How These Local Dads and Daughters are Bonding Onstage and Backstage

Four dad/daughter duos from the Minnetonka and Excelsior area are among those participating in this weekend's Chanhassan performances of "The Music Man" by Chaska Family Valley Theatre.

Paul Twite and his 11-year-old daughter Rebecca joined the Chaska Valley Family Theatre this year to spend more time together. Ever since, the Minnetonka duo have been working behind the scenes to digitally capture all the components that go into the making of a production—as well as cast promotional shots.

“My dad is great, and he even lets me take some of the pictures,” said Rebecca, who is also in the cast.

“This has been a tremendous way for me to share my passion and to spend quality time with my daughter,” said Paul.

Paul and Rebecca are one of four father/daughter partners participating in the Chaska Family Theatre’s current production of “The Music Man”—which includes a total of 19 families from throughout the surrounding area.

Working on costumes this past weekend with her dad, Hayden Brands, an Excelsior Elementary School second-grader loudly exclaimed, “I didn’t know you could sew, Daddy!”

Learning new things about each other and growing as a family is what the group of Carver County teachers had in mind when they founded the theater group back in 1995.

Clayt Beitel was talked into auditioning by his daughter Heather, a Minnetonka High School sophomore. Heather has been working nightly with her father on his dance steps.

“Dads are usually the ones trying to offer wisdom, but Heather has been helping me so much,” Clayt said. “Anytime that a father and daughter can spend time together is great. Having her be the expert and teacher and me being the student has been truly special.”

Adult father and daughter team and Minnetonka residents, Elizabeth and Wayne Studenski, are sharing the stage together for the first time.

“It’s been a great experience especially doing this with my daughter, Elizabeth,” said Wayne.

She couldn’t agree more.

“I am thrilled to be sharing the stage with my dad,: Elizabeth said. “Sharing the musical experience with him has brought us closer together and created many fun moments.”

The Minnetonka families are all set to take the stage this weekend in their performances of the award-winning Broadway hit "The Music Man" by Meredith Willson. The upbeat musical, packed with local talent, is entertaining patrons all ages featuring songs “(Ya Got) Trouble,” “Seventy-Six Trombones” and “Goodnight My Someone.” Vocal director, Joan Nelson of Minnetonka Theater fame, alongside award-winning choreographer Katy Stromberg have made this rendition a hit.

Performances are scheduled this weekend at Chanhassen High School Theater. Showtimes are Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. A  2 p.m. performance on Saturday is also scheduled, and the final performance will be Sunday, March 10, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adult and $10 for youth 17 and younger. Discount pricing available for groups of 10 or more. For more information and tickets, visit cvft.org or call 952-250-7206.

Chaska Valley Family Theatre, founded in 1995, provides high quality, affordable live theater featuring local talent with a focus on family involvement. It is now in its 18th season.

Nancy Kizilos-Clift March 08, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Great article -- what a fun way to spend some time this weekend with one's family, seeing the Music Man!
Robyn Barziza Chargo March 08, 2013 at 03:56 PM
So cool that all of these families are doing "The Music Man" together! (Not, "The Magic Man"..hahah!) What a fabulous show! Highly recommend seeing it this weekend!


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