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Plan Your Next Trip to Lanesboro & Whalan, MN Around the Commonweal Theatre’s 36th Annual Season

March 12, 2024

Commonweal Theatre's 36th Season is Almost Upon Us!

It’s always a pleasure to take in a live show at the Commonweal Theatre.  Live professional theatre is always a treat, but the 36th annual season is going to be a real treat. Plus, when you're planning a trip, Commonweal’s Repertory Theatre model gives you the opportunity to maximize your trip with multiple, different performances over one weekend. But what about all the other things going on in Lanesboro throughout the year? We have so many great fairs, festivals and family fun opportunities all year round. If you're looking to optimize your live theatre with shopping deals, studio tours, live music, and so much more that Lanesboro has to offer well then you're in luck. The chart below will help you map out the 36th Season with all the awesome activities Lanesboro has to offer.

The outside of Commonweal Theatre Co. in downtown Lanesboro, MN
The outside of Commonweal Theatre Co. in downtown Lanesboro. Photo courtesy of Commonweal Theatre Co.


  • A powerful drama Ugly Lies the Bone; by Lindsey Ferrrentino;
  • A non-partisan political laugh-fest The Outsider by Paul Slade Smith;
  • An outrageous farce Rumors by Neil Simon;
  • A searing drama Doubt: A Parable; by John Patrick Shanley
  • A romantic Christmas comedy Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon.

“Living up to our promise to bring you stories that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you feel deeply, this season promises to highlight faith, joy, community, and more than a little zaniness. I hope you will join us.” Said Producing Artistic Director Hal Cropp.

Season passes and single tickets are on sale at or by calling the box office (800) 657-7025. All performances are at the Commonweal Theatre, 208 Parkway Ave N., in downtown Lanesboro, MN.

Upcoming Commonweal productions:

🎭 Ugly Lies the Bone - by Lindsey Ferrentino
April 6 - July 6
A female soldier Jess returning from war severely burned to her Floridian hometown, also in a state of decay after the closing of NASA's shuttle program. With the use of virtual reality therapy, she seeks solace in an arctic landscape which soothes her burning skin as she desperately tries to restore her relationships, home, and all that was lost.” Company member Laurie Roberts will play Jess, and Amanda Rafuse (who directed last season’s Bernhardt/Hamlet) returns to direct.

Other things happening in Lanesboro over the run:

  • Get Squirrely with Surly: April 19-20
  • Bluff Country Studio Art Tour: April 26-28
  • Spring Boutique and Business Crawl: May 10-12

🎭 The Outsider - by Paul Slade Smith
May 18 - August 31
A political comedy that looks at how candidates are made and manipulated without taking a particular side. Ned Newley, a skilled number-cruncher, is unexpectedly thrust into the position of Governor. A complete unknown, with no political instincts and a paralyzing fear of public speaking. Ned seems poised to fail. But his oddball team of consultants sees things a little differently: Ned might be the worst candidate to ever run for office. Unless that’s exactly what the public is looking for? Alan Bailey returns to direct the mayhem, with a full ensemble of Commonweal company members.

Other things happening in Lanesboro over the run:

  • Memorial Day: May 27
  • Rhubarbfest: June 1
  • Art in the Park: June 15
  • Lanesboro Area Art Trail: Aug 16-17

🎭 Rumors - by Neil Simon
July 13 - November 2
Ken Gorman (portrayed by company member Tim Sailer) is one of the first guests to arrive at the deputy mayor’s 10th wedding anniversary party. He finds the host unconscious, his wife and staff are missing, and there’s a duck still thawing on the kitchen counter. Fearing a scandal, Ken and his wife attempt a cover-up. But as more high-profile guests arrive, the tangle of misunderstandings and mayhem grows to gut-busting proportions. Company member Jaclyn June Johnson will direct the ensemble, featuring Commonweal favorites and newcomers alike.

Other things happening in Lanesboro over the run:

  • Buffalo Bill Days: Aug 2-4
  • Lanesboro Area Art Trail: Sep 20-21
  • 60 Mile Garage Sale: Sep 13-14

🎭 Doubt: A Parable - by John Patrick Shanley
September 7 - November 10
Set amidst the backdrop of the tumultuous 1960s, the conduct of a popular priest is called into question by Sister Aloysius, a Catholic school principal deeply rooted in tradition. As the actions and motivations of both are scrutinized and suspicion mounts, the two are drawn into a battle of wills that threatens irrevocable consequences. Company member Jeremy van Meter will play the priest Father Flynn alongside with his Talented Wife Catherine Glynn who returns to the Commonweal stage to play Sister Aloysius.

Other things happening in Lanesboro over the run:

  • Fall Boutique and Business Crawl: Sep 20-22
  • Beer and wine Fest: Sep 20-22
  • Fall into Lanesboro: Oct 5

🎭 Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley - by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
November 16 - December 22

In this charming and clever sequel to Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, middle sister Mary finally gets her moment in the spotlight. As the Bennets gather for Christmas festivities at the home of the beloved Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, an unexpectedly engaging guest, Arthur, offers Mary an intellectual match and, quite possibly, love. With playful banter and dazzling style, this holiday rom com will captivate both Jane Austen fans and those who are new to her sweet and witty world. Company members Lizzy Andretta and John B. Nicol will play Mary and Arthur respectively, and Twin Cities theatre artist Craig Johnson returns to direct.


Other things happening in Lanesboro over the run:

  • Turkey Bowling at the High Court Pub: Nov 27
  • Experience The Magic of Lanesboro: Nov 30
  • Holiday Dinner Dance: Dec 7