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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • SEPS has new fall play director, Paul Warshauer

  • "You Can't Take it With You" is this year's production.
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  • When Paul Warshauer saw the advertisement in the newspaper that Sleepy Eye Public School was looking for a three-act play director, he knew that was right up his alley.
    Paul is currently the executive director for the New Ulm Actors Community Theater (NUACT) and has been in that position since Nov. 2011.
    "I love it!" Paul said of his position at NUACT. "I am creative and I feel truly appreciated and challenged." 
    While NUACT granted Paul permission to take on the fall performance for SEPS, he thought it was important that the community theater also be part of the contract.
    "I work for NUACT and I think it's important that our group be involved," he added.
    NUACT signed the contract allowing Paul to be the director.
    Originally from Chicago, Ill., Paul studied theater at Northwestern University and has traveled from coast to coast directing and writing for professional theater. He has taught high school theatre, speech and film history in three states, and well as directing many high school productions. His speciality, he says, is directing comedies.
    One play the local area may be familiar with that Paul created and was recently performed by NUACT, was "Dogs in the Hot Moon or Behind the Barricades." This play is about the US-Dakota War told by the vantage point of children.
    Paul has been acting and directing plays since 1966 when he played Macbeth in his fifth grade play.
    "I watched how the director did it and I didn't like it," Paul explained. "From the time the curtain opened on "Macbeth" I've always wanted to be involved in plays." 
    In 1991 Paul says he came up with a formula, or theory on how to produce good theater with little rehearsal. It's called improvisation.
    "Anyone can do it because humans know how to play," Paul explained. "As a result, everyone knows how to act." 
    Sleepy Eye High School is teaming up with NUACT to present the Fall play, the classic comedy, "You Can't Take it With You." 
    Written and performed in 1936, and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Theatre in 1937, this hysterical comedy has been making audiences laugh for over 75 years.
    "You Can't Take it With You," is a perfect comedy for this election year, Paul said. The play looks at two different families; one slightly eccentric and other very traditional.
    "The country is very divided and people are making judgement calls about people they don't even know," Paul added. "This play is about tolerance for other individuals." 
    Cast list includes: Tia Cselovszki as Penelope Sycamore; Stephanie Hammerschmidt as Essie Carmichael; Bethany Seifert as Zsa Zsa Gabohm; Matt Berkner as Paul Sycamore; Matthew Miller as Mr. De Pinna; Gunner McGee as Ed Carmichael; Emily Abel and Erin Kotten as Eva Gabohm; Brandon Roiger as Martin Vanderhof; Lauren Laffen as Alice Sycamore; Derek Haala as Wilbur C. Henderson; Tucker Schuster as Tony Kirby; Kalyn Haas as Natasha Kolenkhov; Isaac Nelson as Gary Wellington; Mark Riederer as Anthony P. Kirby; Emily Abel and Erin Kotten as Miriam Kirby; Ethan Silfies as G-Man 1; Juan Montemayor as G-Man 2; and Cori Deming as Grand Duchess Olga Katrina.
    Page 2 of 2 - This play is produced with special arrangement with Dramatist Publishing Service.
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