SMSU Briefs for Oct. 11

SMSU Theater opens 50th anniversary season with ‘How to Talk Minnesotan: The Musical’

The opening show of SMSU Theater’s 50th anniversary season is the audience favorite, “How to Talk Minnesotan: The Musical,” by Howard Mohr, a former writer for A Prairie Home Companion and former SMSU faculty member, and based on his popular book of the same name.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19-21 and 26-28, and 2 p.m. Oct. 29. Dinner theater is available for the Oct. 21 and 28 performances. Show tickets are $10 and are available at, with limited tickets available at the door. All performances are in the SMSU Fine Arts Theatre, with free parking available in lot B-1. The performance on Thursday, Oct. 19 is free to SMSU students with a valid student ID.

“How to Talk Minnesotan: The Musical” features Ed and Lucy Humde and their friends up at the Lost Walleye Lodge, presenting a series of lessons and songs on the fine art of living and talking Minnesotan. Even if you’ve lived in Minnesota all your life, you can pick up some handy tips on the positive power of the negative, how to accept food on the third offer, the basic uses of “You bet,” “Whatever,” and “That’s different,” and the perfect recipe via the song “Hotdish Hallelujah.” “How to Talk Minnesotan” features music by Drew Jansen and lyrics by Jansen and Mohr.

“How to Talk Minnesotan” is directed by theater professor Mike Lenz of Cottonwood, who is also the scenic and lighting designer and technical director. Theater professor Sheila Tabaka of Marshall, is the costume designer. Cat Schmidt, a sophomore theater arts major from Gaylord, is the stage manager. Theater professor Nadine Purvis Schmidt of Estelline, S.D., is the producer. The cast and major crew include:

Morgan Benson, a senior theater arts major from Tracy, as Lucy Humde. Benson is also the publicity manager.

Danny McDonnell, a junior theater arts and elementary education double major from Jordan, as Ed Humde

Paul Ragan, a junior history and secondary education major and theater minor from Fosston, as Miller Johnson

Raxson Rax, a sophomore theater arts major from Milan, as Donny

Dean Zinda, a junior culinology & hospitality management double major from Oak Creek, Wis., as Russ Renner

Elizabeth Zoya, a freshman theater arts major from Maplewood, as Darlene Humde

Whittney McCamish, a sophomore history major and theater arts minor from Ellendale, is the assistant stage manager.

Malorie Hudson, a junior early childhood education major and theater arts minor from Rochester, is the house manager.

The dinner theater available on Oct. 21 and 28 is an add-on option for $22 (for a total price of $32 for dinner and the show), and must be booked by the Monday prior. The dinner features a Minnesota-themed menu created and prepared by the SMSU Student Hospitality Opportunities (SHO) Club: fried pickles with variety of sauces, wild rice tater tot hotdish (vegetarian version available), and blueberry tart with vanilla cream. Dinner seating will be 5:45-6:15 p.m. in Individualized Learning 116, the Culinology/Hospitality Restaurant.

“How to Talk Minnesotan: The Musical” is produced by special arrangement with Troupe America Inc., the theater company that originated the production and performed it at SMSU back in 1998. For more information, call the theater office at 507-537-7103.