Building ‘The Trail to Oregon’ from the ground up

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The new theatre company Small Waves is bringing the Team StarKid adult cult favorite ‘The Trail to Oregon’ to the Zeitgeist in Duluth after building the show from the ground up.

To meet the expenses for renting the space, pay the musicians, and pay for other materials, the cast and crew raised money through donations to bring the hilarious show to life.

You can find more information about tickets here.

Director and Co-Producer Kathryn Keller says, "One of my favorite things about this show is that you could put as much money as you wanted into it and it would be a fantastic show. And you could have two chopsticks and a piece of paper, and it’ll still be a fun show."

Everyone had their hands in putting the show together. Brendan Nelson-Finn, who plays Father, says, "It was pretty easy for all of us to come together and do it because we were just really game to put as much work into it."

The cast are now all UMD graduates and performed in ‘The Trail to Oregon’ back in 2019 during UMD’s student run Stage 2 Theatre Company. The experience being so much fun, they wanted to go at it again.

Rianna Ryan, who plays Son says, “We all got off the stage and we’re like, ‘we can’t let this be like the last time we ever do this together.’”

"And then, you know, in the midst of COVID and there not being a ton of theater, a lot of us were looking for a project to kind of get back into it. And so this seemed like a really great option for that”, says Keller.

The parody show brings an almost anti-musical feel to audiences. Making fun of certain musical tropes while also poking fun at the classic Oregon Trail game.

Brendan Nelson-Finn says, “It’s really zany and all over the place. But at its core, it has really fabulous music, it has a really great story, and it really is great for a community right now because we all just want to laugh right now.”

‘The Trail to Oregon’ runs from July 21st-24th and the 28th-31st.