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Candlewick Players present

Esther: Queen of Persia

Esther: Queen of Persia

Summer 2018

The Persian Empire has become the greatest and most vast empire. King Xerxes, the king of kings, is a man of power. Returning from Egypt, Xerxes celebrates with his nation, but after his Queen refuses to obey him, he is forced to remove her from her title.. but will he rule without a queen?

When his advisors recommend to search his empire for a virgin to replace his queen, the beautiful, young Jewish girl, Hadassah is suddenly caught in a whirlwind journey to the palace to soon fill this esteemed position.

However the story is not so simple. In an attempt to protect her from possible complications, her cousin Mordecai has made it clear to Hadassah not to inform anyone at the palace of her Jewish identity. To complete the concealment, she even takes on the Persian name of Esther.

Life for Esther, Mordecai, and their family seems to be idealic. Mordecai soon becomes a hero as he unfoils an assassination plot and saves the King, but the jealous and power-hungry Haman soon turns the tables. Haman wants power and prestige in the King's new empire and will remove all threats to that rise. Included in that is his hatred towards Mordecai. Soon he convinces the King to rid their empire of a sect of people who he deems to be an undermining threat - the Jews. Mordecai is desperate to convince Esther to try to save their people. Pleading with her, Mordecai reminds her that not even she would go untouched by the edict, but the road to save their people will lead Esther down a dangerous path.

Complete with comedy and intrigue, the play is an adventure the Candlewick Players are excited to present.  With a fresh new script, the production highlights multiple talents of our performers from across south central Manitoba. 

Mordecai with Xerxes


Manitou Opera House
325 Main St., Manitou, MB

  • Friday, July 27, 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, July 28, 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, July 29, 2:30 PM

  • Friday, Aug 3, 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, Aug 4, 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, Aug 5, 2:30 PM

Mordecai with Xerxes


Patron Information:

Seating: With the exception of the balcony, all seating is assigned. When you reserve your tickets, you may have the choice of assigned seats on the main floor or rush seating in the balcony. Seating is limited.

Guest Services: Theatre opens 40 minutes prior to the performance and Auditorium doors open 25 minutes prior to performance (to keep the building cool in the summer months). Patrons are welcome to come early to enjoy the local communities or go for a meal at a local restaurant/eatery. Please note that the Manitou Opera House is geothermally air conditioned building.


Ticket Information

Advance Tickets (which are available until the day before the performance) can be purchased either through reservation by calling/emailing:

  • the Candlewick Box Office (204-825-8406) Patrons are invited to phone the box office and reserve their tickets for pick up at the gate on the performance date.

Payment options accepted include cheque and cash.

Main Floor Seating is by assigned seats. Balcony is by rush seating.

  • Adult: $17 Advance / $20 Door
  • Children (12 and under): $10
  • Please recognize that Advance Prices are for patrons who order or pick up their tickets a day or more prior to the event. On the day of the performance, the ticket price is no longer at an advance ticket rate.

Ticket Locations (for Advance Ticket Pickup):

  • Pembina Hills Art Gallery, Morden
  • CJ's Convenience, Manitou

Ticket Reservations:

  • Send an email (please include your name, number of tickets, your desired date of attendance) to the Candlewick Email Contact:
  • Call 204-825-8406
  • Advanced Reserved Tickets will be held a the door for pickup upon your arrival. Even though you may pay for them at the door, because you ordered them in advance you will pay the advanced price.

* Advanced Ticket prices are in effect until the day prior to the performance of your choice.

The Cast:


