Kim Utesch sat upon a giant bottle of wrinkle cream on the set of "Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical." Utesch is stage manager in Pequot Lakes Community Theatre's upcoming play.
Among Kim Utesch's duties as stage manager for Pequot Lakes Community Theatre's (PLCT) upcoming play was to take home a giant tube of "Preparation Itch" and paint it.
The fake tube of hemorrhoid cream is around seven feet long.
"I was really hoping the big tube would hang out the back of my car, but it fit," Kim said.
The tube is a prop in the play, which makes light of the many adventures of mid-life. It's called "Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical."
Kim's job as stage manager goes beyond painting giant tubes of hemorrhoid cream and wrinkle reducer. She's responsible for the serious job of lining up cues for lights, actors and props.
Kim, of Pine River, has been with community theater for around five years now, having joined to be with two of her kids, who are certified tech crew members.
Once the curtain opens, Kim will be in charge of making sure that all the props are where they should be, actors are ready to go and light and sound cues match up with actors' entrances and exits.
Essentially, Kim's job is to act as a go-between for the light crew, tech crew and actors. She helps everything happen at the right time and right place.
This play will be especially complicated because of its format: It's made up of many short comedy sketches, much like a "Saturday Night Live" episode.
The production is filled with musical numbers, each of which has a story. The play makes light of such mid-life events as mammograms and turning 50.
"There's some really cool saucy dance numbers," Kim said.
She made mention of some of the costumes she'd been sewing, which included rip-away shirts.
"Mid-life!" also features touching songs, Kim said, so the audience could be caught laughing and crying.
Kim was clear that the play is directed toward an older crowd, around 40 years old and up. She said while there's not a lot of foul language, there are a few "colorful phrases" that wouldn't be good for young kids.
"It talks about some delicate things young ears don't need to understand," she said.
Each scene has a different piece of furniture, making Kim's job a little more challenging.
"You have to be super organized and ready for anything," Kim said.
She keeps backups of safety pins, needles and thread, screwdrivers and pliers should anything happen.
Kim's been stage manager in previous plays, but wasn't planning to take the position for this production. She planned for her work to be limited to volunteer hours with Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts (GLAPA), the group PLCT operates under.
The production hit a few speed bumps, though, and Kim took the position.
Normally PLCT's plays are held at the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium, but construction at the school caused plans to change. PLCT was able to find a place at the Dryden Theater at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, but the theater is much smaller than the PLHS theater.
Because the Dryden holds only about one-third as many audience members, more performances were added to accommodate a large number of people.
Kim's director, Beth Selinger, praised the work Kim does for PLCT.
"She's a multi-talented lady. Couldn't do it without her," she said.
While the position can get complicated and stressful, Kim said her favorite part is when the lights go down and the show starts.
"You've got to stop stressing and let the show go on," she said.
Where: Dryden Theater at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, July 11-14, and Monday, July 16; and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15.
Tickets: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors ages 60 and older, and $8 for youth ages 18 and younger. Call 218-568-9200 to reserve tickets, which also will be available at the door one hour before each performance.
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