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Stories sought for new musical set in Otter Tail County

PlaceBase Productions, in partnership with the Otter Tail County Historical Society, will hold a Story Swap Series in four different communities to gather stories for an original, community-based theater production that will take place in September.

Workshops will be held in Pelican Rapids, Parkers Prairie, Perham and Battle Lake over two weekends in April. The stories collected at these events will help inform the script for the large-scale, site-specific, musical theater production that will be performed by members of each community.

Story Swaps are free, open to all ages, and include lunch and beverages. No RSVP required — just show up with a willingness to listen and share! The schedule for these events is as follows:

• Saturday, April 14 from 12-2 p.m. at the Pelican Rapids Public Library (25 W. Mill St., Pelican Rapids);

• Sunday, April 15 from 12-2 p.m. at Cozy Cup Café (123 N Otter Ave., Parkers Prairie);

• Saturday, April 21 from 12-2 p.m. at Perham Area Public Library (225 2nd Ave. NE, Perham);

• Sunday, April 22 from 12-2 p.m. at Battle Lake Senior Center (205 Main St. W., Battle Lake).

Facilitated by Ashley Hanson and Andrew Gaylord of PlaceBase Productions, Story Swaps are a place to share in story, history, and memories of your town — whether you have lived in Otter Tail County your entire life or are new to the community, if you are an amateur historian, storyteller, artist, community enthusiast, or you just love Otter Tail County and want to talk about it, we want to hear your stories! Or maybe you want to learn a bit more about the upcoming theater production or just want to listen to the other stories being shared — everyone is welcome!

The stories collected will inform the script and music for an original musical that will be performed in Pelican Rapids, Perham, Parkers Prairie and Battle Lake this September to celebrate 150 Years of Otter Tail County, highlighting the rich history, culture, and local talent of the area by turning Otter Tail County into a stage! Open auditions for this "one of a kind" production will be held in July.

PlaceBase will be looking for 50-100 local performers, musicians, singers, dancers, artists, volunteers and Otter Tail County enthusiasts to be a part of the production. Auditions will be open to all ages and abilities; no previous experience or preparation necessary.

PlaceBase will produce "Otter Tail County: The Musical!" in partnership with the Otter Tail County Historical Society as a part of the 150th Anniversary of Otter Tail County. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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