“Children of Mystery River” opens this Friday

Shari Pearce in a moment with fellow actor Annalina Johnson. - Photo submitted

ST. CROIX FALLS – “Children of Mystery River,” Festival Theatre’s second Youth and Family show this year, opens this week on Friday, Sept. 8, and runs through Sept. 17. The show is sponsored by Polk County Abstract.

“Children of Mystery River” is based on a book by local authors Phil and Joanne Peterson and adapted for the stage by several students and their instructor at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, and by Seth Kaltwasser. It follows three children as they make their way down the river in the mid-1800s. The show features 15 local youth actors and one adult.

Shari Pearce, the self-described, “token adult” in the play, has enjoyed the historical significance of the story the play tells.

“It really has a historical connection to the St. Croix Falls area and up and down the whole St. Croix Valley. The authors have done a lot of research and I am enlightened by being in the show! It’s interesting to be in a place and see how it is now, and then take a show like this and see how it was way back when and be able to imagine how it has evolved from that point to now. It makes you feel a part of the history and it also makes you aware that you’re a part of the future that you don’t see yet.”

Being the only cast member over the age of 16 hasn’t been a bother to Pearce and she participates in all the fun and wonderful games right alongside the kids. She claims it gives her perspective.

Summing up the show in one sentence, Pearce said, “’Children of Mystery River’ is about recovering from loss and finding where one has a place where one belongs.”

Tickets are $13.50 for adults, $8.50 for youth 5-18, and patrons are encouraged to reserve ahead of time as there are a limited number of performances left. Tickets can be purchased at FestivalTheatre.org, by emailing festivaltheatreboxoffice@gmail.com or by calling the box office at 715-483-3387.