Production Information
Production Information
Production Dates: June 22-25, 27-29, 2011

Based on the 1968 film, Mel Brooks’s musical The Producers is a laugh-out-loud, outrageous, crowd-pleasing farce that has been a smash hit since its 2001 debut. Fading Broadway producer Max Bialystock is desperate to get to the top of his profession again, and he finds an unlikely ally in mousy accountant Leo Bloom, who hypothesizes that one could make far more money with a flop of a show than with a hit. Together, the two set out to produce the worst musical ever to hit Broadway, with the worst script, the worst director, and the worst cast they can find; the catch is that they will raise two million dollars to finance the show, and they plan to take the money and head to Rio when the show inevitably closes after just one performance. Too bad for Bialystock & Bloom that, against all odds, the show is a total hit! With dozens of big and bit parts alike, no shortage of show stopping musical numbers, and Brooks’ signature humor keeping audiences in stitches, The Producers is definitely far from a flop.

Director's Notes
Director's Notes

Nearly a year ago when Rob Burkel brought the idea of bringing The Producers to our stage, my first reaction was not exactly enthusiastic. But then I watched the DVD with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick again; I began to see the show in a more positive light, although I still wasn’t convinced. Rob brought the subject up again and I said I’d think about it some more. I finally called him back and said that I would direct if he would play Max and be my co-director. He agreed, although later he decided that being an “assistant director” might be more likely, since Max is on stage for most of the show!

This show has been a dream to work on—the cast is dedicated and so truly talented. When Brad Cook showed up after another cast member became ill, I knew Someone Up There likes me! The personalities throughout the cast are enchanting and such fun to work with. They respond to direction, plus they are just fun folks to hang around with. What a tremendous experience this has been.

Another joy associated with this production has been watching Rob Burkel’s son, Joseph, during rehearsals. Joe was born with Down syndrome and has limited speech. But that didn’t stop him from laughing, clapping, and shouting out “Bloom!” every so often during rehearsals. He adores this show and watching his talented father perform one of his favorite roles clearly meets his approval.

Community theater brings out so much good in those associated with it. Yes, the hours are long and the pay is lousy, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about bringing the very best out in people, gathering together and forming a community within a community, and bringing all that goodness back to the audience. Thanks to all who made this such a bright spot in my life—love to you all.

