Change is catalyst for improvement at Theatre L'Homme Dieu
Alexandria's own Theatre L'Homme Dieu (TLD) has been a constant source of entertaining theater productions and educational opportunities for nearly 50 years.
Its origins date back to the late 1950s when St. Cloud State University (SCSU) faculty met with Alexandria city leaders to establish a summer stock theater that would complement the training in the SCSU drama department.
The bucolic locale that captivated the founders was Miller's Resort. In 1961 the first season of nine plays christened the new 265-seat theater on this 12-acre site.
It was an immediate hit - professional and avocational theater artists from the Twin Cities worked with students in a labor-intensive setting, creating top-notch entertainment and art for residents and guests of Alexandria.
Students become skilled at the craft and techniques of professional theater. Working with the students, veterans of the stage rekindled their own theatrical zeal and enthusiasm. In the process, they helped establish an entertaining destination for area farmers, laborers, business owners, homeowners, and lovers of the lakes region.
Having TLD on one's resume has quickly become a passport for work in the Twin Cities theater-rich community. Countless actors received their professional start at TLD and have gone on to exciting careers locally and nationally.
While the level of artistic excellence has remained constant over the decades, behind-the-scenes the theater has continued to expand and evolve.
In 1989 the leadership of TLD shifted from SCSU to Akron University's theater department. Productions during that era included such daring fare as August Wilson's Fences, an all-Black Death of a Salesman, and a Shakespeare production under the stars.
In 1994 SCSU reasserted its authority and recruited students from colleges and universities throughout the Upper Midwest, not just from St. Cloud.
While the leadership may have changed over the years, the exemplary entertainment and artistry at TLD has consistently dazzled the denizens of Alexandria, Osakis, Glenwood and the many burgs in the Douglas County area.
This year brings even more innovative developments. For 2009, TLD has forged a new alliance, inviting professional theaters from around the state to grace the lakeside stage with their comedies and musicals.
This season TLD presents "A Taste of Minnesota," in which four professional theaters will mount five productions: Actors Theatre of Minnesota, Pioneer Place Theatre, Minneapolis Musical Theater and the Duluth Playhouse.
This transformation also provides greater quality for lower prices.
Change has been the catalyst for improvement throughout the first half century of TLD's history. This rich tradition continues with our new and improved season, featuring Deer Camp, Mom's the Word, The Secret Garden, A Don't Hug Me County Fair, and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.
The season runs June 23 to August 2. Ticket prices vary by day of the week - Tuesdays and Sundays are $17.50, Wednesdays and Thursdays are $20, and Fridays and Saturdays are $25.
There are season ticket packages available and post-show parties every Tuesday and Sunday. Beginning June 9, reservations can be made through the box office at (320) 846-3150, or anytime online at www.tlhd.org.