At the Great River Shakespeare Festival (l-r) Assistant Professor of Theater Jeanne Willcoxon, GRSF acting apprentice Memo Rodriguez ’16, GRSF Artistic Director Doug Scholz-Carlson ’90, St. Olaf College Theater Artist in Residence Dona Werner Freeman ’80, and four-time GRSF company member Rudi Utter ’04, currently living and acting in New York. The St. Olaf College Theater department is proud of our long relationship with the festival, now in its eleventh year.
Check out the alumni career resources at The Henry C. Piper Center for Vocation and Career
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Denzil Belin is currently located in the Twin Cities. Working a day job to survive; doing art at night to live. Since Graduation… Assistant Directing: Phoenix Theater under Jenna Papke (Executive Director), Acting: Gadfly Theater, multiple readings with Mixed Blood Producer-in-Residence Addie Gorlin including Truckers Uppers for TEASE-The Easy Access Script Experience (won fan favorite). Improvisation (education): Huge Theater, ComedySportz, Brave New Workshop, workshop with John Barinholtz and Rob Belushi. Improvisation (performance): Unscripted Theater Experience (produced by Shadow Horse Theater), Throwback Night: La Ronde (produced by Huge Theater). Upcoming projects…Improvisation (performance): Neutrino Project, Throwgram: LaRonde (both produced by HUGE Theater). Directing: Discreet, Straight -Acting, Disease/Drug Free, by Matthew Everett for We Just Clicked, an exploration of online dating (produced by Freshwater Theater).
Shannon Cron currently works as a High School Coach for College Possible: a Twin Cities based non-profit that helps low-income students get into and through a 4-year college. In addition, Shannon works as a free-lance director. Her recent directing projects include the Minneapolis One Minute Play Festival and 20% Theatre Company’s The Naked Eye: Self Defined. Her current project is She Looks: A Cabaret about what it means to have an eating disorder. Shannon is a director, co-writer, co-producer and is working with St. Olaf Alumni Lindsey Mornson ’15 and Maria Coyne ’15, in addition to the Emily Program Foundation to create this project. Lastly, Shannon works as a part-time Teaching Artist with Stages Theatre Company, primarily teaching students ages 4-13.
Addison Eng Going to go teach English in Taiwan, probs do some theater too. Drinks a whole lot of coffee.
Laura Beck headed to Florida shortly after graduation to be an Entertainment Technician specializing in audio at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She’s thrilled that she gets to be involved with a special events series this summer, Harambe Nights, celebrating The Lion King’s 20th anniversary and that she’ll eventually be working on Finding Nemo – The Musical.
Sean Gilbertson graduated with a double major in Theater and Mathematics. After graduation, he spent the summer working as a camp counselor in Vermont. After returning to Minnesota, Sean completed his student teaching, was awarded his teacher’s license, and currently teaches high school mathematics in Bloomington. Sean continues to act whenever possible and is making his post college debut in Theater in the Round’s production of Anne of Green Gables, directed by Dona Werner Freeman.
Becca Hart I’m a working theater teacher, artist, and administrator in the Twin Cities. Surprisingly enough, I graduated with not a theater major, but majors in English, Visual Art, plus a minor in Educational Studies. Thanks to St. Olaf Theater’s open program, I was able to grow, learn, and act as part of the department despite being a non-major.
Ian Hamilton Since graduation, Ian has worked as a childcare coordinator for the Good Shepherd School in Golden Valley. Last spring he acted in and assistant directed Anne of Green Gables, directed by Dona Freeman, at Theatre in the Round. In June 2015 Ian’s dream of serving in the Peace Corps became a reality. He is stationed in Zambia where he will spend two years teaching English to teenagers and working on AIDS/HIV awareness. His personal service project is to make devised theater with community members in the village where he will be living.
Ben Harvey I have had a year jam-packed with lots of theater. Learned how to program & mix two dozen mics on a digital soundboard, the art of speaker placement in sound design, the ins and outs of the technical side of sound, the dos and donts of live video and developed some great QLab 3 chops in about a dozen shows over the last 11 months. After I wrap up the two shows I’m doing this summer (Guys and Dolls and Avenue Q) I’ll be leaving the Duluth Playhouse and head to the big leagues (aka Minneapolis & St. Paul) and be looking for opportunities. More at Benjamin Harvey Design.
