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PREVIEW: Prancer at Lyric Arts of Anoka

Val Heideman (as Jessica Riggs) discovers Christmas lights in an attic in the Lyric
Arts Company of Anoka’s upcoming production of Prancer. Photo by Twin Cities Headshots.

The Lyric Arts Company of Anoka opens its production of Prancer tonight. What is Prancer? It’s the first of Lyric Arts’ two holiday shows, for starters. It’s also an adaptation of the 1989 film of the same name, about a young girl finding an injured reindeer in her backyard – setting off an adventure that eventually involves the whole town.

Adapted to the stage by Greg Taylor, Prancer made premiered in 2016 at the Rose Theater in Omaha, Nebraska, and makes its regional debut in Minnesota at Lyric Arts. It’s a family-friendly show targeted for audiences age 5 and older; as director Laura Tahja Johnson noted, “A show like Prancer is what drew me back to directing.”

Here’s a glimpse at this holiday tale:

The classic holiday dinner: naturally, a non-stressful time where everyone gets along on-stage and off. L-R: Val Heideman (as Jessica Riggs), Gina Sauer (as Aunt Sarah), Carter Johnson (as Steve Riggs) and Anthony Johnson (as John Riggs). Photo by Twin Cities Headshots
Eight-year-old Jessica Riggs (Val Heideman, far right) and her friend Carol Weatherby (Shea Krumwiede) take a slow moment to talk during the holdiays. Photo by Twin Cities Headshots.
The reindeer Prancer is brought to life by puppeteers Callie Baack and Madeline Achen; with Val Heideman as Jessica Riggs. Photo by Twin Cities Headshots.


Official Synopsis

Young Jessica Riggs’ family has fallen on hard times. Still, she keeps her belief in Santa Claus and the idea that there are miracles in the world. When an injured reindeer appears in Jessica’s backyard, she believes it is Prancer. While she is nursing the creature back to health, the whole community of Three Oaks eventually learns about Prancer, causing big problems for Jessica as she tries to return the reindeer home. Based on the cherished film, Prancer, this piece uses a heartwarming story and breathtaking puppetry to bring light into your holiday season.

Prancer runs Nov. 16-Dec. 23 at Lyric Arts in Anoka, MN.

Twin Cities Arts Reader