The Empire Theatre Company has opened its ninth season this week with performances of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” nightly through Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Empire Arts Center.

The shows, also planned for Aug. 11-15 and 18-22, are being staged outdoors in the alley behind the arts center, 415 DeMers Ave. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

Audience members will be required to wear masks; they are asked to bring outdoor seating or, if needed, newly sanitized chairs will be provided. In case of rain, the show will move inside the Empire Arts Center.

The company’s season premiere is described as a hilarious, but raunchy, comedy that features musical numbers including “Flushed Down the Pipes,” “The Great American TV Show” and “Roadkill.”

It’s the story of a new tenant at Armadillo Acres who’s wreaking havoc all over Florida’s most exclusive trailer park. When Pippi, the stripper on the run, comes between the Dr. Phil-loving, agoraphobic Jeannie and her tollbooth-collector husband, tension mounts.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

The show contains mature themes and language, said the play’s director, Chris Berg.

The production features veteran ETC regional actors AnneMarie Brack, Walter Criswell, Amy Driscoll, Casey Hennessy, Brenna Skallet, Katie Spokely and Gina Uhlir, who is the ETC’s 2020-21 Artist-in-Residence.

Other members of the creative team include Maddie Sharpe, music director, Diana Chabai-Booker, stage manager, Robert Cooper, assistant stage manager and male understudy, Mitchel Reith, sound designer, Evan Montgomery, set designer, Amy Lyste, scenic painting, and Ivy McGurran, female understudy.

The musicians are Sharpe, on keyboard, Evan Wood, guitar, Spencer Black, bass, and Randall Taylor, drums.

Tickets are $24 for adults and $20 for students and military. They are available by calling the Empire at (701) 746-5500 or by going online to .

The production is supported, in part, by the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau. The ETC program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Region.

This season, the Empire Theatre Company also is planning to present the productions “Heroes of the Fourth Turning,” “The Sound of Music,” “Appropriate” and “Dance Nation.”