Gregory Hilleren finished up his acting apprenticeship with the St. Croix Festival Theater over the summer and within one day started rehearsals as Raoul in Eating Raoul with Minneapolis Musical Theater. Once that is over he will once again work with MMT playing Calvin in their production of Calvin Berger. While rehearsing and performing at night, by day he is a marketing assistant with the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.
Andrew Lindvall just moved to Chicago to take classes at the Improv Olympic while working on a Modeling career! During the summers he teaches theatre at Exploration Summer Camps: Yale Campus.
Jessilyn Marth double majored in Theater and Management and Marketing in the Arts. During her time at St. Olaf, she served as Managing Director of Deepend APO, PR Director of 93.1 KSTO Radio, and completed internships at Atlantic Theater Company, Theater Latte Da, and The Playwrights’ Center. Jessilyn is thrilled to be a Marketing Apprentice with Roundabout Theatre Company in New York for their 2014-2015 Season.
Sterling Melcher is moving to Connecticut in August for an Arts Administration Internship at the National Theater Institute. The following year he will remain on the East Coast, attending the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training in Philadelphia for two years, and then moving on to become a freelance theatermaker. But for now, he is at home in California, working on Lucy and the Diamonds: A Folk Opera.
Helen Muller graduated with a double major in French and Theater and is now pursuing her MFA in Stage Management at the Yale School of Drama. This year, she is stage managing Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and assisting in Chekov’s The Seagull, as well as working on run crew at the Yale Repertory Theatre. She is very grateful to her mentors and friends in the St. Olaf Theater Department for their guidance and support!
David Niccolai recently started as a production assistant with the Lighting Design Group in lower Manhattan. He is excited to extend his lighting design skills to the realm of broadcast media. The Lighting Design Group is the largest television lighting design firm on the East Coast, and has worked on recent projects including: the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and Studio lighting for NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox television. David is thrilled to add his talents to the production team.
Jake Roberts is a designer and technician, working as the lighting intern for Center Stage in Baltimore during their 2014-2015 season, following a summer assisting fellow alum Ben Golden at the Heartland Theatre Festival. Current and past projects may be seen at his website.
Julia Valen will be heading out to New York in the fall of ’14 to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts M.F.A. Acting Program. The summer of ’15 she is playing Essie Carmichael in the Jungle Theater’s production of You Can’t Take it With You.
Sari Abelson I am currently working with Mind Body Solutions as the head of social media and an assistant in their adaptive yoga classes. In the fall I will attend the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine’s University. Ultimately, as a social worker, I seek to utilize movement, mindfulness and the art of storytelling to offer therapeutic outlets. After completing graduate school (in two years), I plan to move to Montana to live in the mountains, amongst the grizzly bears (well, maybe not the bear part).
Hattie Andres recently relocated to the Twin Cities after spending her summer in Seattle teaching at Seattle Children’s Theatre, furthering her Suzuki training under the instruction of Steve Pearson and Robyn Hunt. She served as assistant to the producer of One Coast Collaboration, a new play festival and assistant directed the regional premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. She choreographed HONK! Jr. for Stages Theatre Company with director Scotty Gunderson ’10 and scenic designer Abby Warmboe ’10 and in the spring of 2014 returned to St. Olaf to choreograph Oh What a Lovely War with director Gary Gisselman.
Steven Coleman has worked as a scenic designer, carpenter, and substitute teacher. Coleman will be running his own theater program and teaching theater at Hmong College Prep Academy in St. Paul. There he will be teaching at the high school level, designing and running the after school theatre program and work on developing ties with the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent the only fully Hmong theatre group in the United States.
Sofia Galloway is a director and teacher living and working in the Twin Cities. She has spent the past two years assisting directors at professional theater companies such as Ten Thousand Things, The Jungle Theater, Frank Theatre and Theatre Pro Rata. She is currently working on a play called Reinventing The Wolf: a little red tale about big grey areas for the Minnesota Fringe Festival with ole alumna Anna Hopps ’13, produced by their company Burntail Arts. Sofia is interested in highly physical storytelling, complex female characters, and exploring the cracks, messes, and grey areas in life. More at her website.