Ruth Barker (La Riviere) - Golshanak (Nobleman's wife) & Crowd
Eric Buhr (Swan Lake) - King Xerxes
Jason Dyck (Winkler) - Carshena
Helen Ens (Winkler) - Barsine (Nobleman's wife) & Crowd
Emma Farley (Carman) - Parmida (Nobleman's wife) / Crowd / Virgin
Bruce Fehr (Winkler) - Shaashgaz (Head Eunuch)
Hannah Franz (Winkler) - Queen Vashti
Lisa Froese (Winkler) - Afrouzeh (Nobleman's wife) & Crowd
Kathie Hargrave (Winnipeg) - Zeresh (Haman's wife) & Crowd
Hailey Hunter (Manitou) - Esther
Corinne Girouard (Notre Dame) - Parvaneh (Nobleman's wife) & Crowd
Mackenzie Johnson (Manitou) - Azar (Nobleman's wife) & Crowd
Tyler Johnson (Manitou) - Teresh
Jessica Klassen (Morden) - Tomyris (Nobleman's Wife) / Crowd / Virgin
Marius Klassen (La Riviere) - Hathach/Crowd
Tristan Klassen (Morden) - Haman
Xander Klassen (La Riviere) - Bigthana/Ambassadors/Crowd
Harrison Penner (Morden) - Karkas
Darlene Reimer (Miami) - Rachel (Mordecai's wife)
Robert Riddell (Miami) - Mordecai
Alex Unrau(Morden) - Memukan
Owen Storey (Morden) - Harbona / Crowd

Jillian Desender (Manitou) - Gellah
Selah Fehr (Winkler) - Tovah
Keeley Sheppard (Morden) - Rebekah
Rudy Sheppard (Manitou) - Artxerxes / Micah


Esther and Xerxes
  • Producer/Director - Richard J. Klassen (La Riviere)
  • Assistant to the Producer - Chuck Fefchak (Morden)
  • Actor's Liaison - Karma Sheppard (Morden)
  • Box Office - Vanessa Klassen (La Riviere), CJ's Convenience, Pembina Hills Art Gallery
  • Choreographer - Tanya Schobert (Morden)
  • Costume Coordinators - Ruth Barker (La Riviere),
  • Costume Assistants - Arlene Barker (MacGregor), Lorine Fox (Manitou), Jeanette Hoeppner (Winkler), Angela Klassen (Winker), Vanessa Klassen (La Riviere)
  • Front of House Coordinator -Vanessa Klassen (La Riviere)
  • Front of House Assistant / Concessions - Janice Unrau (Manitou), Alyssa Fox (Manitou)
  • Hair Coordinator - Lorine Fox (Manitou)
  • Makeup Coordinator - Robin Desender (Manitou)
  • Makeup Assistants - Libbey Cobb (Manitou), Laura Greenfield (Manitou), Patsy Penner (Winkler), Emily Penner (Winkler)
  • Marketing Design - Eagleye Printing (Morden)
  • Playwrights - Richard J. Klassen (La Riviere), Ruth Barker (La Riviere), Rob Riddell (Miami)
  • Properties Coordinator - Robert Riddell (Miami)
  • Set Construction - Richard J. Klassen (La Riviere), Liam Klassen (La Riviere), Ed Giesbrecht (Oakville), Marius Klassen (La Riviere), Xander Klassen (La Riviere), Rob Riddell (Miami)
  • Set Painting - Robyn Desender (Manitou), Emma Farley (Carman), Erin Klassen (Morden), Marius Klassen (La Riviere), Xander Klassen (La Riviere), Rob Riddell (Miami)
  • Signage - Impact Signs (Winkler)
  • Stage Manager - April Talbot (Manitou), Joelle Borne (Morden)
  • Assistant Stage Managers - Bruce Fehr (Winkler), Harrison Penner (Morden)
  • Technical Assistants - Josh Pharaoh (La Riviere), Liam Klassen (La Riviere)
  • Web Promo - Laura Greenfield (Manitou)
  • Website Coordination - Richard J. Klassen

Production Sponsors:

  • Access Credit Union
  • Aspire Electric
  • Coffee Culture (Morden)
  • Comte Grain Bins
  • Dead Horse Entertainment
  • Eagleye Printing and Design
  • Gislason Targonik Peters
  • Manitou Building Center
  • Manitou Opera House
  • Winkler/Morden Co-op

Previous Performances have included:

  • Bye Bye Birdie (2017 musical)
  • Robin Hood: Dark of the Woods (2016)
  • Mary Poppins (2015 musical)
  • Joseph: Man of Dreams (2014)
  • Tarzan (2013 musical)
  • Count of Monte Cristo (2012)
  • Beauty and the Beast (2011 musical)
  • Moses: Prince of Egypt (2010)
  • Fiddler on the Roof / Fidla oppan Dak (2009 musical)
  • Les Miserables (2008)
  • Samson and Delilah (2007)
Edmond and MercedesGarden Party

Play produced by special arrangement with "The Wicks" Writer's Guild.