A red barn sits atop a sloping hill on Highway One in Manley, Nebraska. No matter where the sun settles in the sky, there is a vibrancy – a majestic quality to this structure. Welcome to the Lofte Community Theatre.
The Lofte opened this weekend with, “The Man Who Came to Dinner” under the innovative direction of Kevin Colbert. Film buffs will recognize this play from its movie adaptation starring Bette Davis, Anne Sheridan, Monty Woolley and Jimmy Durante. A few tickets are still available. Grab your hat, it’s a fun-filled 1930s era romp, one you sure don’t want to miss!
Cast and crew includes: Brenda J. Jones, Aubree Sweeney, Dustin Reckling, Jessica McKinney, Ken Patry, Rita McKinney, Jean Wymore, Cheryl Jones, Tim Sorensen, Rosalie Duffy, Tom Lucas, Ken Snyder, Trish Miller, Doug Rothgeb, Jeff Johnston, Mike Brown, Jim Skrobo, Millard Carnes, Guillermo Rosas, Zeke Rouse, Will Jones, Brenna Thompson, Nick Roth, John Bell, Shawn Reynolds, Dan Ryberg, Jeni Leversee, McKenna Jones, Mryssa Brow
Anne Riha, Anne Pope, Janet Sorensen, Jean Colbert and Nancy Bose.
In the 1970s, Diane (Bjonbarg) Reece, a teacher at Weeping Water Public Schools, had a vision. A vision of a space where anyone interested in performing could gather and do just that. Think of her as you take your seat. Imagine what it must have felt like when she spoke to Howard Rathe, the owner of a homestead and a large barn just a few miles outside of town. The moment he agreed to help her turn her vision into a reality, the Lofte Theatre was born. The first production was Godspell, starring now artistic director, Kevin Colbert as Jesus in 1977. Diane and her cast borrowed chairs from the local funeral home and the group made theatre lights from light bulbs and coffee cans. The show was wildly successful. Imagine the excitement. Imagine how proud she must be of what her vision has become.
While the theatre has moved and updated with the times, the heart of that humble first production lives on. It’s not the rustic, but modern look, it’s that memory. It’s the people. The moment you step into the Lofte, you’re welcomed like part of the family. The Lofte is the place you had no idea you needed, but absolutely do. There’s an instant comradery and support in all things. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or who you know. Entertainers come from all over the state to perform here.
The Lofte Family is a diverse group of people who have one common bond and that is their love of the theatre. The next Lofte production is “Spamalot” followed by, “Wait Until Dark”. If you consider yourself a thespian or have always dreamed of taking the stage, come out for an audition. It’s an opportunity to be inspired. If you want to be part of something fantastic you’ll find your place at the Lofte Community Theatre.
Upcoming Performances for “The Man Who Came to Dinner”
June 8th, 9th, 10th 7pm
June 11th 2pm
Tickets and audition information available here.