Kelsey Hall moved to the East Coast after graduation for an Education Apprenticeship at Imagination Stage–a children’s theatre in Bethesda, MD. After a year of working and playing in such a vibrant theatre community, she is staying in the area to be a Master Teaching Artist at Young Playwrights’ Theater in Washington, D.C. She is excited to be working in public school classrooms to teach students how to express ideas, think creatively, and realize the power of their voices through the art of playwriting.
Lance Melin will be starting work at the Penumbra Theatre Company Scenery Shop, working the Mill City Project, after which he plans to continue hunting for jobs and internships as an actor and scenic carpenter.
Kari Nelson currently serves as the Assistant Director of Alumni & Parent Relations at St. Olaf College. Prior to returning to the Hill, she worked at Children’s Theatre Company as their Development & Special Events Intern, at the Guthrie as their Development Intern and performed in the Guthrie’s 2013 production of A Christmas Carol.
Benjamin Olsen is a freelance scenic and props designer based in St. Paul. He designs scenery and properties for a variety of companies including Theater Latte Da, Bloomington Theater and Art Center, Stages Theater Company and Mill City Summer Opera. He has worked as a props artisan at Children’s Theatre Company and painter at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. He is a teaching artist at St. Paul Academy and marketing associate at Shelter Architecture. Learn more at his website.
Jason Andrews After starring as Jim Hawkins in Theatre in the Round’s production of Treasure Island, Jason took the plunge and moved to New York in the summer of 2013. He recently made his New York stage debut, appearing in two pieces in a short play festival: Pe(t)er Gynt (an adaptation of Peer Gynt), and 12 Things I Learned in my 20’s, a monologue cycle.
Lauren Bartelt is grateful for the education she received at St. Olaf College and for all her fabulous mentors in the theater department. After graduation she spent a year as an Acting Apprentice at the Portland Playhouse, in Portland Oregon. Lauren has assistant directed locally at Minnetonka Theatre, Bloomington Civic Theatre, Park Square Theatre, and Yellow Tree Theatre. Recent directing credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for Minnetonka Student Summer Stock and The Glass Menagerie at St. Olaf College with co-director Dona Werner Freeman. A passionate arts teacher, Lauren is now the full-time Arts Center Associate Director for Minnetonka Public Schools. Lauren will be attending Hamline University in 2015 to pursue a Masters of Arts in Teaching and K-12 Dance/Theatre Arts License.
Gus Connelly is teaching secondary math at Craigmont High School in Memphis, TN as a Teach for America corps member. He will also be coaching soccer, and hopes to start a theater group at the school.
Ryan Evans is a research associate at Wilder Research, where his research focuses on youth development, performance arts and criminal justice. He devotes a lot of time to his folk band, Fox & Coyote, which includes his longtime friend and music partner Jonathan Harms. Since graduation, Ryan has composed music for St. Olaf Theater department’s production of The Tempest with Dona Werner Freeman, acted in Scotty Gunderson’s ’10 Open Streets community performance and composed music for Theater in the Round’s Anne of Green Gables with Becca Hart ’14 and Paul Sauey ’11, directed by Dona Werner Freeman
Ben Golden is in his final year in the MFA program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His focus is lighting and sound design for theatre, and he is currently writing his thesis on design education and pedagogy. In addition to his work as a graduate student, he is teaching Stage Lighting I, and works as a freelance designer throughout the Midwest. Most recently, he has designed Shrek and Next to Normal for the Heartland Theatre Festival and Hostage Song for Music Theatre of Madison. He also served as the master electrician for the 2013 Season of the the Des Moines Metropolitan Opera. His recent work can be seen on his website.
Clara Kundin After her graduation, Clara continued her theater studies at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Her years in Paris found her performing onstage with Moving parts, teaching at the École du Jeu, and performing on camera and as a voice over artist. She recently moved to NYC and has performed with the Galli Theater and the GYM at Judson. For more information, check out her website.
