Chad Luberger and Allie Babich in “Victory Farm” at Northern Sky Theater, 2012. Photo by Len Villano.
The “Victory Farm” writing team: Emilie Coulson, Katie Dahl, James Valcq.
Steve Koehler, Dan Klarer, and Chad Luberger in “Victory Farm” at Northern Sky Theater, 2012. Photo by Len Villano.
Book and Lyrics by Emilie Coulson and Katie Dahl. Music by James Valcq.
“At the same time, ‘Victory Farm’ is filled with soulful, beautifully wrought reminders that even when we make common cause, our individual sorrows and secret histories threaten to pull us apart, unless we learn to share our hopes and dreams, our sorrows and losses. The real victory cultivated on the farm featured in this show involves learning how we might grow together.” – Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Who are the strangers among us? Can we find a way to welcome them? And how can we seek to understand them better? These are the questions posed by “Victory Farm,” the acclaimed musical play inspired by the true story of German prisoners of war who came to pick cherries in Door County during World War II. Having lost their father/husband to the war and in need of pickers for their struggling Door County, Wisconsin cherry orchard, Dottie and her mother Edna enlist the help of three German POWs. Forced to work together in these unlikeliest of circumstances, the Germans and the Americans work: to bring in the harvest, to find joy in dark times, and to connect through their differences. Clear-eyed, hilarious, and bittersweet, “Victory Farm” has captured the imaginations of thousands of theatergoers since it premiered at Northern Sky Theater in 2012. The musical has been made into a live cast album (purchase it here[please link to “albums” page]) and seen two encore productions. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel named “Victory Farm” one of 2017’s ten best theater productions in Wisconsin.
If you are interested in producing “Victory Farm,” please contact Katie Dahl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“From first chord to final flourish, the amazing through-sung number in “Victory Farm” entitled “Hand Over Hand” runs more than 10 minutes – in a musical which, like all Northern Sky shows, runs just 90. But I nevertheless didn’t want “Hand Over Hand” to end, and for good reason: Not only is it a moving anthem celebrating the value and dignity of work, but it’s also a marvelously constructed microcosm of the entire show – and among the best ten minutes on stage I’ve experienced during any of the 100-plus productions I’ve seen thus far this year, in theaters ranging from New York to San Francisco.”
— Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 6/27/2017
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“As “Farm” begins, three German POWs are riding the rails toward their next assignment. Coulson and Dahl take their time introducing them, a smart move that challenges the audience to begin the same emotional journey that still awaits this play’s Wisconsin natives: Seeing the Germans as ordinary people rather than fearing them as a faceless and monolithic enemy….what really makes “Victory Farm” sing is its stirring and emotionally satisfying score, which features moving love songs, a poignant tribute to the meaning of home and through-sung numbers like “Hand Over Hand,” in which Valcq’s harmonies mesh seamlessly with the advancing story.”
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“Sophisticated without putting on airs.”