Little Falls graduate releases independent film


Independent filmmaker Jesse Kretsinger, who graduated from Little Falls High School in 2017, shares how Little Falls Summer Musical rehearsed and performed the summer 2020 production of “Godspell” – outdoors and socially.

Kretsinger, son of Kim and Corey Kretsinger, is the Fiscal 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

When pandemic restrictions began in March 2020, Little Falls Summer Musical founders Lucas Burr and his father Michael Burr watched area theater organizations cancel or postpone production schedules, questioning the future of performances by live in person. But rather than cancel production, the company’s creative team wanted to test its flexibility. “We thought we could follow all the rules while still providing a good quality show,” Burr, the show’s co-director and musical director, said in a press release.

Independent filmmaker Jesse Kretsinger, a 2017 Little Falls High School graduate, shares how Little Falls Summer Musical rehearsed and performed the summer 2020 production of “Godspell” – outdoors and socially. Submitted photo

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With “Godspell,” the creative team found ways for the characters to interact from a distance, invented an intense choreography that could be performed while being socially aloof, and designed a portable set and an orchestral stage that could be assembled on the lawn of the Long Drive-In Theater. in Longue Prairie. It created an in-person experience that kept everyone involved safe, they said.

However, the rigorous process also created a series of difficulties that proved to be an existential challenge for the production, the statement said. The film portrays the full range of emotions experienced by the production team as the needs of public health collided with the creative process.

The film features interviews throughout the production, conducted by Kretsinger with Burrs, as well as co-director Michael Kalpakoff, assistant director Christian Thoms-Warzecha and actors Ryan Stangl, Madeline Wright, Nate Moga, Emma Ahlin , Angela Wright, Luke Rentschler and Mia Hoffman. Kretsinger was also a member of the cast, putting him in the middle of the story as he documented it. The videography process was a cooperative effort, with the cast, crew, and their families providing additional footage and photos from rehearsals and performances.

“All for the Better: How to Make a Musical During a Global Pandemic” will be posted free of charge and without ads on Saturday on Discourier Media’s YouTube channel, which can be found at Updates on the film can be found at

Discourier Media is a Kretsinger-owned and operated content startup focused on creating digital media for the benefit of businesses and organizations in Minnesota. “All for the Best” is the first project released under the Discourier Media brand.

This activity is made possible by voters in Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through a legislative appropriation of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. This project was made possible by a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council with funds from the McKnight Foundation.

Little Falls Summer Musical is a non-profit theater company that supports the enrichment and learning of the arts by bringing together the region’s best pre-professional, amateur and professional artists to create top-notch musical theater performances. In 2021, LF Summer Musical will continue the local tradition of community theater with the world premiere production of “Darling,” a new play by former Little Falls native Taryn Verley.

The Little Falls 2020 summer musical production of “Godspell,” a 2012 revision, was produced by a special arrangement with Music Theater International. The 2020 program was made possible in part by a SourceWell Small Project grant.

More information on Little Falls Summer Musical is available at and


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