PlaceBase seeks stories for street theater

NEW ULM – PlaceBase Productions continues to search for local characters for an original, site-specific walking theater production to be performed on Minnesota Street in downtown New Ulm.

Franz Kitzberger of New Ulm attended a story swap workshop on Wednesday evening on the second floor of The Grand Center for Arts and Culture, 210 N. Minnesota St.

Building on research and history compiled by historian Dan Hoisington, up to 100 local performers, musicians, volunteers and enthusiasts will assist with the production of “New Ulm: Old Minnesota Street.” Auditions will be open to all ages and abilities.

Facilitators Ashley Hanson and Andrew Gaylord of PlaceBase listened to Kitzberger share stories and memories of his younger days growing up in New Ulm.

“I left New Ulm and came back later in life, like many people do here,” Kitzberger said. Some of the local characters still in town that come to mind would be “Ace” Bleick, Rodney Zimmer, Carl “Red” Wyczawski and Bryce Boelter. Others on his list included the Nicklasson brothers.

Memories of New Ulm he shared included the two hospitals, long passenger trains, Polka Days with thousands of people in attendance and a huge parade. He also recounted revelry including nights at Shorty’s Bar.

More story swap workshops to share the history, stories and memories of New Ulm will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 30 and 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 10 at The Grand Center for Arts and Culture. Light food and tea and lemonade will be served.

The production walking theater production is in partnership with The Grand Center along with support from the Minnesota Historical Society.

Workshop questions can be directed to Hanson at; 952-486-0533.

For all other inquiries, contact Lisa Rieke-Knaak at 507-359-9222;

For more information, visit, and

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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