Ian Hathway – I only participated in the Quade One-Acts each year, and did no other theater at St. Olaf until my final year, when I came to my senses. After graduating with and English major, I spent a year teaching at the martin Luther Schule via the St. Olaf Rimbach award, and while there directed the school’s English theater group Center Stage. I was also fortunate enough to be part of This Lime Tree Bauer with TiG7, a theater in Mannheim. I briefly abandoned theater, working in corporate education and convincing myself that I was too busy, until I again came to my senses and started myself on the path to graduate school. Currently I am a graduate student in the MA Ensemble Theatre program at Rose Bruford College, studying in London, and will be performing in Shards, a new production for a new works festival at the Criterion Theatre in the West End.
Scotty Gunderson is a freelance theatre director, visual artist, designer and producer residing in Minneapolis, MN. His visual art has been exhibited in New York City, Minnesota, and Wyoming. Recent directing credits: Frog Belly Rat Bone, FLUFF and Littler Women with the Buoyant Group; The Best Songs You Ever Heard, Part 1: Proxis with Red 40 and the last Groovement at FringeArts in Philadelphia. Upcoming: Hmong-Lao Friendship Play with Lazy Hmong Woman Productions and Intermedia Arts; There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom at Stages Theatre Company. As a director and designer, he has worked with the Buoyant Group, Red 40 & the Last Groovement, Fringe Arts, Stages Theatre Company, Red Eye Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Walking Shadow, VocalEssence, Mu Performing Arts, Rachel Jendrzejewski and Theo Goodell, Ifrah Mansour, The FAIR School, Lake Harriet Players, and St. Olaf College!, among others. Scotty is the Artistic Director of the Buoyant Group, a Twin Cities performance group, and a teaching artist and director at Stages Theatre Company. Born and raised in Wyoming, he graduated from St. Olaf College with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Studio Art. Check out more at his website.
Megan Hadley is a Minneapolis based administrative professional, singer and theater artist. Currently working as an executive assistant at the University of Minnesota, Megan enjoys making music and theatre in her spare time. She has joined Magnum Chorum choir and is a founding member of The Buoyant Group, a storytelling performing arts collective. Megan has performed with The Chameleon Theater Circle, Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, Swandive Theatre and Savage Umbrella. She has picked up the ukulele and can be seen playing at moto-i on open mic nights or for music showcases.
Eric Heimsoth has been acting in the Twin Cities since graduation. Recent productions include performances in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for the Jungle Theater, The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins at the Children’s Theatre Company, Playing Tony in West Side Story for Anoka Community Theater and Cousin Kevin in Paul Bunyan Playhouse’s The Who’s TOMMY. Recently he was Horton in Seussical the Musical at Stages Theatre Company.
Devin Horne spent the first year after graduating from St. Olaf teaching English in Germany. He began taking classes at the Peoples Improv Theater in New York last winter. Currently Devin is working in front of the camera in student films and a web series.
Tim Otte, Using his background in both Theater and English, Timothy is pursuing art as a playwright, and critic in addition to working full time in the tea industry. He spends his days drinking and selling tea, while his nights are filled with books and ream upon ream of paper. His criticism can be seen on Hazel & Wren, and his poems and plays have appeared in The Alembic, Paper Darts, Twin Cities Metro, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Hannah Leigh Sorenson is a rising third year M.F.A. acting Candidate at the Yale School of Drama. At the end of the ’12-13 academic year, she completes her training with an acting showcase in New York City and Los Angeles commencing a new beginning to her career! Her most recent roles and productions include: Hannah Pitt Angels in America: Perestroika, Tamora Titus Andronicus (YSD); Helena All’s Well that Ends Well (Shakespeare Quartets); Mina Dracula, Diana Carnival/Invisible (Yale Cabaret). This summer you can see Hannah perform at the Yale Summer Cabaret in repertory productions of Secret in the Wings by Mary Zimmerman and Of Ogres Retold a devised movement and puppetry piece by the ensemble. If all goes well this fall Hannah hopes to make her YSD directorial debut… more info TBA. More at her website.
Molly Trucano relocated to Los Angeles in late 2013 to work for true[X] media, a digital advertising agency. She is pursuing her yoga teacher certification in 2014.
