There's a Miracle on 34th Street at Riverland Theatre

Release Date: November 30, 2018

Categories: Riverland News Area Media Stories Media Release

Miracle on 34th Street LogoJust in time for the holidays, the second production of Riverland Community College Theatre’s hope filled season of legends continues Dec. 5-8 with the classic family holiday show, Miracle on 34th Street, the Play.

Based on the classic movie, Miracle on 34th Street, the Play tells the story of Kris Kringle as he gets a job working as Santa for Macy's. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy's customers and the commercial world of New York City. However, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing. At stake is one little girl’s belief in Santa and the possibilities of imagination.

Miracle on 34th Street, the Play is a heartwarming holiday story that we want to believe in,” said Susan V. Hansen, a Riverland theatre instructor and the play’s director, “where love and generosity of spirit are their own rewards.”

Miracle on 34th street, the Play is adapted by Mountain Community Theater from the novel by Valentine Davies and based on the Twentieth Century Fox motion picture “Miracle on 34th Street” Besides, Hansen, the set, lighting, and sound design are by John Deyo. Costumes are by Madlain Vander. Emma Peterson is the Stage Manager.

Miracle on 34th street, the Play calls for 27 performers at minimum. The company comes from across southern Minnesota and Iowa area, with 12 children under 12 years old. Kris Kringle is played by Robert Johnson. Sarah Brinza plays Doris Walker and Aubrey Ruzek plays Susan Walker. Fred Gayley is played by Ethan Eriksmoen. Kayla Byram plays Miss Sawyer, Jon Cochran plays Judge Harper & Drunken Santa, KariLynn Finley-Cook plays Mrs. Shellhammer, Brianna Ahlbrecht plays Dr. Pierce, Kim Potter plays Mrs. Mara, Lilla Parada plays Mrs. Halloran and Johnny’s Mother, Charli Martin plays Mrs. Schoff and Louise, Noelan Riley plays Mr. Straus, Paulina Aguirre Quijano plays Jane Duncan and the Bag Lady, Faith Rautenkranz plays Miss Finley and the Foster Mother, Paige Smith plays the Rich Lady and Alice, Angie Bissen plays Sharon’s Mother and Arleen.

Along with Aubrey Ruzek as Susan Walker, rounding out the cast is the rest of the children. Kris Kringle has five very loyal elves. Ashlynn Schewe (Elf Evergreen), Ava Golombowski (Elf Sparkleberry), Brynn Sathre (Elf Candycane), Kalli Potter (Elf Sugarplum), and Adyson Wradislavsky (Elf Roseycheecks). Payton Southard plays the Dutch Girl, Annabelle Kasal plays Sharon, Connor Hanson plays Johnny, Eva Taylor plays Megan, Riley Szyszkowski plays Rebecca, Jude Hoveland plays James, and finally, Emma Potter plays Janet Mara.

“We have many new students on stage, as well as alumni, community members, and children. It is really a terrific mix. They can all learn from each other,” said Hansen.  “We also have an opportunity to take photos with Santa after each performance! We just ask that a small donation be made to our Theatre Scholarship fund.”

According to Hansen, “Miracle on 34th Street is such a family friendly show that we have 2 families involved. Kim Potter is performing with both of her daughters, Kalli and Emma Potter. Angie Bissen decided to join in the fun with her daughter Annabelle Kasal. Many extended family members and groups are coming to experience that wonder and joy of the holidays and spend a little quality time together. Come join us!”

Miracle on 34th Street, the Play will be performed Dec. 5- 8 at 7 p.m., and at a matinee Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. on Riverland’s Austin Campus’ East Building in the Frank W. Bridges Theatre.

Individual tickets to Miracle on 34th Street, the Play are $13 and currently on sale at 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online ticketing system allows customers to choose their seats and pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Tickets may also be purchased at the Riverland Box Office, located in room E107 in the East Building of the Austin campus. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and one hour before performances. Riverland students receive two free tickets to each performance with a valid student ID. Contact the box office at 507-433-0595 or by emailing

Riverland Theatre strives to provide quality productions that are entertaining and challenging to both the audience and the artists.  Because we reach such a diverse audience, some audience members may find some subject matter, language, or situations objectionable. If you have concerns about a specific production, we encourage you to become familiar with the material before attending the performance.

Riverland’s Theatre Department is a high-energy performance-oriented program. Plays produced vary from classical tragedy to modern comedy and from full-scale large cast musicals in intimate small cast plays. Students are encouraged to get involved in all areas of theatre production including, but not limited to, acting, stage managing, set building and painting. Strong academic offerings provide challenges in and out of the classroom.