Drama and Comedy Mix in 'A Murder in Poplar'

July 31, 2017 09:50 AM

Time Arc Theatre is celebrating the centennial of Poplar, Wisconsin by bringing to life the unusual, but true events of a murder and manhunt that occurred in the area over 100 years ago. 'A Murder in Poplar' is being put on at Poplar's Village Hall Saturday, August 5. Director and writer of the play, Kathy Laakso, along with actor John Center stopped by to give a preview.

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The play takes place in 1911, a few years before the town of Poplar was incorporated as a city. Citizens in the area are on a hectic manhunt after Douglas County Superintendent John Hefstedt has been found murdered and dumped into a shallow well. After a sizeable reward is offered for his arrest, chaos ensues with people in town suddenly claiming to have seen James Dygert, the murderer.

The character of the sheriff, played by Center, is frustrated throughout the play.

"...and with those descriptions, the scars moved all over his face."

Center says that this line from the play describes what the sheriff faces in the midst of the chaos. Residents are providing him with conflicting information that doesn't point to the right man.

While the subject of the play seems serious, Laakso explains that there are comedic elements written into the play.

"I love to mix seriousness with humor because life is that way," said Laakso. 

'A Murder in Poplar' runs four times this Saturday at Poplar's Village Hall, across from the fire hall. It's all a part of Poplar Fun Days, which is an annual celebration but is expected to be extra special this year since the community is celebrating 100 years. You can find more information about Poplar Fun Days here

Attending the show is free, but donations are accepted. Click here to learn more about the play.


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