The Threshing

locals bring an original musical to the stage

Heidi Kraemer

Set in 1920s Fall Creek, the musical stage production The Threshing is written, conducted, acted, and composed entirely by locals.

This is your chance to peer through a window to our very own local history played out onstage in an original historical musical written and performed entirely by locals: The Threshing.

Travel back to 1920s Fall Creek during the prohibition period era, when speak easies, stills, rum runners, and Al Capone were all part of the scenery. Here you will meet Viola Geissler, a young woman growing up as an only child on her family farm. Set during the August threshing, Viola experiences her own metaphorical threshing as she hunts for a path in her life that will satisfy those she cares for. Tensions arise when Viola is expected to take over the family farm against her wishes. From forbidden romance and encounters with a legendary ghost and wily gangsters, this musical won’t leave you checking your watch.

The Threshing was written by local Karen Hurd, a nutritionist and writer for the Augusta Area Times. When she is not adding fruits and vegetables to people’s shopping lists, she is researching our local history here in the Chippewa Valley. She writes a weekly column about local history, and has written seven other historical musicals about families from Fall Creek.

This play in particular was inspired when Jan Zmuda, granddaughter of the real life Viola, asked Karen to write a musical about her family. The task was by no means small. After two years of detailed research and writing, Karen was ready to start working on the music. For this, she called upon her own son David Hurd, a recent graduate of UW-Eau Claire’s piano performance program.

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