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Ackman and Wismer team up for 'The Gin Game'

Two familiar faces return to the Prairie Repertory Theatre stage this week in “The Gin Game.”

JD Ackman, SDSU director of theatre
J.D. Ackman

South Dakota State University Director of Theatre J.D. Ackman ’78 and alumna Kate Wismer ’09 return to the stage when “The Gin Game” opens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center. “The Gin Game” will also be performed Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday.

The two-person, two-act play follows Weller Martin (Ackman) and Fonsia Dorsey (Wismer), two elderly residents at a nursing home that soon strike up a friendship. The two discuss at length their families, their lives and their world, all while playing gin.

“I was thrilled when J.D. invited me back,” said Wismer, a Britton native who was involved with the 2006 and 2007 seasons of Prairie Repertory Theatre, performing in “A Bedfull of Foreigners” and in “Social Security” alongside Ackman.

Kate Wismer, 2021 PRT
Kate Wismer

Since graduating from SDSU with a degree in music education in 2009, Wismer earned a master’s degree in musical theatre performance from Arizona State University in 2011. Since then, she has worked professionally in the performing arts, singing and dancing in shows across the country.

“I’ve known Kate since her undergraduate days at SDSU,” Ackman said. “A brief conversation two years ago led to our performing “The Gin Game” together. I consider Kate a good friend, and I have tremendous respect for her and her talent.”

In addition to her role “The Gin Game,” Wismer is serving as a vocal coach for the company this summer. Ackman returns as managing/artistic director for his 38th season and directed the first show of the season, “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged).”

No shows this summer will be livestreamed. PRT has single and group ticket options.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or or call the box office at 605-688-6045 Monday-Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.