Jack Adams is based in Los Angeles working for Bill Pohlad’s River Road Entertainment, an independent film production company with Minnesota roots. The company’s notable productions include LOVE & MERCY, 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2014 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture), THE TREE OF LIFE (2012 Academy Award Nominee), INTO THE WILD (2008 Academy Award Nominee) and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2006 Academy Award Winner). He works in film finance, development and production.
Angela Gulner graduated from the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University in 2011. Currently working as an actor in Los Angeles, she has appeared as Viola in Janos Szasz’s production of Twelfth Night and is appearing in the upcoming feature film Oh Sophia.
Ross Lambrecht, after working as a directing intern at the Guthrie Theatre, Ross traveled to Germany in 2011 to work as a directing intern and performer at the National Theater Mannheim. In January he moved to New York City to pursue a career in the performing arts.
David Rysdahl writes and acts in New York. He’s been involved with numerous films, TV shows and Theatre productions. He also performs long form improv every wekk at the PIT and Annoyance theatres with his duo team True East. More at his website.
Martha Stuckey, is a Philadelphia based theatre artist and musician. She is the artistic director and lead singer in Red 40 & The Last Groovement, featured act in Ars Nova Theatre Festival. Red 40 & TLG is currently in the 2nd year of their residency at FringeArts. Her most recent devised work is The Best Songs You Ever Heard Show (Red 40). Other credits include: Mommy Queerest (The Bearded Ladies), 99 Breakups and Pay Up (Pig Iron Theatre Company), The Society for Civil Discourse and The Sincerity Project (Team Sunshine), Hackles (Lightening Rod Special) and A is for Anaconda (BRAT). Also look for Martha in Slow Learners which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and has been picked up by Sundance Selects. Martha is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training. More information at her website and Red 40.
Carolyn Wesley in addition to her role as Director of Constituent Services in Governor Peter Shumlin’s Office in Vermont, Carolyn was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Lost Nation Theater, a professional regional theater located in Montpelier, VT. Carolyn is the youngest board member in the history of the theater and is working on an audience development initiative targeted at young people in their 20s and 30s. Carolyn has also performed regularly with Lost Nation since moving to Montpelier, most recently appearing as Mary Warren in “The Crucible”. Lost Nation Theater regularly casts young actors out of New York and Chicago. Carolyn invites any Ole actors interested in living and working for a month in the beautiful hills of Vermont to contact her about opportunities at the theater (email@example.com).
Kristyn Art is the Head of Arts at Sotogrande International School in Sotogrande, Spain.
Kelsey Cramer is a Minneapolis based actor, comedian, writer and teaching artist who finds the greatest delight as a creator and cheerleader of the experimental, devised, and new work that thrives in the Twin Cities community. She is a founding member of the Ole-filled storytelling collective The Buoyant Group, with whom she has performed in Chief, The Knife Show, Three Sisters and the upcoming Littler Women, an absurd adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott classic, as part of the 2014 MN Fringe Festival. She is also a company member and Education Outreach Coordinator with Theatre Pro Rata, having performed in Twelfth Night, 44 plays for 44 Presidents, and as the title role in Good Woman of Setzuan. Other performance credits include Mixed Blood/Walking Shadow, Theater in the Round, Savage Umbrella, Black Market Doctor, Upright Egg, 20% Theatre, and Dovetail Theatre. Kelsey has held internships with the Guthrie and Jungle Theaters and worked with K-12 typical and special educations students at Fraser Academy, Perpich Arts High School (of which she is also an alum), Sabes Jewish Community Center, and YWCA of Downtown Minneapolis. She is very thankful for the work ethic, creativity and friendships that were fostered during her time at St. Olaf! Learn more about the Boyant Group at their website.
Shayna Melgaard, An American Studies major, is finding that her heavy involvement with the St. Olaf Theater has blossomed into a career in arts administration. Shayna is the Associate Manager of Production and Theater Operations for the Varsity Theater of Minneapolis. She writes, “I work in an old Art Deco Theater that has been transformed into a live music and entertainment venue. We have theater ghosts too – just like at St. Olaf!”
