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Mike & Julie Bateson
Using the small Southeastern Minnesota town of Potsdam as Ole & Lena’s home town, the Bateson’s bring the entire population of Potsdam, Minnesota; not to mention the crazy extended Gustafson family, to life through well timed phone calls that are made or received by Ole and Lena. “We were going to perform at small theater in Minnesota and passed through the microscopic town of Potsdam. We looked at each other and knew we had to adopt it,” says Julie.
Whether it’s Ole’s life-long friend and neighbor Sven and his wife Margaret, Mike and Julie have developed characters to round out the entire population of Ole & Lena’s friends, relatives and acquaintances from their community and church.
“Often we are given a theme or a topic by friends or someone in the audience and before we know it, discussing it just as Ole & Lena would in the farm house kitchen, we come up with the outline for a sketch or in some cases a full-length 2-act play, says Mike. “Once we have the frame work in place we weave in the people of Potsdam and laughter soon results”, Julie adds
The Bateson’s perform in theatres in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. In between theatre performance, Mike and Julie perform for private groups, fundraisers, congregations and corporate meetings. Ole and Lena’s home spun humor strikes a chord with a wide variety audiences of all ages.
When not performing, Mike and Julie are very involved in their community and enjoy spending as much time as possible with their Daughters’ families trying to keep up with their 4 grandchildren. Both Julie and Mike are very active in their church and from time to time incorporate the traits of the congregations into their plays and sketches.
The theme by which Ole and Lena and the Bateson’s bring their plays to audiences is to have the audience explore the joys of life, love, family.