History Alive! Lanesboro presents original Lanesboro, Minnesota area history programs through the arts: acting, storytelling, dance, music, and writing. We foster community identity and the understanding of American small town heritage.

We create new Pop-up Plays about Southeast Minnesota every September which tour the streets of our town, Lanesboro,  highlighting  a new era of Lanesboro and Southeast MN history each year. The various scenes of acting, music, and dance occur in sites that hosted the original events they portray. This is possible because Lanesboro has so many lovely historic buildings and spaces.

GREAT NEWS- 2021 POP-UP PLAYS ARE BACK!

Pop-up Plays: Lanesboro WW 2 and Beyond, 1948  will be performed  two weekends: September 18 and 19, and September 25 and 26 here in Lanesboro. Total of 8 performances.

Walking tours leave at 1 pm or 3 pm each of the four days. Register at the door at Sons of Norway Lodge, 200 Parkway Avenue South, Lanesboro, MN. Free, but suggested donation of $10 per adult.

7 scenes total. Masks required in 3 indoor scenes.  In case of rain , all scenes will be indoors. 4 blocks total. 1.5 hours. Seating in scenes 1 and 5.  Feel free to bring a small folding chair for others.

Pop-up Plays: Lanesboro WW 2 and Beyond will be the sixth show by History Alive Lanesboro; each a unique production of a different era of local history. This year you will be surrounded by the 1940’s! The audience moves around our historic S.E. MN town with character guides to outdoor and indoor scenes in locations of the actual events. All locations will be handicapped accessible. All shows will move indoors if it rains. There are 3 indoor scenes and 4 outdoor scenes. We ask audiences to mask for indoor scenes. We will follow CDC advice.

This unique theater experience features many local World War II veterans’ tales! After months of oral interviews, Pop-up Plays: Lanesboro WW 2 and Beyond brings to the stage local accounts of soldiers in D Day, German prison camp, the Norwegian Resistance, Japanese nurses in Rochester, and farmers growing food for Europe. Area veterans Orval Amdahl, Don Ward, Bob Earley, Dr. Westrup, Paul Abrahamson, Ruby Nelson, Signe Soma will come to life again. Many have descendants in the region.

The show includes a recreation of the royal visit of the Norwegian Prince and Prince to Lanesboro in 1939! This followed their visit to La Crosse the same day. The popular culture of daily lives after the war will surround viewers with live swing music by CBB Jazz band, vintage cars, sci-fi hero Buck Rogers, Andrews Sisters music , and the Hormel Girls Caravan Orchestra. Watch Disney movie clips created by local artist Rudy Elstad in our vintage St. Mane Theater. Cast includes 35 area actors, musicians, and singers, both professional and volunteer. Jane Peck is the playwright and artistic director.

The plays are researched  and written by Jane Peck with the assistance of the Lanesboro History Museum’s extensive archives of photos, obituaries, newspapers. Jane interviews many local residents about their memories or their ancestors.

*This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Many thanks to Lanesboro Area Community Foundation and our individual donors.

History Alive Lanesboro is a Minnesota non- profit, 501.c.3 educational and performance group that tells stories of families from Lanesboro and the region. The group was incorporated in 2016 by supporters and cast members . Jane Peck continues to be the playwright as well as artistic and managing director, creating new plays each year with very talented local and guest artists. Prior to this, she created active history performances for twenty years in the Twin Cities and across the Upper Midwest, working with her own group, Dance Revels Moving History, and Arts MIA, MN History Center, and area schools. More frequent updates available on  https://Facebook.com/historyalivelanesboro  .

Watch our Online Show, Votes for Women! Rally 1920

Please celebrate with us the centennial of women’s voting rights or suffrage, which became part of constitution on August 26, 1920.  Votes for Women! Rally 1920 features five Minnesota suffragists who fought so hard for us. COVID-19 cancelled our statewide tour of this show, so we made a video for you!

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Our Other Online Videos.

To watch all of our full Pop-up Plays (including Lanesboro 1918 with the original suffrage show scene) visit our History Alive Pop-up Plays Youtube channel.

We welcome you to view lots of photos and our calendar on our Facebook page, or contact us by email historyalivelanesboro@gmail.com with questions or comments.

We are committed to deepening the understanding of past ideas, events, and people through the lens of our small town. Please consider a donation. We are a nonprofit 501.c.3 arts group so your contributions are deductible. Or support us by ‘liking’ or subscribing to our social media. THANK YOU!

To send a check: 1. Write it to History Alive Lanesboro.  2, Mail to History Alive Lanesboro, 33949 Golden Drive, Lanesboro, MN 55949.  Thanks!

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“History is never done with us! “ – Lin Manuel Miranda (creator of Hamilton, hit musical show.)