Husmann named new pageant director

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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Willow Lake native Laurie (Cramer) Husmann of Houston, Texas, will direct this year’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant which is  based on Wilder’s book, “The Long Winter.”


“I’m very excited to be directing the pageant. I have wonderful ideas going through my head to bring the story alive,” she said.


Hussman said she thinks of “The Long Winter” as a celebration that speaks of the fortitude and spirit of the homesteaders and everything they had to do to survive.


Because there are 10 performances, Hussman said she would like to double cast some of the roles, so the cast members don’t get overwhelmed.


“Volunteers can’t always commit to all three weekends, and we need to be more flexible,” she said. “I hope double casting will make it easier for more people to volunteer.”


Husmann said she also wants to find more volunteers to help out behind the scenes.


“I’m very excited to get the community involved,” she said.


Auditions begin at 2 p.m. April 23-24 at the Wilder Welcome Center (the former Buchele Drug Store building) on Calumet Avenue in De Smet.


The pageant runs Friday through Sunday evenings for three consecutive weekends: July 8-11, 15-17 and 22-24, along with De Smet Night, a dress rehearsal open to local residents on July 7.


Husmann, a graduate of Willow Lake High School, majored in apparel design at South Dakota State University in Brookings.  She earned a master’s degree in theater from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.


She is employed as a draper and patternmaker in the wardrobe department of the Houston Ballet Company in Houston.


Husmann visits her mother, Marian Cramer, at her home near Spirit Lake each summer during the ballet company’s break, and she often works with the pageant during her visits.


 In 2014, she designed and created new costumes for the production and removed some of the layers out of the existing winter costumes to make them more comfortable for the actors to wear during the July performances.


As a child, Husmann acted in the pageant and played the part of Laura a couple of times.


She has also helped with costumes for college performances, and has been involved with children’s shows and community theater in Houston.


“I have always loved the stage,” she said.


Donna Palmlund

Staff Writer

The De Smet News

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