Play Inc Arts’ 15th season promises drama and music

A group of local middle-schoolers will present “An Evening of Middle School One-Act Plays” on Nov. 1 and 2 at Cambridge Lutheran Church. One of the short pieces is “Elf on the Shelf Must Die,” for which these students are in costume.

Play Inc Arts has announced the next three productions in their current season and tickets are on sale for two of them. 

The 15th theatrical season for the arts group kicked off this past summer with productions of “The Lion King” and “Chicago” – making last summer one of the most successful to date. 

Now into the fall, Play Inc Arts hopes to continue that momentum with several exciting productions and a weekly art gathering.

Open studio time: Every Monday evening (currently running from 4-7 p.m.) local artists are invited to meet at Play Inc’s space (lovingly referred to as The Box) for some independent creative time among the company of other artists. This is open studio time for painters, drawers or any sort of artists just looking for a place to work and a group of people to connect with.

Middle school one-act plays: Next up for Play Inc Arts is a first-of-its-kind for the organization – An Evening of Middle School One-Act Plays. 

On Nov. 1 and 2, the middle schoolers of Play Inc will present two one-act plays in the basement of Cambridge Lutheran Church. “Ths phne 2.0: the next generation” will be partnered with “Elf on the Shelf Must Die.” The coupling is two wonderfully diverse shows that are perfect for middle-school performers and entertaining for people of all ages. 

Tickets are already on sale and are general admission seating, but are very limited (50 tickets per performance). Visit for tickets.

Hunchback of Notre Dame: On that same weekend, Play Inc will hold auditions for its adult musical this winter. Previously, Play Inc. Arts announced that it would be producing the beloved classic “Les Miserables,” but due to the performing rights being restricted across the country, that plan became unavailable. 

Play Inc. will instead offer a different musical based on a novel by Les Mis author, Victor Hugo – Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” 

Coming towards the end of the 1990s Disney cartoon revival,  “Hunchback” was known for a few things: 

1) That it strayed from the Disney “princess” theme popularized with “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.”  

2) That it attempted to tell a darker tale than Disney was known for.  

3) And most importantly, that the music was recognized as some of Disney’s most beautiful, profound and exciting music ever put to a cartoon. With music by the same composer from the “princess” movies, this one also had lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (best known for writing music and lyrics to “Godspell” and “Wicked”).

The other unique thing with the stage production of “Hunchback” is that it includes a traditional cast of leads and an ensemble that sings and dances, but it also has an onstage “choir” of singers. They act like a traditional church choir on stage throughout the entire production in a choir loft. This group, again like  a church or cathedral choir, will not need to memorize music and will rehearse less frequently than the singing and dancing ensemble. 

A large group of performers is sought for this production. For information about auditioning, please visit

Co-production with Anoka-Ramsey: Play Inc. Arts’ 15th season will end in April with a production co-produced with and performed at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Cambridge. Specifics on this production will be available in the coming months. It will be a non-musical play featuring adult and college performers, so stay on the lookout for information about this coming opportunity.

Play Inc is confident that you will continue to love the productions that we put together as well as the arts opportunities that will be presented more regularly in the future. 

Find us on Facebook for more ways you can get involved.

Aaron Knudsvig is artistic director/president of Play Inc Arts. He can be reached at 763-269-7718 or visit 

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