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Community Players Artistic Director's fourth grade dinosaur story brought to stage
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Community Players Artistic Director's fourth grade dinosaur story brought to stage

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A Jurassic era piece has been uncovered at Community Players, and will be available for online viewing starting Saturday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Written by Community Players’ Associate Artistic Director Tyler Rinne when he was in fourth grade, "Dinosaur Vacation" follows five boys as they accept a mysterious offer to travel to a prehistoric island where they must work together not only to escape, but to solve the mysteries of its modern-day secrets.

Rinne described the story as “Jurassic Park” influenced, "full of t-rexes, jeep chases and velociraptor duels." He said the show is an energized, recorded reading, wherein he plays a fictionalized version of himself and his childhood friends, as well as the dinosaurs.

“Bringing this ‘fossilized’ story back to life has been a blast for me,” Rinne said. “It’s full of all things you expect and hope for from a story written by a kid: out-of-nowhere plot twists, implausible action sequences, and jokes that are funny for entirely different reasons than intended.”

“Dinosaur Vacation” is one of many facets of Community Players’ new “Hold, Please” initiative, including Friday Film Club meetings, episodes of the Places Please podcast and online encores of previous original productions.

Selections of the show were previously performed during a Community Players Cabaret, and Rinne said he heard feedback to perform the whole thing. He said since the theater cannot currently produce shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now seemed like a good time.

The show has even older roots, however. Rinne said the show was first performed chapter by chapter to his fourth grade class.

“[My teacher] didn’t have to let me,” Rinne said. “It didn’t go with any subjects, I wasn’t doing it for school or anything, but she let me go up and read it in front of the class. I really credit that with really helping foster my love for writing and performing, which are things that I still do today, whether I’m performing on the stage here at Community Players, or I’m writing shows for our Acting Up productions.”

Tickets to watch the performance are $10, and can be purchased online at beatricecommunityplayers.com or by calling the box office at (402) 228-1801 on weekdays between noon and 5 p.m. The theater’s lobby is currently closed to all walk-in patronage.

Community Players had three shows left in the season before closing due to COVID-19, including “Flaming Idiots”, “The Scarecrow and His Servant” and “Mama Mia!”

Last month, the shows for the upcoming season were announced as well, including “The Music Man”, “Silent Sky”, “Elf the Musical”, “Clue on Stage”, “The Three Musketeers” and “Desperate Measures”.

“There’s all kind of different eventualities as to what next season will look like,” Rinne said. “I think we have something like six different plans, just depending on when we can open back up and how we can open back up. We’re taking everybody’s safety and everybody’s entertainment into consideration as we really look at the future of Community Players.”

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