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Mayors team up to support Twin Ports Stage

Superior Mayor Jim Paine and Duluth Mayor Emily Larson will team up for one special performance of the A.R. Gurney play "Love Letters" at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Holden Fine Arts Center's Manion Theater on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus. Ticket sales and donations received will benefit non-profit theater and arts company Twin Ports Stage in its effort to create an arts and event center in Superior.

The company has been working for about three years to find a suitable space in Superior and raise funds for renovation. Director Victoria Main came up with the idea of pairing the Twin Ports mayors perform together in the reader's theater piece. Recognizing it might be a long shot, she reached out anyway and was delighted with the responses.

Paine's passion for performing dates back to his kindergarten play, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit."

"I've been on stage ever since," the mayor said, including roles with various community theater groups. "I'm excited to be back on stage."

The play centers around a couple reading the letters they've exchanged over a lifetime.

"It's a charming, heartbreaking script," Paine said.

Larson came on board quickly, according to Main.

"The ability to support the arts, together with my colleague across the bridge, made this an easy 'yes' for me," Larson said. "Mayor Paine and I will have fun with this and I think the audience will too. Thank you to Twin Ports Stage for this great opportunity."

The performance will be followed by a reception with the mayors in the lobby of the Holden Fine Arts Center, 1805 Catlin Ave. Free parking is available behind the building.

Tickets, which include the reception, are $35 for general admission, $25 for students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door or online at brownpapertickets.com. For reservations, call (715) 392-1742.

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