If director Doug Faust and his team at Centenary United Methodist Drama Ministry ever get discouraged doing good, here’s hoping someone will come and show them how much worse off the Mankato area would have been if they hadn’t been around.

“We select plays that we believe have a theme in keeping with our mission statement or can be directly tied to a social cause or human need in our community.”

“Our mission statement is, ‘Using theater to illuminate social justice, explore spiritual values and build community,'” Faust said. “We select plays that we believe have a theme in keeping with our mission statement or can be directly tied to a social cause or human need in our community.”

Plays With a Purpose

Photo by Don Lipps - Matthias Guetschow (Tommy Bailey), Tim Guetschow (Harry Bailey), and Chris Guetschow (Pete Bailey) in costume before dress rehearsal of the Centenary Methodist Drama Ministry production of It's a Wonderful Life
Photo by Don Lipps – Matthias Guetschow (Tommy Bailey), Tim Guetschow (Harry Bailey), and Chris Guetschow (Pete Bailey) in costume before dress rehearsal of the Centenary Methodist Drama Ministry production of It’s a Wonderful Life

This week, the Drama Ministry is presenting an adaptation of It’s A Wonderful Life with all proceeds going to support Connections Shelter, an ecumenical ministry of several local churches providing shelter for the homeless during winter months.

“Due to grants from the Centenary Board of Trustees, all of our production costs are covered so we are able to offer free admission,” Faust explained. “We do this so all of our productions are accessible to anyone, no matter their ability to pay. Therefore, any money collected through donations or freewill offerings can be directed to the cause or agency we have identified.”

All Are Welcome!

Photo by Charlie Berg - George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) and Mary Hatch (Shealyn Kawlewski)
Photo by Charlie Berg – George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) and Mary Hatch (Shealyn Kawlewski)

First-time actor, Tim Guetschow plays Harry Bailey in the production and is joined by his sons, Matthias (Tommy Bailey), and Chris (Pete Bailey).

“It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my favorite movies. I thought it would be fun to do this with the kids,” Guetschow said. His daughter, Grace, was in the Ministry’s previous production, Shrek. “We’re saving gas this way! Normally we’d go drop them off and then go back later to pick them up!”

Guetschow encourages people to come see the show, “It’s a wonderful story. It has a good message. It’s entertaining. It’s fun. The tickets are free. They’re asking for donations during the show and all the donations go to the Connections Shelter, which is a homeless shelter that moves from church to church throughout the winter.”

Faust especially wants people to know, “We are an inclusive ministry. You do not have to belong to Centenary to participate in our productions and we encourage anyone from the community to get involved. While we always strive to produce quality productions, we like to think that our shows are ‘plays with a purpose,’ serving a greater good. Everyone is welcomed!”

Come Early!

Photo by Charlie Berg - George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) talking to his guardian angel Clarence Odbody (Mark Braun)
Photo by Charlie Berg – George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) talking to his guardian angel Clarence Odbody (Mark Braun)

Upcoming productions include On Golden Pond in April and Big River in August. Details, including audition times, will be found on the Centenary website and their Facebook page.

It’s a Wonderful Life is being performed at Centenary United Methodist Church at the corner of 2nd and Cherry Streets in Mankato at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 6th through Saturday, December 8th. An additional performance is being offered Saturday at 2:00 pm. There is no charge, but an offering will be taken. Seating is limited so come early!

  

Photo by Charlie Berg - Uncle Billy (Jerad Lanes), on his way to make a bank deposit, stops to talk to Mr. Potter (Tim Berry)
Photo by Charlie Berg – Uncle Billy (Jerad Lanes), on his way to make a bank deposit, stops to talk to Mr. Potter (Tim Berry)
Photo by Charlie Berg - Mr. Potter (Tim Berry) offers George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) a job
Photo by Charlie Berg – Mr. Potter (Tim Berry) offers George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) a job
Photo by Charlie Berg - Mary Hatch (Shealyn Kawlewski) and George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) talking on the phone to a friend
Photo by Charlie Berg – Mary Hatch (Shealyn Kawlewski) and George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) talking on the phone to a friend
Photo by Charlie Berg - Uncle Billy (Jerad Lanes), Aunt Tilly (Jess Lanes), George Bailey (Darrell Johnston), and Mr. Potter (Tim Berry)
Photo by Charlie Berg – Uncle Billy (Jerad Lanes), Aunt Tilly (Jess Lanes), George Bailey (Darrell Johnston), and Mr. Potter (Tim Berry)
Photo by Charlie Berg - George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) talking to God
Photo by Charlie Berg – George Bailey (Darrell Johnston) talking to God
Don Lipps
A long-time resident of Mankato and North Mankato, Don is a veteran web developer. Don and his wife, Tina, have 5 grown boys and one daughter-in-law.