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'Mystery meets comedy': New England theater group to perform annual play

The New England theater group Rainy Butte Productions will perform its fall play, Aunt Maggity's Dark and Stormy Night, on September 30, October 1 and 7.

Rainy Butte Productions
Several cast members of "Aunt Maggity's Dark and Stormy Night" are pictured.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
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NEW ENGLAND, N.D. — Mystery will soon meet comedy at New England Memorial Hall. The non-profit New England theater group Rainy Butte Productions will have three shows of its annual performance. This year’s play is called Aunt Maggity’s Dark and Stormy Night.

There will be riveting drama and gut busting laughs all weekend long. Family troubles follow on the isolated mountaintop when Aunt Maggity calls her estranged nieces home to read the will of their deceased parents.

The nieces are a motley crew: one business executive, two fashion designers and an amatuer boxer. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a rodeo clown with something to hide.

Actress Adrien Kathrein noted that proceeds from the play support a variety of charitable causes such as the New England High School drama program and improving Memorial Hall. Eventually they hope to raise enough to build a storage unit for tables and chairs on the northeast corner of the building. Last year Rainy Butte donated a substantial portion to Missoula Children’s Theater. New England band and choir students bus tables and serve guests at the dinner performances to raise money for their annual trip.

Fellow actress Ariann Doe explained why she has such a passion for theater and what’s kept her on stage year after year.

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“I personally really like to just make people laugh. If we're up on stage and trying to do a joke, we try to find the funniest way to do it,” Doe said. “The work is worth it if you can get the audience to join in, laugh, have a good time and enjoy themselves at the theater. Because it is a lot of work and it is very stressful.”

Doe said they usually have their play near the end of October, but had to hold it early this year due to scheduling issues with the venue. After the first performance of Chickenheart last year the remaining two shows had to be canceled due to a coronavirus outbreak.

“I know of five people that were in the audience that night that ended up testing positive a day or two later,” Kathrein said.

The dinner theater performances will be held Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1. Doors open at 6 and showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. Theater goers will be treated to appetizers, entreés and dessert. Entree options will include prime rib and chicken cordon bleu

In addition to the food, guests will also have the chance to win a few mystery prizes. The Saturday Matinee is October 1. Dessert is included and tickets for that show are only $20 each. Doors open at 1 and the show starts at 2 p.m.

The play was written by Edith Weiss and produced by a Colorado entity called Pioneer Drama Service, Inc. New England Memorial Hall is located at 925 Main Street. To purchase tickets or get more information, contact Doe at 520-269-2514. Follow their Facebook page, Rainy Butte Productions.

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Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in rural southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge.
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