Alexandria's Fire Pit Productions presents a tripping into love story — Stop Kiss

The show follows the before and aftermath of an attack on two women after they share a kiss.

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Kami Schefers, left, and Katy Niemeyer rehearse a scene set in a New York apartment in the 1990s.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA — Lakes Area Theatre's Fire Pit Productions' next show debuts on Friday, Feb. 10. It follows the before and aftermath of two women who were attacked for sharing a kiss.

It's called Stop Kiss. It focuses on main characters Sara — a New York newcomer from St. Louis, Missouri — and Callie, a traffic reporter who helps Sara navigate her new city.

In honor of Valentine's Day, Director Quincy Roers says he always tries to find a story that deals with love or romance in "some form."

"It's a will-they-love-they love story where two women don't necessarily fall in love, they more trip into love," explained Roers. "There is a lot of hemming and hawing back and forth going, 'This is new for us. We don't know what we are doing.'"

The two characters form a close and complex relationship which ultimately leads them to share a kiss while going for a late-night walk through New York City's West Village. Sara becomes horribly injured and falls into a coma after a bystander attack.


The story is told in a non-chronological way with scenes alternating between before and after the attack.

"You get to see how they were before and you get to see the consequences of after the attack," Roers said. "It keeps going back and forth until it climaxes with the abuse scene."

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Characters Callie and Sara meet when Sara needs someone to take care of her cat because it's not allowed in her apartment. From left, Katy Niemeyer and Kami Shefers.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

Roers says the plot of the story focuses on homophobia, abuse, and intolerance for same-sex relationships.

"It deals with the emotional aspect of the victims saying, 'These are real people. They're having real emotions. They are struggling with this, so your bigotry and hatred has no place in their world,"' Roers said. "It was time in our growth as a theater company that we need to deal with a heavy same-sex story that could have some repercussions and hopefully cause people to stop and think about how they say these off-color comments that they're not intending anything by but have deeper repercussions."

Roers elaborated and said he hopes the show helps stop hatred, that it tells a story with a purpose rather than just entertainment.

"If one person sees the show and says, 'I never thought of it from their perspective,' and it changes their attitude a little bit then we've accomplished our goal," he said. "Even just the realization that their opinion doesn't matter in other people's lives."

Roers says it is worth going because it's "good theater."

"Our fan base has learned that we do nice compelling shows. Even if they have never heard of them, they're definitely worth a watch," he added.


Sara is played by Kami Schefers, 30, of Osakis, originally from the Brainerd/Aitkin area. She says that same-sex relationships have a lot of obstacles, especially in the show's time period.

"Being able to see real-time as to what happened back then and cross compare it to now, it's just a great role to be in," Schefers said.

She added that being close friends with her co-star, Katy Niemeyer, 27, of Alexandria — who plays Callie — has helped her get into the role.

"With these intimate scenes and taking this opportunity to be able to kind of re-open yourself up to somebody, having that partner to be able to bounce off of and knowing they got your back and you got their back is just so nice to try and get into that moment," Shefers said.

Shefers hopes the show brings more acceptance to the LGBTQ+ community.

"I think what makes this show so great is that you get to see how the relationship grows," she added.

Niemeyer has acted since she was 12 years old. She has degrees in costuming, acting and entertainment business. She estimates that she has acted in close to 20 shows, six of which were with Fire Pit. Seven if you count the one she helped direct.

Niemeyer says she is the one who suggested "Stop Kiss" to Roers. She read and studied the show in college.


"I just fell in love with it. I think the two characters are so relatable. You just fall in love with them falling in love," she said. "It does address those social stigmas."

Niemeyer added that she hopes the production will show that same-sex relationships are like any other relationship, especially to those who don't understand it.

"There is nothing weird about it. It's just two people falling in love," she said. "As they (the audience) are leaving, I just want them to feel good and feel happy that these two people can be together."


Callie - Katy Niemeyer
Sara - Kami Schefers
George - Quincy Roers
Peter - Ryan Rynda
Mrs. Winsley - Miriam Thornquist
Detective Cole - Allen Senstad
Nurse - Emily Esping

If you go

WHAT: “Stop Kiss"
WHEN: Feb. 10, 11,16-17 starting a 7 p.m.
WHERE: Lakes Area Theatre, 4133 Iowa St.108, Alexandria.
TICKETS: At the door or call 320-815-7664 to reserve seats.

Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Press team as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, after graduating from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication in May of 2021.
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