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‘Pop-up Plays’ provide glimpse into 1930s Lanesboro

September 17 - September 25

History will come alive in Lanesboro once again this fall. History Alive Lanesboro, a local non-profit theater organization, will present a new “Pop-up Play” during two weekends in September, Sept. 17 and 18 and Sept. 24 and 25. The show, “Roma, Norskies and Bumtown 1935,” will be presented twice each day, the first production at 1 p.m. and the second at 3 p.m. Each will begin at the Sons of Norway Lodge, located at 200 South Parkway, in Lanesboro.

This year’s production will take audiences to a variety of historic scenes that were once part of 1930s Lanesboro. Experience a local Roma, or gypsy camp, from the perspective of an elder’s memories. Watch a lively local Norwegian play from 1935. Meet Cyclone Johnson, a local “character,” as well as Cecil Ward, a local journalist and movie projectionist.

Scenes will introduce audience members to farmers, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers,and hobos as they portray the Great Depression. Another highlight is a peek into the President’s birthday ball. These scenes are filled with a variety of live music, costumes, dance and transportation from the era. The cast of “Roma, Norskies and Bumtown 1935” includes 35 area actors, musicians and singers.

The stories shared through these “Pop-up Plays” are based on interviews with local residents and research in historic local newspapers. The information is then woven into a script by playwright and artistic director Jane Peck. This is the seventh “pop-up play” produced by History Alive Lanesboro and written by Peck. She has created, toured and taught active history shows in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota for many years before moving to Lanesboro and continues her passion for history in her new hometown.

The audience moves around Lanesboro to enjoy this unique theater experience. Character guides lead the spectators to outdoor and indoor scenes, in locations where the actual events took place. While the performances begin at the Lanesboro Sons of Norway Lodge, additional scenes are held throughout the historic buildings and spaces over a four-block area. All locations are handicapped accessible with the first scene allowing audience members to be seated indoors. All shows will move indoors in case of rain and follow the CDC advice.

Admission for these plays is free, but donations are encouraged. The productions are partially underwritten by the family of Beatrice Teigen Burmeister who lived these stories in Lanesboro. The plays are also partially funded by Lanesboro Area Community Foundation and other generous donors. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


September 17
September 25
Event Category:


Sons of Norway Lodge
200 South Parkway
Lanesboro, Minnesota
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