Dayton theater group comes to Gardnerville

A group of Dayton performers, the Misfits of Dayton, is bringing its original melodrama "Mischief in Minden or Dexter Done Wrong" to the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center, Jan. 13 and 14.

Tony Thornburg, founder and director of the non-profit theater group, said he co-wrote the melodrama with his daughter, Cynthia Wylen, 41. This is the fifth play he has written for the group since it was created two years ago.

"So far I've done exclusively melodramas," said Thornburg. "At some time in the future I would like to move into more straight comedies, like a Neil Simon comedy."

Thornburg, a retired school district superintendent, has been involved in starting up two other theater groups in the past.

Douglas County Historical Society member Donnis Thran first saw the Misfits of Dayton on a float in the Nevada Day Parade, according to Thornburg.

"She was interested enough to come to our show," said Thornburg.

The acting group normally performs at the Odeon Hall in Dayton, but Thran asked if they could come to the Gardnerville museum.

"We'll be there for two rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday, and perform on Friday and Saturday," said Thornburg.

The story centers around Dexter DeVille, the local assayer, who was cheating the miners, including a pair of greenhorns from the big city of Winnemucca, by exchanging iron pyrite for the gold they brought in to be assayed. He might still be doing it if he had not been stopped by the under secretary of the Interstate Departmental Investigation of Technical Systems, (IDIOTS) in Carson City.

Tickets are $15 and should be purchased in advance at the museum, 1477 Highway 395, Gardnerville. The last melodrama performed at the museum, "Whistle Stop," sold out all three days.

Mike Maloney, who was featured in "Whistle Stop," will once again perform before "Mischief in Minden" and during intermission. Maloney plays "good old" country music. As host, he not only plays much-requested songs, but also spins yarns and tells tall tales.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a 6 p.m. performance. Both drinks and a snack bar will be available. For more information on "Mischief in Minden or Dexter Done Wrong," contact the museum at 782-2555.

Thornburg, whose wife Kay is in charge of production and publicity, said he is already working on the sequel, called "Dirty Deeds Don't Do." The sequel melodrama will be performed on March 17, 18, 24 and 25 at the Odeon Hall. For more information, call Thornburg at 246-2484 or visit the Web site

The non-profit Misfits in Dayton started with 17 actors and now has risen to 30, with a seven-person board of trustees.

"It's an excellent group of people," said Thornburg, "and we sure have fun doing it."

Cast list:

n Mistress of ceremonies - Patt Cunningham

n Card girl - Kiersten Kinkel

n Dexter DeVille - Mark Grzebyk

n Billy Jean - Karen Brinkoetter

n Lucretia Lonelyeyes - Gail Gundersen

n Marsha Wimple - Jan Duke

n Hortensia Wimple - Carol Bauer

n Jon Doe - Dan Rice

n Henrietta Steindrinker - Andra Woolman

n Leimen Flophouse - Erin Copp

n Director - Tony Thornburg

n Piano Player - Richard Sowers

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at 782-5121, ext. 210, or by e-mail,


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