Tricounty News

‘Annie’ production brings unexpected reunion


When St. Nicholas-area resident Trish Ludwig decided to try out for a role in the EV-W spring musical “Annie,” she was in for an unexpected reunion with a woman she had not seen since high school.

It was the first night of practice and the choreographer, Tamara McKlintock, was showing the cast what to do in the first song. “Her voice sounded so familiar,” Ludwig said. “I kept asking people who she was, but no one knew her.”

Ludwig mentioned to cast-mate Nick Block that the choreographer reminded her of her high school drama teacher. Finally, Ludwig asked director Vicki Meyer the name of the choreopgrapher.


“By the time I figured it out, she (McKlintock) was gone,” Ludwig said, “but she emailed me the next day.”

Since that first meeting, the two have spent time catching up on old times. Ludwig had gotten her first taste of acting on the Alexandria High School stage in the late 1970s. The director
McKlintock, was a young teacher in her first teaching job.

“She was a young new teacher with lots of energy,” Ludwig said. “As a student, I could tell she liked working with us students in the plays and classroom.”

Ludwig remembers being in speech, one act, and plays with McKlintock. Both women have enjoyed getting reacquainted. “She (McKlintock) brought a photo of one of the shows I was in. Oh, I was young,” Ludwig laughed.

After graduation, Ludwig left Alexandria for the College of
St. Benedict where she earned a degree in theater. She went on to help run a small theater for four years and also worked at the
Theater in the Round and Foot of the Mountain Theater in Minneapolis. She eventually married, moved to the St. Nicholas area, had two children and landed a teaching job at Maple Lake.

The last show Ludwig appeared in was the Great Northern
Theater production of Oklahoma, which Meyer directed about
13 years ago. “I missed theater,” Ludwig said. “Thirteen years is a long time to be away, but I have been raising my kids.” Son Luke is now a sophomore at EV-W and daughter Maggie is a freshman.

McKlintock also left Alexandria after a couple of years and moved out of state for several years. She moved back to Minnesota about a year and a half ago and started volunteering with the Great Northern Theater Company where she got to know Meyer who asked her to help with the EV-W production.

Because of previous obligations, McKlintock was only able to help with the show through mid-April. Cast members will miss the knowledge and enthusiasm she brought to rehearsals, but they know the play must go on. For Ludwig, the play not only reunited her with a former teacher, she’s also back on stage.

“I love working on the show,” she said. “It’s been fun getting to know all the people.”


The orphans from the “Annie” cast took a break from scrubbing floors to pose with choreographer Tamara McKlintock on her last night of rehearsals. Pictured are Kallie Becker (Annie), Whitney Jansen (June), Mady Haag (Kate), Cassidy Becker (Duffy), Ellie Brovald (Ellie), Olivia Langer (Pepper), Allie Leither (Darlene), Rylie Kuechle (Jo), Haely Goetsch (Lucy), Brielle Kuechle (Tessie), McKintock, Lesly Geislinger (Susie), Aedyn Colville (Molly), and Shelby Geislinger (Susie). Public performances of “Annie” are May 2-4. Submitted photo.

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Trish Ludwig, on the right, was reunited with former teacher Tamara McKlintock, on the left, while working on EV-W spring musical “Annie”. Submitted photo.