volunteer cast and crew of this production of "The Sound of Music" are not here to launch a career or gain fame or fortune. Simply, they are here to put on a show.
Nine years ago, Stuart Boehr, the church's organist, put together a small production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" to have a fun outlet for the music staff and a few other church members.
Since then, the productions have grown to have a cast and crew of 75 -- and everyone who auditions gets a part. But the size has not made the community any less close-knit.
"Some of the community theater in the area is so slick that it feels separate from you," says theater manager Bev Borneman. "Ours feels like it's really part of the community, and comes from the community. We've got a lot of heart."
Ranging in age from 7 to 70, many in the cast and crew have been involved with the theater for years, and the new additions are quick to sign on for the next production.
The director Lisa Borneman, Bev's daughter, is careful to make sure that people are enjoying the time they spend working on the production.
"From the beginning I say to them, 'If you're not having fun, come see me. Because that's what it's all about,'" says Lisa Borneman.
Lisa and Bev Borneman, and the organist Stuart Boehr, start prepping for the production in January. After auditions in May, every summer evening is spent rehearsing for one weekend of performances in August, which are usually sold out.
As the theater moves into its 10th season, its future is uncertain. Stuart Boehr, the theater's founder, has taken a job up north and will no longer be around to act as music director.
Bev and Lisa Borneman say it will be difficult to replace Boehr. But they do say that, no matter what, the show will go on.