Jane Anderson
Rob Burkel
Assistant Director
Sherry Knott
Vocal Director
Phil McKenzie
Orchestra Director
Show Program
Show Gallery
Show Gallery
Chelsea Beste
Chelsea recently graduated from LaFayette High School in Red Lake Falls. Her plans for the fall are to attend Northland College in East Grand Forks, majoring in Child Development. While in high school, Chelsea performed in many plays, including Rumors, Daddy’s Girl, and Wild Dust. Chelsea was also involved in choir and sang many solos. This is Chelsea’s first musical— and we hope it is the first of many with us! She would like to thank her parents and friends for supporting her in all her endeavors.
Isaiah Burkel
Isaiah will begin his high school career next fall when he begins 9th grade. He has been with TRFCAC for much of his life, having performed in past shows such as A Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Free To Be You and Me…, The Velveteen Rabbit, 101 Dalmatians, Annie Get Your Gun, and Kiss Me, Kate. He is “thrilled to be with such a great cast and crew and such amazing directors” (one of which is his dad!).
Rob Burkel
Max Bialystock
If you’ve been to past TRFCAC shows, you are probably well aware of Rob’s many talents. He is a local audience favorite and has been involved with many TRFCAC shows, including Anything Goes, House of Blue Leaves, Greater Tuna, as well as many others. Rob is happy to be on this stage once again and especially in this show. He has been involved with theater since 1986 (when he was young and had hair) as an actor and director. He would like to give a special thanks to his wife, Shelly. “Without her taking care of everyone at home, I could not be here tonight.”
Michele Christensen
Michele has been a regular on our stage and an audience favorite at TRFCAC for many years. You may remember her from The House of Blue Leave, Leaving Iowa, Kiss Me, Kate, Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun, to name a few. Michele says, “I have enjoyed every show and the people I work with.” Thanks, Michele!
Alex Conwell
Alex has been with the TRFCAC for five years, which is rather remarkable, since he’ll be a high school freshman this coming fall. You may remember Alex from his roles as Kurt in The Sound of Music and Young Patrick in Mame. He’s also been involved in Anything Goes and Kiss Me, Kate. We hope to see him on stage for many more years.
Brad Cook
Roger Debris
Brad spent years working as an actor in the Seattle area and we are tickled to have him here with us. This is Brad’s second season with TRFCAC. Last year he played the role of Frederick Graham (the director) in Kiss Me, Kate. This year, Brad plays the role of Roger Debris (the director) in The Producers. He is also involved in the last show of this season, The Foreigner. He’s the director. There seems to be a pattern here…
Amanda Darchuk
This is Amanda’s second season with TRFCAC. She appeared last year in the ensemble for Kiss Me, Kate. Prior to that, she performed in productions of A Christmas Carol, I Remember Mama, and Madwoman of Challiot. Amanda is married to Jeff and they reside in Thief River Falls. She says, “This is one of my all-time favorite shows, and I hope you have as good a time watching it as I’ve had with this great group of people.” Oh-we-wa-wow-wow-wow!
Jeff Darchuk
Leo Bloom
This is Jeff’s second season with TRFCAC. You may remember him from last season’s Kiss Me, Kate when he portrayed one of the hilarious gangsters. Jeff works as a software engineer at Digi-Key, and is married to the lovely Amanda. Jeff offers, “Hope you have a wonderful time with us.”
Alexis Hanson
Alexis is back for her 2nd year with TRFCAC. She was involved in Kiss Me, Kate last season, and fell in love with musical theater. Alexis has also been involved in theater in Red Lake Falls and Oklee, where she has performed in Winnie the Pooh, The Return of the Glass Slippers, Aladdin, The Crenshaw Family Reunion, among many other shows. She comments: “It’s wonderful to be back! Jane and Rob are awesome, and so is the cast and crew. I hope all of you have as great a time watching as we do performing.”
Andrew Hanson
Carmen Ghia
This is Andrew’s first season with TRFCAC. While a student at Concordia College, he played the role of Frank in [Sic] and was in the ensemble in Wonderful Town. He has also been an assistant director of plays at Win-E-Mac High School for the past 3 years, where he also teaches English. As much as he has enjoyed that, Andrew sorely missed being on stage himself, which brought him to audition for The Producers, and has loved every minute of it! We are so glad you auditioned, Andrew—welcome!
Carla Hruby
We are so fortunate to have Carla join us this season for her first year with TRFCAC! Previously, she was involved in choir and musicals in high school and college, including roles in Prisoner of Second Avenue, and A Company of Wayward Saints (the Tart!). Carla has also been a teacher for the deaf for 28 years. She says, “I am excited to be a part of this musical and to be working with a great cast and crew. Raising 3 boys has taught me how quickly life can go by and how important it is to take time for things enjoyed.”
Sherry Knott
Sherry serves as Music Director at St. Joseph’s Church in Red Lake Falls. She also teaches voice and piano in that community. She has been involved in many TRFCAC productions, including Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun (as Annie), The Odd Couple, Kiss Me, Kate, and Talking With. Sherry would like to say: “I am thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful cast. We have top-notch directors who have given their all to ensure that The Producers will be the best show ever!”
Larissa Krantz
This is Larissa’s first year with TRFCAC. Prior to this, she has been very active in the Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre since 2nd grade. She has also been involved in her school’s spring and contest plays. A recent high school graduate, Larissa’s plans for the future include attending Moorhead State in the fall for Musical Theater and Music Industry. She is very excited for you all to see the show—she’s also interested to see what her family thinks of her costumes!
Mohammad Munir
This is Mohammad’s first acting experience and we are so glad he decided to audition! Mohammad , who grew up in Bangladesh, works at Digi-Key as a software engineer. He says he’s always wanted to act and recently thinks he’s found the secret to acting: “You don’t act in acting.” Mohammad would like to thank the cast and crew of The Producers for making rehearsals fun and inspiring. He plans to continue in the theater and encourages everyone who is interested to “give it a try.”
Scott Pream
Frank Liebkin
During the day, Scott works in Material Control at Arctic Cat. But whenever the chance arises, you will find Scott in the theater during the evening hours. You may recognize him from many previous TRFCAC productions, the most recent as the gangster Paulie in last season’s Kiss Me, Kate and the father in Leaving Iowa. Scott would like to thank Trever for the boots, Ray for the gun, Dr. Dave, Joyce and Sanford Health for the casts! “Thanks to my fellow actors for singing Happy Birthday to me during practice and my daughter Tyla for getting me involved in theater.”
Aaron Riesen
Many of you may recognize Aaron from last season’s TRFCAC production of Leaving Iowa, when he played the leading role of Don. Aaron plays many roles in The Producers, including Kevin the Costumer, Jason Greene, and The Judge. When not at work at Hunter’s Outlet, Aaron enjoys the great outdoors, Mexican food, and getting caught in the rain.
Isabella Stromberg
Izzy is a junior at Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls. She is involved in many activities, including choir, orchestra, and chamber orchestra. Izzy was a cast member of the recent LHS production of Sweeney Todd. Her future plans include attending the University of Minnesota where she will major in theater. “Thanks to the audience for coming—we worked really hard!”
Steven Yeats
This is Steven’s second summer with TRFCAC. Last year, Steven played the part of Gremio in Kiss Me, Kate. He had so much fun, he had to come back for more! Steven works as a media production designer at DigiKey. “Thank you so much for coming to see our show, and if you have even the slightest desire to be on stage, I highly recommend the TRFCAC.” We couldn’t agree more.

