By Eric Lee

Eric Lee
Eric Lee

To everyone of you who makes the Commonweal what it is, it’s time for me to share some news: Sanders Family Christmas is going to be my last performance as a Resident Ensemble Member.  My time here has been wonderful, and my life has been enriched by every one of you.

Five years ago, I was fresh from a year in LA. I was unsure of myself, and whether I wanted to even continue acting. I initially landed in Decorah and appreciated the beauty of the Driftless region, having grown up visiting. 

Jacob Marley (Eric Lee) tells Scrooge (Ben Gorman) his fate
Eric As Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol

Shortly into my acting “retirement”, I became restless, and remembered that my aunt and uncle had taken me to a professional theatre in the area when I was in high school. I decided to submit my materials and Hal Cropp called me up, and soon he was in Decorah and auditioned me. Within a couple of weeks, I would step on the Commonweal stage for my first time, in Arsenic and Old Lace.  

I appeared the next year in The Three Musketeers, and then was thrilled to be invited to join the Resident Ensemble for the 2016 season. Onstage, I’ve had so many incredible opportunities. From Megan Pence’s wonderful telling of A Christmas Carol, the gorgeous Silent Sky, and of course the great fun of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Commonweal professional resident ensemble member Eric Lee in the role of Peter Shaw in Silent Sky
Eric As Peter Shaw in Silent Sky

This year has provided one great opportunity after another, starting with the mysterious Holmes and Watson and ending here with the lovely Sanders Family Christmas. And Jeremy van Meter and I have had quite the season together – having been adversaries, comical lovers, and now brothers! 

Offstage, whether working on our marketing team, or just being out and about, I have forged so many relationships that I will deeply value. From serving with the Lanesboro Business Promotion Group, working with other folks in the area to get out the good word of Lanesboro, to having the honor of being the word pronouncer for the elementary school spelling bee, I have enjoyed my time in Lanesboro so much.  

What’s next for me? Well, I’m moving to the Twin Cities. I don’t know just what that will hold, but I do enjoy new opportunities. I am so very fortunate that I had the chance to develop professional relationships there while being at the Commonweal. As I venture once again into the unknown and unpredictable, please know that I am grateful for everyone of you that has made my time here so very special, and who contribute to making Lanesboro and the Commonweal such remarkable places. I’ll see you all soon!

Thanks for everything Eric, we all will miss you. Don’t miss Eric’s swan song in Sanders Family Christmas. For Tickets —> Performance Calendar

8 Comments
  1. What an inspiring story. I have enjoyed your performances and your spirit, Eric. Allo the best to you. Thank you for all you’ve contributed to Commonweal.

  2. Oh my goodness! We’re so sorry to learn Eric will be leaving! We’ve surely enjoyed EVERYTHING Eric has contributed to the Commonweal’s work, and will miss him very much. Thanks for everything, Eric, and very best wishes. Break BOTH legs in whatever your next venture includes.

  3. Thank you for sharing your talents over the years! Best of luck in all you do. As it is said…do not be a stranger…all paths could lead back to Lanesboro it only for a visit!

  4. We will miss your talents, Eric. With gratitude for your days in Harmony, and the Christmas cookies

  5. Eric, Your mini-Company members and I will miss seeing U perform at CW and visiting after the shows but we wish U the very best in your future dreams and hope very much that U keep in touch! We’ve been known to travel to the Twin Cities to watch shows with our friends in them 😉
    ~michelle, Vivienne and William

  6. You will be missed deeply. Best of luck on your new adventures.

  7. You’ve left quite a mark here, both on stage and off, serving on the marketing team and helping promote the downtown business community. Enjoy your finale with that old- time, toe-tapping Sanders music! Then break a leg on new stages. We will miss you!

  8. We will miss you! I will always remember your roles in Three Musketeers, Holmes and Watson, and now Sanders Family. Best of everything to you – and hope to see you on stage in the cities soon😊

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