Become a Funder!

Hi everyone!

We’ve started a crowd funding campaign on IndieGOGO for Cravenhurst! A donation of any amount will help us make the best project possible. There are wonderful gifts to go along with your gift. More infomation can be found here. Not able to give? That’s okay! You can help us by spreading the word!

Also, check out our new teaser on our YouTube Channel.

Thank you, as always, for your support!

Published in: on December 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cravenhurst – A New Project

Cravenhurst Working Logo w border

Saarens Productions announces their newest project, “Cravenhurst”. “Cravenhurst” is a webseries that celebrates and parodies the great American institution: the soap opera. Amnesia, mistaken identities, accidents, power, greed, witches, possession, plane crashes, natural disasters, love triangles, evil twins (or triplets in this case); no storyline will be safe! The difference? It’s based in Minnesota, there is a lot more comedy, and no other soap opera has access to the talented pool of people that we do in this amazing arts community. At the moment we’ve written about half of season one which will consist of twelve episodes.

All participation is volunteer at this time, but as always, Saarens Productions would love to see a day that artists will be compensated for their work. In this time of instant access to media the chance is there, however slight. What we can promise is a really fun time! Ask anyone who has worked with us. We love what we do and we love working with people.

Filming is scheduled to start early in 2015. The series will be shown on our YouTube channel which shows our movies and has a constantly growing number of subscribers and hopefully on our local access channel, Upstream. Our films also have run on Gay Life Television in Pittsburgh, PA which allows the audience to access the content through various streaming platforms such as Roku and a live stream on their website. We are also in negotiations to be shown on a couple other websites as well.


Anyone interested in a role on “Cravenhurst” is asked to submit a headshot (does not have to be professionally done) and a note with your level of experience in performance (performance resumes encouraged, but not required) or why you think you would be a great for a role.

Please indicate whether you would be interested in a Featured Role (Requires the most time commitment – Will be a main character in a storyline), Supporting Role (A little less time commitment – Will help propel the storyline by coming in for scenes throughout the season), Guest Role (Large time commitment, but only for a limited time. May need to film 2 to 4 days in a season) or Extra Role (Least time commitment – Will be featured in scenes that require people in the background or in a group. May or may not have a line or two in the episode.) With over 20 roles and growing, we need people of all ages, size, shape, creed, orientation, etc. Also, please indicate your best guess of time availability.

We may request meeting you to read through some scenes with other actors in order to help with casting.

Requested information can be emailed to: Please put “Cravenhurst” in the Subject Line.


From make-up artists to props masters, filming production crew to audio professionals; we are looking to collaborate with the best Bemidji has to offer.

If you are interested in working on this project please send a note with your level of experience (resumes encouraged, but not required) or why you would be interested in collaborating with us to Please put “Cravenhurst” in the Subject Line.


Probably one of the trickiest parts of production, we are looking for local partners to help with the many locations we will need for filming. So far we’re in need of offices, a bar/restaurant, interior of homes, a mechanic’s garage, a hospital/clinic kind of location, a ‘green room’, and more to come. If you or your business would be interested in letting us film at your location, we would credit you/your business as associate producers or we would work out a credit that you would like to see. Businesses would also have the option of running a commercial during the episodes.

If you are interested in working on this project please send us a note to Please put “Cravenhurst” in the Subject Line.


All projects, especially one of this size, can always benefit from investment from arts appreciators and businesses. Money is always helpful and in need, but this is not the only way to invest. Use of props, donation of food for the cast and crew, giving access to locations for shooting, and getting the word out about the show are all things that are essential to the success of the project.

If you are interested in investing in the project in any capacity mentioned or in some way that you feel would be beneficial, please email us at Please put “Cravenhurst” in the Subject Line.

For more information on this project, please contact us at or call (218) 556-1777. We are really looking forward to this project and hope you will join us!

Saarens Productions is a for-profit company owned and operated by Steve Saari and DeeJay Arens in association with Executive Producer/Investor, Vicki Stenerson.


Published in: on November 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  


Hello everyone,

We know its been awhile since we’ve posted anything. Sorry to be out of touch for so long. Thank you to everyone who has asked what and when we are doing something. The support is very much appreciated!

Just to catch you up, there are some transitions happening with us. We’ve moved out of the temple and everything is in storage. Or our garage. (Oye) At the moment theatre is a bit up and the air. We have plans to continue, but now we have to figure out places and what not when we get back at it!

SA Poster Main

During the last few months and we’ve had a great adventure with our first full-length movie, “Slip Away”. We premiered it last fall in Bemidji, then had a permiere in Grand Forks, ND at the Fire Hall Theater, and then in October we had a showing in Hollywood! Quite a feat for a little movie shot in just a few weeks. Although, with the amazing amount of talent we had in the film, I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised.

