Monthly Archives: March 2017

Break a leg to the cast of “Beets”

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March 31, 2017 · 4:06 pm

Play recounts little-known chapter from WWII-era Colorado

Presence of German POWs near Greeley a central theme of ‘Beets’

By A.H. GoldsteinFor the Camera

Kathleen Gruman has deep roots in northern Colorado.

Gruman, a board member, director and actor atThe Moon Theatre Company, grew up in a farmhouse immediately

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south of Berthoud. The structure was infused with plenty of local history. Indeed, Gruman’s childhood home offered a solid sense of what had come before, a familiarity with the stories and struggles of her neighbors and her community.

Still, one chapter of local history remained unknown to Gruman, and plenty of others, until Colorado playwright Rick Padden presented his inaugural work to fellow artists in 2008.

“Beets,” a drama set in World War II-era Berthoud, detailed the hundreds of German POWs who were housed at prison camp 202 near Greeley during the height of the war. The play focuses on the prisoners who worked on Berthoud farms in 1942 and 1943, helping to harvest a bumper crop of sugar beets, even as the community’s young men were on the other end of the world, fighting in Europe.  ….

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Listen to the interview about “Beets” on KUNC

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Berthoud Historic Society Speakers Series!!

The Berthoud Historical Society in cooperation with the Moon Theatre Company is pleased to announce a special speaker program on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at the McCarty Fickel Historic Home Museum (645 7th St. Berthoud) at 7pm.

Suggested donation $5 per person will be collected at the door.

BEETS (4)The program includes a performance of two scenes from the Moon Theatre’s upcoming production of Beets! It will also feature presentations by playwright Rick Padden and local farmer Bob Lebsack talking about the historical connections in the play.
Beets! Is a historical fiction inspired by actual events that took place in the Berthoud sugar beet fields during WWII. Faced with a bumper crop, and with no one to harvest it, local farmers turned to the POWs housed at camp 202 near Greeley. Berthoud farmers trucked captured German soldiers into the fields to harvest sugar beets and save the crops.
Come and learn more about this little-known chapter in Berthoud’s history.

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A note from Director Kathleen about “BEETS”

Kathleen is so happy and excited to be Directing BEETS for the second time, along with Lesley Jones. “What excites me about this project is the Berthoud History depicted in this play”.  Kathleen’s family moved to Berthoud from Boulder is 1972 when her Dad, purchased an Historic Farm just South of Berthoud.  “Growing up in the Historical home gave me a love of local history.  And growing up on a farm gave me a love and understanding of the farm life”.  Even though her Dad was not a farmer she still experienced the farmer planting, tending and harvesting the sugar beets which are a major crop in Berthoud today. Kathleen’s family farm was homesteaded by Major John Kerr in 1876 and is one of the oldest farms in the community.

Kathleen and Lesley co-directed this production 8 years ago. “ We had a wonderful time with that production and cast, but I have to say that this cast and crew are incredibly amazing and a joy to work with.  They are inventive and dedicated and have given this show so many layers.  We just were lucky enough to get former Director Andrew Quirk to head up the set building along with  Rick Strahan. The props, the costumes, set sound and lights to the actors on stage and those behind the scenes, everyone has been so collaborative in the efforts to make this one of the best productions that Moon has ever done.

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