ANDOVER—“The Dreamers,” a light-hearted recollection of Andover’s early history, will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, June 4, and Saturday, June 5, in Luther Hall at Augustana Lutheran Church.
“The Dreamers,” a light-hearted recollection of Andover’s early history, will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, June 4, and Saturday, June 5, in Luther Hall at Augustana Lutheran Church.
Some portions of Doris Swedberg’s three-act play are true, such as the story of Sol Penney’s pigs, and the Bishop Hill Swedes’ unbelievable capacity for hard work, said director Nikki Rehn.
Swedberg wrote the play for the 130th anniversary of the founding of the village. It was first performed on Sept. 4 and 6, 1965, at Andover Grade School.
“The Dreamers” next was performed during Andover’s sesquicentennial on Aug. 9 and 10, 1985, at the church.
Andover Inn, 1844-60, is the setting for the play. Act I is set in 1844; Act II, 1848 and 1849; and Act III, June 4, 1860.
Loran Anderson played Herman Riggs in 1985, and he is reprising the role in 2010.
Doug Nelson also appeared in “The Dreamers” 25 years ago and this year, but in different roles.
About three-fourths of the 20 characters are based on real people who lived in and around Andover in the mid-1800s.
Swedberg centered the play on two of the residents, Betsy Woolsey and Meg Pickett.
The cast includes Nelson as “Jesse Woolsey,” proprietor of Andover Inn; Jan Oliver, “Martha Woolsey,” his wife; Karli Pettifer, “Mary Woolsey,” their daughter; Matthew Engnell, “Gilbert Woolsey,” their son; and Alyssa Zwicker, “Betsy Woolsey,” their niece.
Jens Rehder will portray “Ithamar Pillsbury,” the Presbyterian minister who founded Andover; Jan Veseth, “Eben Townsend,” an early settler; Nancy Zurcher, “Abigail Townsend,” Eben’s wife; Jamie Thomas, “Mr. Pickett,” an English gentleman; and Rachel Thomas, “Meg Pickett,” his daughter.
Colin Hepner plays “Edmund Buck,” a young pioneer boy; Zach Zurcher, “Johnny Mix,” a pioneer youth; Brett Spenner, “Loud Thunder,” a Native American; Mitchel White, “Andrew Anderson,” oldest son of Swedish immigrant Alexander Anderson; Gabe Price, “Olaf Anderson,” his brother; and Karl Hellberg, “Lars Larson,” his friend.
Judy Rehder appears as “Sophie Riggs,” new proprietress of Andover Inn; Loran Anderson as “Herman Riggs,” her husband; Ken Poppy as “Eric Larson,” a stranger; and Emma Poppy as “Kristina Larson,” his daughter.