Cast list


Director: Jane Anderson

Assistant Director: Rob Burkel

Vocal Director: Sherry Knott

Orchestra Director: Phil McKenzie

Costume Designer/Wardrobe Mistress: Andrea Thibert

Choreography: Amy Delap, Jane Anderson, Rob Burkel

Lighting/Sound Designer: John Thibert

Lighting Operator: Max Anderson

Set Designer/Construction: Don Schindler

Accompanist: Mandi Rodahl

Stage Manager: Steven Knott

Set Painting: Karen Jenson Members of the Cast & Crew

Back Stage Help: Kathy Olson, Wanda Nelson

Production Assistant: Emma Anderson

Publicity/Box Office/Gala Night: Jean Larson

Orchestra Members
Orchestra Members

Conductor & OrchXtra: Philip McKenzie

Piano: Mandi Rodahl

Franz Liebkind: Scott Pream

Bass: Alice Conwell

Woodwinds: Kristin Buckley & Lacie Hovland

Percussion: Aaron Fagerstrom

Special Thanks
Special Thanks

Kezar Music
- for awesome ticket selling

- for hosting the TRFCAC, especially the General Maintenance Dept.

The Beito Foundation
- for their generous continued support

Dr. Anne Temte & John Davis
- for the German tank design & construction

Marie Weets & Jean Larson
- for poster & insert design

SuperOne, Hugo’s & Northwest Beverage
- for opening night gala treats

Hardware Hank and Paint & Glass
- for providing paint

United Methodist & St. Bernard’s Churches
- for providing rehearsal space

Penn. Co. Historical Society, Hillcrest Nursing Home, Iris Bergren, Kay Burkel,

Mike Carpenter, Clinton Castle, Doris Finstad, Mitch Hoard, Desirae Iverson,

Bloyd & Shirley Ness, Orlan & Clarice Stolaas, Kathy Olson, Mildred Ost,

Sharon & Ken Wagner
- for providing props

Our Advertisers
- for believing in us. Please thank & support our supporters!

You, the Audience
- for attending & giving us a reason to be here!


Recognition Updated For Each Production

Producer $500+

Brady, Martz & Associates, P.C.

Dr. Eloise-Marie Clark

Mark & Jean Larson

In Memory of Margaret Saetre

by William Saetre

Noper Charitable Trust

Panasonic Industrial Company

Director $250+

Joseph Haj Roger & JoAnn Thibert

Star $100+

Brodin Comfort Systems M

Dr. Earl & Melvine Dagg

Dr. Diane Drake

Jon & Celia Nelson

Northern Motors

Roger & Bernice Skime

Jim & Jan Strandlie

Ole & Ruth Tweet

LoriAnn Walseth

Crew $50+

Dr. Tom & Judy Dimich

Elling & Joyce Iverson

Jodie Torkelson

Patron $20+

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