The Country Road Players. (Submitted photo)
The Country Road Players. (Submitted photo)
The Country Road Players (CRP) is holding a reunion Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Inwood Ballroom in Spillville.

The Country Road Players is a community theatre group that came together in the 1970s, and was known for performing several musical productions, in particular, throughout the 1980s. Every year, the Country Road Players perform the melodrama at Fort Atkinson Rendezvous Days.

The event is intended as a gathering for those who have shared the CRP stage, past and present, and audience members who enjoyed the shows. Attendees are asked to bring any old photos, costumes and programs over which to reminisce.

Doors open at 3 p.m., for a social hour. A variety and talent show/ open stage is at 6 p.m.

Everyone is invited to share a song from a favorite CRP musical, or tell a story/share a memory about a CRP show. Snacks will be served, and a cash bar will be available.

Participants in the variety show are asked to bring music. Speakers will be set up.
Fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m.

For more information, contact Cheryl Novak, or Hannah Achen at 563-419-0871.

An actor’s personal reminiscence ...
The year was 1976, and theatre-minded people from southern Winneshiek County, along with Howard and Chickasaw counties, decided to start a community theatre group. After all, why should the New Minowa Players up north have all the fun?

The Country Road Players was formed and a production planned for the spring. The group found a play, aptly named “Hope Springs Eternal”; now to find a director ...

Someone suggested Alice Ludwig, since she had directed a play for the 1960 St. Wenceslaus Centennial. She was glad to help.

“Hope Springs Eternal” opened March 28, 1976, and played three shows that weekend in the St. Wenceslaus gym in Spillville.

Over the next 43 years, the Country Road Players produced approximately 70 shows, including 11 musicals. Those musicals produced in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s and directed by Dave Anderson were viewed as some of the best seen in this area.

The annual Fort Atkinson Rendezvous includes a melodrama acted by CRP each year. The most recent have been directed by Players member Jed Becker.

Needless to say, it takes many people to put on these shows. Actors, directors, choreographers, backstage technicians and many behind-the-scenes volunteers are needed for a successful production.

The Country Road Players’ reunion Saturday, Aug. 24, will provide for an enjoyable trip down “Memory Lane “ -- for cast, crew and audience members alike.

- David Ludwig