Menomonie Theater Guild Stages Play With Two Cast Members From 1992 Production

Lauren Fisher, photos by Timothy Mather

In 1992, Bob Colson performed in the Menomonie Theater Guild’s production of The Foreigner, an award-winning 1983 comedy that addresses racism, bigotry, and xenophobia.  “Unfortunately, the message of this show is just as relevant and just as timely as it was in 1983,” said Colson, who is bringing the story back to the Mabel Tainter stage now as a director. The Foreigner, which opened Oct. 13 and has three more showings before it closes, is about Charlie Baker (Dan Zabrowski), a shy man who joins a friend, Froggy LeSueur (Bill Burkett), on a work trip that leads them to a Georgia fishing lodge. In order to ease Charlie’s nerves, Froggy tells everyone at the lodge that Charlie is a foreigner who doesn’t speak or understand English. The other characters, believing the ruse, speak freely around Charlie, allowing him to discover personal information and maniacal plots. Charlie is able to put this information to good use and gain some confidence; however, his disguise lands him in some trouble. Colson warns viewers that Klansmen will be portrayed on the stage. “What’s important to realize is that racism still exists, and turning our back on it doesn’t make it go away,” Colson said.  This play will deal with the issue with satire, showing how ridiculous racism is, he said. Jeanne Kussrow-Larson of Knapp, who also acted in the Menomonie Theater Guild’s last performance of this show, will return to the stage as Betty Meeks, the lodge owner.