For those of you that missed it and would like to see it, as of last night you now have your chance. The movie is on YouTube in 3 parts for everyone’s enjoyment. We continue to seek recognition for the artists, distribution, or whatever may come from it. I hope you take some time to see some amazing performances.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

For some REALLY great news… Steve’s book of poetry, “This Long Trip to Myself” will be released August 22nd! You aren’t going to want to miss this one. It’s incredible. The very talented Julie Quanrud and Chris Arens provided the illustrations for the book. Watch for more info at his publisher’s website as it gets closer.


(This part added at Steve’s instance) Also in book news, DeeJay’s book, “The View From a Rusty Train Car” won two awards this spring. He was thrilled (accompanied by Julie Quanrud and Gary Grotenhuis) to be able to accept one of them in New York City at the Harvard Club. Meanwhile, he gets a new book cover to celebrate.


So while we haven’t been very active in the public eye, we continue to pursue art. Watch for more announcements coming soon with new projects down the road including another publishing announcement for Steve (this time about his plays) and the start of new film projects!

Thanks again to all of you for your constant support! We really appreciate all of you and all of the artists with which we have the honor to work. Until later… keep supporting the arts!

Published in: on July 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  


Sordid live logo

Saarens Productions invites you to add dinner theatre to your diet by attending the adult comedy about the trials and tribulations of good ol’ folks in trailer trash Texas entitled,

“Sordid Lives,” by celebrated author, Del Shores.  The production will be presented at the Hungry Bear Banquet & Conference Center (2300 24th St. NW) on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, February 21-23.

Social time begins at 6:00pm with Dinner at 6:30pm and the Performance at 7:30pm.  Tickets are $32.50 per person and reservations must be made one week in advance in order to accommodate limited seating.  A 10% discount is available for parties of 8 or more.

The menu includes a Backyard Barbeque featuring Ribs, Hamburgers, and Brats, and meatless Cheese Manicotti.

Reservations may be made by calling 556-1777.  Payment must be made in advance by credit card or by mailing a check to Saarens Productions, 508 Woodland Ave. SW, Bemidji, MN 56601.

The All-Star Cast includes:  Mitch Blessing, Kevin Cease, Chuck Deeter, Sarah Einerson, Julie Kaiser, Kathryn Lavelle, Andor Lofthus, Bridget Looper, Julie Quanrud, Steve Saari, Vicki Stenerson, Joel Ward, and Cheryl Winnett.

The cast is under the direction of DeeJay Arens with the aid of Assistant/Lighting/Sound Director, Betty Arens.  Emily Quanrud serves as Stage Manager.

Have you ever wondered how the other half lives and loves?  Wonder no more.  Join us for an evening of fine dining and a hilarious peek into the lives of the inhabitants of Winters, Texas and their “Sordid Lives!”

Hope to see you at the show!!!!!

Published in: on January 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Slip Away – Official Movie Poster

We are currently in the last stages of post-production and we are getting excited to share  this movie with all of you. Thank you to everyone for their support and encouragement! Check back for further details!

Published in: on May 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fathom Film Festival Awards

Announcing the winners at the Fathom Film Festival!

Critics’ Choice Award: “Inside Looking Out” by Harlan Hegna (

Audience Choice Award: “Bunnies” by Spencer Olson (

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to the filmmakers who submitted their material and to the audience members who attended the Indie Film showings! We look forward to next year!

Published in: on April 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Production Photos ~ Slip Away (Re-Shoot)

For those of you following the progress of our movie; you may or may not know that we had a terrible technical mishap a couple months ago. All the editing that had been done was lost. Luckily, we still film on tape so we had the originals. However, the first tape of our first shoot of this movie mysteriously vanished. We no other options left, the cast and crew graciously agreed to get back together and re-shoot the original pages of the script. Turns out it was a lucky thing. We are all happier with how this shoot went compared to the first. SO! We are back on a roll with the movie. Going to get back to edits and re will record the original music Steve Saari wrote for the movie. Wish us luck!

Here are some photos from this weekend’s shoot!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Published in: on April 1, 2012 at 7:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Season Productions Rescheuled

Some of you have noticed that there is no press or ads for our Dinner Show – “Monky Business”.  We’ve even had a couple calls from devoted patrons wondering how and where to get tickets since it is supposed to be this coming weekend. We regret to say that we at Saarens Productions have postponed our last two shows of the season until further notice. We are in the midst of restructuring and devising a new strategy for our theatrical presentations. Attendance has been low the last couple of shows and we are trying to figure out why. Without the support of people coming to our shows, it makes it difficult for us to go on financially.

Thank you to all of you who have checked in with us about up-coming events.  We appreciate your support!

We’ll be in touch with more information in the next few weeks.


All of us at Saarens Productions

Published in: on March 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Preview: Slip Away – A Film from Saarens Productions

This is a 5 minute preview of our latest movie that is currently in editing!  It’s still in it’s ‘rough cut” form, but you get the idea.  The cast and crew were amazing.  Hope you enjoy!

Published in: on December 17, 2011 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Last Production Photos – “Slip Away”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Published in: on December 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm  Comments (1)  

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.