More than 250 people attended the one and only performance of “The Spirit of Appleton” held on Saturday, May 14, 2016. The play began at the bathhouse in Appleton and moved to Riverside Park, Main Street and eventually to the ‘52 Wing for a rousing finale. The play was billed as a western Minnesota musical adventure following a young Appletonian as he traveled through time and raced against the clock to save his love and his town from a scheming villain. The Spirit of Appleton was produced, written, and directed by Andrew Gaylord and Ashley Hanson of PlaceBase Productions.
The play featured four original songs and choreography performed by dozens of local actors from Appleton, Morris, Ortonville, Watson, Montevideo and Granite Falls. Local Appleton area actors included Chad Syltie, Andrew and Hope Schmidt, Brian Wojtalewicz, Paul Raymo, Dale Lien, Rachel Bakeberg, Carol Rogier, Sue Gilbert, Joan and Barry Fust, Jim and Sydney Massee, Ketura and Daniel Isidor, Katrina and Amaya Henry, LouEllen and Olivia Ruether, Whitney Perseke, Anika Fernholz, Pam Hamann, Ashley Clemen, Vanessa, Autumn, Noah, Faith and Chayla Meyer, Barb, Braden, Chloe and Logan Kranz and Madison Daly.
The DVD of the play itself runs for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. A bonus 8 minute program will feature actors talking about taking part in the unusual play which was based on actual events and characters in Appleton’s history. The DVD was recorded, edited and produced by Kristofor Gieske on behalf of PlaceBase Productions. Pioneer Public Television and the Appleton Chamber of Commerce were community partners in sponsoring the play.
This activity is being made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the SW MN Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Additional funding for the play was provided by Pioneer Public Television and the Appleton Community Foundation. DVDs of The Spirit of Appleton will be available for purchase.