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'Girls of Autumn' try a final heist in Rosemount

The Second Act Players of Rosemount present “The Girls of Autumn” this weekend at the Steeple Center in Rosemount. Cast members Kirsten Gerhardt (left), Faye Heffele and Deb Milla bring the comedy to life with a script about a gang of jewel thieves who reunite. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 12 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Steeple Center in Rosemount. Photo courtesy of Second Act Players of Rosemount

ROSEMOUNT — The Second Act Players will perform three stage shows of "The Girls of Autumn" this weekend at the Steeple Center.

Director Keith Reed shared how the cast of eight looks forward to performing this new production. The script was written by Paul Barile.

"It is an old jewel thief gang getting back together in their old age, and it is a comedy of errors and there are some side stories that go on," Reed said.

Hoping the show will tickle audiences' funny bones, Reed said the story showcases a few golden-age budding romances and deceits when the play stumbles into funny situations that bring new meaning to the term growing old gracefully.

New to The Second Act Players is Kirsten Gerhardt/ who plays the character Lucky, one of the gang leaders back in the day.

"She is trying to get the group back together for one last job," Reed said.

"This is a little different than the other plays we have done with the Second Act Players and it is not a two-hour play, but it is one of the longer plays we have had," he added.

"We are challenging some of these folks to do a lot more line memorization and I am just blown away by the changes I have seen in the some of these actors over the last couple of years of doing these shows," Reed said. "They are getting more and more comfortable on stage and are adapting to their roles a lot better."

Reed teaches a directing class and a few actors have attended the class. Many cast members chose to take improvisational classes to improve on stage acting skills.

"My directing style is inclusive and a lot them have ideas that they bring up, and a lot of those ideas we incorporate because they are great ideas," Reed said.

"Four of the eight people have never been on stage before the last few years, and they have taken on bigger roles each time and I am just proud of them," Reed said. "All of them just dive into it and love doing it."

The Second Act Players is open to residents who are 50 years or older. The group welcomes anyone who wants to learn or who can brings skills in stage setting, set building or technical parts of theatre like sound and lighting.

"We are lucky to have some retired carpenters," Reed said.

An offshoot of this theate organization is Outreach, a traveling entertainment troupe that is open to anyone of any age who wishes to audition. This group takes its show on the road to entertain at senior residences, care centers or nursing homes in Rosemount, Farmington and across Dakota County.

"It is like a variety show and it is fun to watch and we have singing, skits and magic," Reed said. "One guy dresses up as Julia Child and it is hilarious to watch."

The Second Act Players have been entertaining nearly sold out crowds for nearly five years.

"The Girls of Autumn" will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Steeple Center.

General admission tickets run $12 and can be purchased the evening of the show or at the box office open 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.

Another Rosemount theatrical production is called Front Porch Players.

After "The Girls of Autumn" production concludes, Reed will begin rehearsals for the fall play, "The Importance of Being Earnest."

This popular play will take the stage in October.

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