Treasure Village Theatre prepares to entertain

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

For more than four decades, children (of all ages) have been enjoying musicals and plays at Treasure Village Theatre. Located on Highway 86 in the Wahpeton area of West Lake Okoboji, Treasure Village has created memories and welded friendships that remained solid through the decades.

Three plays comprise the summer season playbill in the TV Theatre: "Rumpelstiltskin", "Rapunzel" and "Jack & the Beanstalk."

Co-owner operators of the entertainment complex Deb Clark and Linnea Lambert have given new twists to the three children's classics.

"Rumplestiltskin has been changed to a 1970s theme," Lambert explained. "I moved the story from a kingdom to a fashion house (Project Runway style) and one of the characters is named Skinney. It's the real deal."

Rapunzel is now a musical. "We had the very talented Wendy Gordy write the music and there are more songs in this one show than we have every had before," Clark said. "The cast is not exactly the same either as we have added another character to the story."

She emphasized that they do not do Disney productions due to copyright issues. Clark and Lambert write the scripts and made the adaptations.

Lambert's husband Gary, owner of Route 86 Music, played and recorded the background accompaniment for the characters on stage.

"Jack & the Beanstalk will remain generally what you have seen in the past, but this time we have a giant 9-foot-tall puppet in the show," Clark said.

The cast on site this summer totals seven.

"We have three actors who grew up coming to our shows," Lambert said. "Now they are on the stage. We also have the daughter of one of our former actors."

The seven actors are from Oklahoma, Nebraska, four from various parts of Iowa and one from Albania.

"This is our first foreign cast member. She is a student at Northwestern College in Orange City," Clark said.

Lambert and Clark are not novices to Treasure Village or stage performance. They grew up on the grounds there where their parents Garth and Bonnie Neisess built and opened the entertainment complex 43 years ago. Now their children help with the day to day operations of both the theatre and the mini-golf area; just as they did as youngsters.

New siding on the mini-golf clubhouse is one of the visual changes. Colorful new obstacles on the 27-hole course are designed to please even the youngest golfer.

"We have adjusted the rates for mini-golf this year," Lambert said. "It costs only $5 for kids ages 3-10 and $7 for everyone else."

Clark added: "Plus all the kids 10 and under get a gold crown when they finish the course."

A free play area for kids is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks. Located west of the clubhouse, it is near the picnic tables. "We are family oriented here," said Lambert. "We want families to be able to come and have a picnic, let the kids play, play a round of golf besides coming here to attend the plays."

Treasure Village Mini-Golf Course and clubhouse is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday (weather permitting).

"Of course you can get ice cream anytime the clubhouse is open," Clark added.

The summer at Treasure Village is a full time commitment for the sisters. Clark makes all the costumes. Lambert designs and constructs the sets. They split the directing of the productions between themselves with Lambert handling the technical aspects of each production.

Tickets to any of the three plays is $7 no matter the age. Group rates are available by making arrangements over the phone at 712-337-3730 or via email at The sisters always answer their emails.

"We don't always hear the phone if I have the sewing machine going and she is running the saw," Clark said. "We have optimized our website as well for everyone's convenience."

Last year the start time for the plays was changed.

"It didn't seem to take long for everyone to adjust to the new time," Lambert noted.

"Rumpelstiltskin" starts on June 18. "Rapunzel" debuts on July 7 and "Jack & the Beanstalk" on July 28. The plays are performed at 10 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, with the final show on Aug. 15.

Treasure Village, also the site of flea markets over Memorial Weekend, Fourth of July and Labor Day Weekend, is freshened up, revitalized and ready for a busy, family-oriented summer.

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