Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

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Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

County Seat Theater Company opens 2019 season with "The Great Nursing Home Escape"


February 7, 2019

Provided Photo

Ringleader Albert (Brian Lokken) tells his master plan for breaking them out of the nursing home to residents Edwina (Kris Nelson) and Gino (John Justad).

From the second floor of a locked-down nursing home in the dead of night, they attempt the greatest escape ever. Join this misfit band of "inmates" as they hatch a master plan to escape their dreary nursing home and find something far more important than a baseball game – they find their youth. Nathan Harswick's hilarious comedy "The Great Nursing Home Escape" will be the 32nd season opener for the County Seat Theater Company.

This group of characters will charm you as Brian Lokken (the ringleader), Kris Nelson (the gossip), Colleen Biskey (the grouch), Jill Hoffman (the airhead), John Justad (the Cassanova) and Cathie Anderson (the shy one with a lot of moxie) put their talents to the test despite the interference of Bard Day (the night guard) and Christy Schwoch (the head nurse).

"This show is heartwarming and funny," said co-director Joel Soukkala. "There are moments that have had me in tears with laughter."

As an added bonus this show has a group of young actors that have been working on character development and will be handling the scene changes as their own band of seniors. "Having these young actors as part of the experience is what makes this family slot of our theater season so fun," added Soukkala. "When we mix the generations we learn from each other. We learn to appreciate that individuals of all ages have something to contribute."

Provided Photo

Simon the night guard (Bard Day) is taken out by residents of the nursing home as plans to break out to attend a ball game begin to go awry.

This one act show will entertain audiences of all ages. The theater will be offering a special family rate for this production of only $40. There is also a limited supply of "Pay as you may" seats on both Saturday productions. "Our board feels it is important to offer an opportunity for all individuals to be able take in the arts no matter what their financial situation may be," said Soukkala. To take advantage of these programs patrons should contact the box office.

The County Seat Theater Company will present performances of "The Great Nursing Home Escape" at the Encore Performing Arts Center in Cloquet Feb. 8-10 & 14-17. Performances are at 7:00 p.m. except Sunday performances at 2:00 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 218-878-0071 or online at

Since 2008, the County Seat Theater Company has been located in the Encore Performing Arts Center, at 2035 Hwy 33 South (on Frontage Road) in Cloquet. The theater offers a full season of local performances, as well as youth productions, musical acts and has an art gallery featuring work by local artists.


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