WINONA, Minn. — The 32nd annual season of the Page Series will kick off Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. with a performance of Mixed Precipitation’s “Dr. Falstaff and the Working Wives of Lake County: A Picnic Operetta” in Unity Park, located on East Lake Winona at 860 Parks Ave.

This picnic operetta, an outing designed for the whole family to enjoy, is a new adaptation of Otto Nicolai’s German opera, “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” with a bit of Minnesota history and the music of Bruce Springsteen.

“Dr. Falstaff and the Working Wives of Lake County: A Picnic Operetta” takes place on the shores of Lake Superior where a small town is in trouble. The taconite plant has gone bust and jobs are leaving town fast. Meanwhile, the sleazy Doctor Falstaff has washed up on shore. He’s looking to sell a boat, eat some herring, and seduce married women. Luckily, a trio of tough working gals has teamed up to chase the rat out of town. These working wives (a nurse, a park ranger, and a librarian) show the men in town who’s the boss.

Scotty Reynolds, producing artistic director and a native of Silver Bay, Minn., adapted the story following his research on Minnesota’s ecological and economic history and the landmark legal battle, United States vs. Reserve Mining.

“Our show places the silly characters of Shakespeare’s comedy alongside contemporary questions about industry, job creation, and the environmental impact of capitalism,” Reynolds said.

The Page Series first presented The Picnic Operetta in September 2017. The free event brought more than 275 Winonans together in an end-of-summer celebration of music, food, and community. This year’s performance is again open to all community members, although free-will donations will be accepted at the door. While tickets are not required, advanced registration is strongly encouraged to help anticipate crowd size. Learn more about the performance and register at pagetheatre.org or by calling 507-457-1715 (weekdays from noon to 6 p.m.).

About Mixed Precipitation and A Picnic Operetta

Mixed Precipitation’s mission is to create unexpected theatrical experiences through unique partnerships and festive events that inspire social engagement. Each summer they present their signature event, A Picnic Operetta, a lively theater experience includes touring community gardens, urban farms, parks, orchards, and vineyards throughout the Twin Cities metro area and beyond. A five-course tasting menu of locally grown, performance-inspired delicacies is served during the show. They bring together classical music, horticulture, food, and storytelling into a celebration of harvest and our local food system.

About the Page Series

Now entering our 32nd annual season, the Page Series connects professional performing artists from around the globe with thousands of Winonans each year. With events at the Joseph Page Theatre on the campus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, as well as at locations across the Winona community, the Page Series offers dance, music, and theatre performances, workshops, classes, and more that inspire, uplift, educate, and invite community members to discover the relevance of the arts in their daily lives.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Page Series community programs are made possible, in part, through a grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation.

This article was originally published on the Saint Mary's University Newsroom