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Z-Theatre debuts 'Don't Tell My Wife'

Mistaken identities, disguises and frantic exitswill keep everyone guessing in "Don't Tell My Wife," this summer's Z-Theatre production.

The two-act farce makes its debut Friday Aug. 23. Performances include Aug. 24 to 25 and Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 at the State Theatre in Zumbrota.

"Don't Tell My Wife" takes place in a themed hotel room during a tool convention.

Hilarity ensues when the hotel room becomes home base for the eclectic cast of corporate stiffs, their spouses and two hopeful business owners posing as ladies of the night, promoters saidl.

This light-hearted production is recommended for ages 13 and up.

The play, written by Joan Sween of Rochester, is wrapped in a sense of community, with an eight-member cast all with close ties to Zumbrota. Eric Decker of Rochester directs the production.

Sween says she looks forward to the play's run in Zumbrota because it is the first time it will be produced live on stage.

"I've never written a hotel-room farce, where someone's hiding, someone's jumping off the balcony, and someone's wife is going to be looking for them," says Sween.

Sween holds degrees in English and theater. She has directed and taught live theater as well has coached and adjudicated speech and drama festivals. Currently, she spends most of her time as a playwright, working on farces, comedies and plays for young audiences.

She is a member of Pine Area People for the Arts, which recently produced a farcical melodrama written especially for the organization "When Prohibition Hit Pine Island."

Theaters in Chicago and Austin, Minn., have recently produced her plays. Two of her scripts are published by Eldridge Plays and Musicals.

"The proving ground of a small community theatre is my cup of tea, and it will do me the most good. I'm interested in entertaining people like me," Sween said.

Sween will participate in a question-and-answer session with the audience following the Sunday Aug. 25 performance.

Decker spends his days as a language, literature and speech teacher at John Marshall High School in Rochester.

This month, he's been spending his evenings directing the local cast that will showcase Sween's play for the very first time.

"Both on stage and in the audience, we are creating a story, sharing laughter, and learning more about ourselves and the world we live in. I especially enjoy working with community theatre, and my time in Zumbrota has been no exception," Decker said.

Decker has directed or assistant directed three professional theater shows, 70 community theatre productions, and has taught more than two dozen drama classes for adults and youth.

The cast of eight includes Brian Adams, Cynthia Biorn, Joe Carlson, Tomine Erredege, Lori Rauen, Jennifer Ruberto, and Rob Weber of Zumbrota; and Turi Jystad of Marshall, Minn. (formerly of Zumbrota).

Tickets are available in Zumbrota at Busby Hardware, Crossings at Carnegie and Main Street Pharmacy, and at the door one hour prior to showtime.

Z-Theatre operates under the umbrella of the Zumbrota Area Arts Council, owner of the State Theatre. Fundraising efforts for the renovation of the building are ongoing. For more information visit or call 507-272-1129.

If you go ...

What: "Don't Tell My Wife."

When: 7 p.m. Friday Aug. 23-Sunday Aug. 25 and Friday Aug. 30-Sunday Sept. 1

Where: Zumbrota State Theatre, 88 E. Fourth St., Zumbrota

Cost: $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and $8 for students 18 and under

More info: 507-732-7616 or