25 Year Participant - Rita Horstmeier
The second 25 year member we would like to introduce to you is Rita Horstmeier. Rita and her entire family has been involved with LPI in some capacity since the beginning. Her four children, Joe, Nic, Jake, and Alexia have been involved onstage and backstage, and Rita's husband Jeff has done his fair share of volunteer work building sets for LPI throughout the years. Rita is now the head of ticket sales for LPI and has been for the past 17 years!
Do you remember how you found out about LPI?
We found out via The Sounder newspaper that the Random Lake Booster Club along with three local, young men were going to be producing The Wizard of Oz. We thought that would be a great thing for our kids to get involved in… and also The Wizard of Oz is one of the best shows ever!
How were you involved in LPI’s first year?
Since we had two "munchkins" in the show, I helped with supervising the children. Since I was up at rehearsals anyway when the kids were there, I just helped out with anything else they needed.
What do you love about LPI?
I love their basic mission which is to encourage young and old to get involved in theater. Everyone is included no matter what their talents might be. I love how over 25 years I’ve seen so many kids “grow up” on stage with us. They may start as a very young, shy child who develops into a strong human being, who can get up on stage in front of hundreds of people. This experience has helped many in different areas of their lives and built their confidence. Also, our family has gained so many “friends” from being a part of LPI. We have some people who have met through our organization and are now married with children of their own. How wonderful!!!
How has your involvement with this organization changed throughout the years?
Throughout the years I have been on stage for five of the shows, have helped out in many areas backstage such as costumes, kid patrol, stage crew, playbill, set construction, set painting and general all around helper. I currently head up the ticket sales and have done so for 17 years.
How has LPI changed your life?
I don’t know that LPI has necessarily changed my life but it has definitely allowed me to meet so many different people from so many different places who I now consider friends.
What is your favorite LPI memory?
Too many great memories to list, but two things stick with me. One, I remember how every year when we would go to the school for the auditions, our kids would run into the auditorium, so eager and even smelling the theater air. They were so excited to be back for another summer of fun and friends. The other would just be all the fun times you share with everyone, the cast members, crew and volunteers, backstage during rehearsals and the shows. Too many fun moments to share.
What is your favorite LPI show?
I’m not able to pick just one favorite LPI show. My top three would be Joseph, because that was an incredible show in so many ways and it was the first show I was in for LPI. Next would have to be Annie because I played Miss Hannigan who was such a crazy character. I was trying to channel Carol Burnett who was hilarious as Miss Hannigan. And my third favorite would have to be Seussical because that is also such a fun show to be in. The other thing that made Annie and Seussical very special was because I was able to be in those shows with our four kids. Such a fun thing to share with your family.
Where do you hope to see LPI in the next 25+ years?
I hope in 25 years LPI is still thriving and offering the same awesome opportunities to our community and surrounding areas, as actors on stage, crew members, volunteers and as great entertainment for the audiences. By then I’ll be in my 80’s so I hope I’m still here to join the fun!