Children taught to entertain through creative expression

Justine Haaland

Justine Haaland

The Let’s Play School of Performing Arts is a place for people of all ages in Brookings to go and learn valuable skills in different fields of the arts and to hire several types of entertainment.

Let’s Play was started by Heidi and Randy Grimsley two years ago. They offer classes in piano (ages 4 through adult), voice (ages 4 through adult), band instruments (ages 7 through adult), theater (ages 6 through adult), songwriting (ages 5 through adult), children’s chorus (ages 6 through 14), drawing (ages 7 through adult), painting (ages 7 through adult), and guitar (ages 6 through adult).

They also offer singing telegram services, party patrol, Santa check-ups, orchestration and arrangement services, and a professional vocalist and/or pianist.

Party Patrol specializes in children’s parties. Costumed characters come and play games, paint faces and bring goody bags and prizes.

When you purchase the Santa check up, Santa Claus himself shows up to see how naughty or nice someone has been.

“It’s available year-round, and Santa’s twice as surprising in the spring, summer, or early fall!” according to the Let’s Play’s Web site,

“We try to offer things that aren’t available elsewhere,” said Grimsley.

Both Randy and Heidi are alumni of SDSU with degrees in music education, and theater communications. Each has been performing since they were eight and both were in family bands as children.

They started a Let’s Play in Illinois and operated it for 10 years, but they decided to move back to Brookings. “We actually met onstage in a play at SDSU. We played husband and wife. Then three years later, we got married,” said Heidi. She was one of the musical directors for Cabaret.

As well as providing classes for the community, Let’s Play gives SDSU students opportunities to teach and gain experience in their fields. Micah Wetzel, a senior music and business major is a guitar instructor for Let’s Play.

“I was trying to find as many opportunities as I could to get my name out there, and Let’s Play gave me a chance,” said Wetzel.

He gave a few lessons on his own before he was hired, but Let’s Play increased his number of students dramatically.

“I think Let’s Play is important to the community because it brings opportunity to Brookings.” said Randy.

There are classes for all ages and several opportunities for SDSU students to get involved.

“It gives the community a reliable source for arts related programs,” said Wetzel.

Let’s Play has not only helped students working towards degrees in music or theater, but design as well. They hired a student to do their Web site.

“Why not reach out and let the students do some of these things?” said Randy.

#1.883121:1760085120.jpg:letsplayarts.sf.jpg:Erin Brubakken teaches Francie Grimslen during a musical theatre workshop of Annie.:Stephanie Fischer