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Wartime nostalgia, South Dakota stories part of Northern Fort Playhouse’s eighth season

ABERDEEN, S.D. – “The Good War” and life on the South Dakota prairie are the subjects of the Northern Fort Playhouse’s eighth season at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park. 
'Swingtime Canteen'
Opening night is July 5 for the wartime musical “Swingtime Canteen” and July 6 for the story of a ladies’ social club in “The Friendly Hour.” The plays will continue in repertory for three weeks, with the final performances on July 20.
“Swingtime Canteen” finds movie legend Marian Ames who, after 17 years with MGM, is being "put out to pasture." But this is 1944, and Marian has gathered up her gal pals from the Hollywood Canteen and headed for London to entertain the troops. Get ready for the rip-roaringest canteen show of them all as these women from the 1940s prove their mettle while they sing more than 30 vintage classics from the war years. Laughs, tears, emotional fireworks, air raids and a celebration of women during the war punctuate this hilarious and heartwarming story.
Songs include: “Don't Fence Me In,” “I'll Be Seeing You,” “Sing Sing Sing,” “How High the Moon,” “I Don't Want to Walk without You,” “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive,” “Sentimental Journey,” “Apple Blossom Time” and many more.
'The Friendly Hour'
A play with roots in South Dakota history is “The Friendly Hour” by Tom Jacobsen, which is based on the actual minutes of a women's club formed in Beresford in 1934. This poignant comedy charts 70 years of personal and national history, from skinning skunks and julebukking when the tale begins, to restoring the native prairie in the new millennium. Join these fascinating women as they laugh, cry, navigate the difficult changes in their relationships, and share their lives at their "friendly" monthly gathering.
Cast and Crew
Returning cast members from last season are Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha (Burnsville, Minn.), Yvonne Freese (Lanesboro, Minn.), Haley Hubbard (De Smet) and Sarah Honerman (Sioux Falls).  Making their Playhouse debuts are Mary Elizabeth Wachs (Aberdeen) and Jessica Massa (Winner). Seth M. Honerman will direct “Swingtime Canteen,” while Mary Marion will provide the vocal and musical direction. Playhouse Artistic Director Daniel Yurgaitis will stage “The Friendly Hour.” NSU Technical Director Tina Hanagan will design the set for "The Friendly Hour." Larry Wild will provide the lighting for both shows. NSU students Brandon Sieck and Freese will create the costumes for “The Friendly Hour” and “Swingtime Canteen,” respectively.

Tickets are $12 for a single show, or season tickets for two shows are $22. Tickets are now available in person in Britton at the Tom Farber Insurance Agency, 705 Main St. (9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday), or by telephone at 605-467-3247. Credit cards are accepted.
Wine and Cheese plus Lunch, Dinner Options
New this season are wine and cheese receptions every Friday before the show, and lunch options are also now available for the two Sunday matinees. Dinner theater options are again available for the three Saturday performances. For menu information, visit the Playhouse website,

The Northern Fort Playhouse is partially supported by grants from the South Dakota Arts Council and the Britton Area Community Foundation.