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The Sauk Prairie Theatre Guild will present four short comedies for its spring performance called, “In the Way of Love.”

All focused around the challenges of love, performances will be held March 16-17 at Park Hall in Sauk City. Many veteran actors will return to the stage, while several new faces will have the opportunity to showcase their talents, according to Louann Rinken, one of the show’s directors.

One such person, Merrimac resident Laura Tremain-Forbes, decided to return to community theater almost two decades after her last performance.

“I used to do community theater in Waunakee and when I moved to New Zealand,” Tremain-Forbes said. “I started with the Sauk Prairie Theatre Guild for the holiday performance. I hadn’t done it in 20 years. I missed it.”

For Prairie du Sac resident Bill Campbell, the decision to try community theater was a personal challenge.

“I like trying new things,” Campbell said. “Plus I am retired now and have the time to do it.”

Campbell first heard about the group at an Optimist Club meeting. He decided to give acting a try. The guild’s holiday show was his first time ever stepping on a stage.

“I’m enjoying it,” Campbell said. “And I get to come back and work with all these fine people. They are a very dedicated group.”

Rinken, who used to perform in high school, has been with the group several years. She said she was drawn to the theater guild for the opportunity it presents to socialize and “be silly” she said.

Rinken said the group typically does three or four productions each year.

The Spring production includes “A Buffalo in Sheep’s Clothing,” by Ray Sheers, “Love and Lightning,” by Patrick Gabridge, “Litmus Test,” by Craig J. Clark and “Bob’s Date,” (parental guidance) by John Shanahan, produced by special arrangement with Heuer publishing and Brooklyn Publishers.

David Roberts is pulling double duty this production as an actor and director of one of the 10-minute plays. He said community theater is inherently a small group, and everyone has to pitch in. “I’ve found it to be a different experience,” Roberts said of directing. “I’m not sure how good I am at it yet.”

He said as an actor he’s focused on the individual character and how the character relates to others. “When directing, I see all the characters and how their interaction can be enhanced to further the play,” Roberts said. “I help the actors see from the audience point of view.”

He said acting gives him a chance to find aspects of himself in the roles he plays. “(It gives me the chance to) hopefully create a character others find interesting enough to spend time with,” Roberts said. “Directing gives me the chance to find what I see as the intent of the playwrights’ ideas.”

Like the others, Roberts said the theater guild is a “shared experience” that provides him with the chance to laugh for a few weeks. “We are basically performing for our people,” he said. “It is a simple diversion that can be a moving experience if we all are open to the possibilities.”

With the productions all centered on love, Tremain-Forbes said most everyone should get something out of it. “We can all relate to something from one of these plays,” she said. “It’s fun stuff.”

Follow Autumn Luedke on Twitter @Apwriter1 or contact at (608) 393-5777

Reporter, Sauk Prairie Eagle