Nick Sahli has primarily turned his creative energy toward visual arts under the pen name ‘Rossi’ and has found success through several art shows in Minneapolis. His featured galleries appear on ambigram.com and tessellations.org, as well as his own website www.thatrossiart.com. Continuing with his theater interests as well, Nick finds time for improvisation at The Brave New Workshop Union on a weekly basis.
Maren Searle is an MFA acting student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Fall of 2012 she was in Imaginary Invalid starring Steven Epp and directed by Dominque Serrand.
Colin Christie is an art director and graphic designer based out of Colorado Springs, CO. While most graphic designers love to brag about their degrees in visual communication or advertising & marketing, Colin proudly cites his BA in theater as the number one reason for his success in his chosen field. Though sometimes he misses his days of trodding the boards, Colin now gladly enjoys the thriving Colorado regional theater scene from an audience’s perspective.
Jake Mahler After graduation from St. Olaf I attended Purdue University where I received my MFA in acting and taught acting, voice and movement classes. I then spent two years on the road with the American Shakespeare Center based in Staunton, VA. During my time there I played 19 roles in 10 productions including Crumpet in the Santaland Diaries, Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, Soranzo in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. I also was the music coordinator for the live pre-show and intermission music played by the actors. My wife (who was on tour with me) and I live in the Chicago area now. Since arriving I have performed in a few storefront shows and made my way into some the the equity houses. Highlights include: Panche/Olive’s Dad in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Theatre at the Centre), Reuben in Old Jews Telling Jokes (The Royal George) and Ensemble/Addison Mizner in Road Show (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Summer and fall of 2014 I will be back at Theater at the Center in Beverly Hillbillies: The Musical (a world premier) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
Megan Hughes, after graduating from the New School for Drama with an MFA in Acting in 2011, Megan has been working mostly in film, as well as starting her own graphic design company, Attack Cat Creative. In the past two years, she has worked on several films and is currently producing and starring in a web series called “Our Studio” due to be released later this year. She will also be starring in a feature film shooting in Arizona this fall. More at Megan’s acting website.
Eva Nelson served as an acting apprentice at the Great River Shakespeare Festival after graduation. She also worked at a number of Minneapolis theaters including Frank Theatre and the Gremlin Theater. Shifting gears toward a career in education, Eva is currently pursuing a MEd (Life Science) degree. Her stage time will serve her well with a daily audience of high school science students soon to come!
Matt Trucano is the Artistic Director/Co-Founder of Chicago’s Bricklayers Theater Company. Matt tells us, “My work in the theater department and in the college as a BA student prepared me really well for many of the ins and outs of working in the theatre, specifically in the young life a of a professional ensemble.” In the spring of 2011 the Bricklayers traveled from Chicago to Minneapolis for a run of their production of Mother Courage, featuring Barbara Berlovitz and directed by Marianna Araoz, focusing on extensive mask work with her Paris company.
Max Wojtanowicz works as a freelance actor and singer in the Twin Cities, including with Theater Latte Da, Nautilus Music-Theater, Jungle Theater, Ten Thousand Things, Frank Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Illusion Theater, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, and the Children’s Theatre Company, where he spent two years as a performing apprentice. He coaches the speech team at Lakeville North High School, and hosts Musical Mondays, a monthly showtunes cabaret series at Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis. Max has also written the book and lyrics for three musicals (Fruit Fly and Shelly Bachberg Presents: How Helen Keller and Ann Frank Freed the Slaves, and Shelly Bachberg Presents: Orange is The New P.O.T.U.S.) for his Theater company (The Catalysts), Which develops new and inventive musical theatre centered on social justice and sustainable playmaking. He was proud to join the theater faculty at St. Olaf as a visiting instructor in 2015. More at his website.
Ryan Shipley has been fortunate to steadily work wih several Twin Cities theatre companies including Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Bloomington Civic Theatre, Minnetonka Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, Actor’s Theatre of Minnesota, Urban Samurai and Theatre Or. Ryan is also a former board member for Minneapolis Musical Theatre. Ryan is entering his third year at a youth development non-profit organization called Project SUCCESS . He works as a classroom facilitator in several Minneapolis public middle and high schools, helping students focus on their goals and dreams using theater as a means of exploration.
Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri recently moved to Columbia, Missouri for her husband’s position at the University of Missouri. Early spring 2011 she performed in a production of Proof directed by St. Olaf alum Emily Rollie, a Ph.D candidate in the Theatre Department at MU. Elizabeth is also employed by TRYPS Children’s Theatre where she teaches classes and has directed Seussical, The Musical and As You Like It.
Maren Bush New York theater credits include Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, La MaMa E.T.C., Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the 52nd Street Project. Favorite regional theater credits include the Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, The Cape Playhouse and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Film and television credits include ID, The History Channel and Sharing & Reaching Home. M.F.A. in acting UCSD.
Kira Lace Hawkins Since completing her MFA in Acting from Penn State University in 2012, Kira has frequently performed at Wagon Wheel Theater in Warsaw, IN, with highlights including Hello, Dolly! (Dolly Levi), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), and Blithe Spirit (Elvira). She recently performed in Minneapolis with Theater Latte Da in Cabaret (Sally Bowles) and with Frank Theatre in The Threepenny Opera (Lucy Brown). Kira recently directed Minnetonka Theatre’s production of Oliver, and Chicago Academy for the Art’s production of The Winter’s Tale. Kira was lucky enough to return to St. Olaf for the 2013-14 academic year to teach Opera Creation in the Schools: Civic Engagement, Acting for the Non-Major, and team teach Acting for the Lyric Stage with professor Jim McKeel. Kira is settling with her husband Zachary on his family farm in North Manchester, IN, where she will continue to perform and develop educational programs at Wagon Wheel Theater.
Laura Holway is a freelance choreographer and arts educator living and working in Minneapolis. She was the recipient of the 2011 Red Eye Theatre Isolated Act Award, through which her evening-length work entitled I Like You was produced.
Karen Dabney received her MFA in Directing from New School for Drama, NYC and is currently working towards a PhD in Theater History at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Recalling her time at St. Olaf, Karen says, “Being a part of the theater community, even though I wasn’t a theater major, meant the world to me. I didn’t have the confidence to pursue a BA in Theater, but since St. Olaf, my world has revolved around theater. Thanks for starting the fire!”
Kristin Franklin-Hammergren, has performed at a variety of regional theaters and festivals around the country including the Guthrie Theatre, Actors Theater of Louisville, Pangea World Theater, Chicago’s Akvavit Theater Company, The New York Fringe Festival and The Humana Festival. She also performed as an associate company member for the Asolo Repertory Theater in 2009-2010. Kristin received her MFA in acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in 2010. Also a playwright, one of the plays Kirstin co-wrote “Life in the Middle” is published by Playscripts, Inc. She is currently living and working in Chicago and writing her third play.
Alex Morf After making his Broadway debut in Of Mice and Men last year, Alex spent the last year acting in television shows such as Daredevil, Turn and Elementary as well as filming the upcoming films Maggie’s Plan, In Dubious Battle and The Long Home. In the fall of 2015 he will play Bayard in Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy at the Signature Theater in New York.
David Wagner followed his St. Olaf Theater degree as an acting apprentice with the Actors Theater of Louisville. Since then, he has earned a master’s degree in international education while serving as Associate Dean of Admissions for St. Olaf College. Dave played a big part in the inauguration of the St. Olaf Merit Scholarship in Theater, new in 2010.
Erik Wallin, Since 2010, Erik has served as the General Manager of St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY. A commissioner, producer and presenter of a unique and eclectic body of innovative theater and live music that meet at the intersection of theater and rock and roll. Prior to joining St. Ann’s Warehouse, Erik worked in International Programming at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC where he was responsible for the planning and implementing of the Center’s major international initiatives, which included multi-disciplinary arts festivals focused in China, Japan, 22 Arab Countries and India. In the last 10 years, Erik has had the opportunity to work with some of the worlds most visionary artists including, Cate Blanchette, Liv Ulmann, Fiona Shaw, Deborah Warner, Cillian Murphy, Enda Walsh, Emma Rice, John Tiffany, Stephen Hoggett, Yael Farber, Phyllida Lloyd, Harriet Walter, Frances Barber, Declan Donnellan, Garry Hynes, Karen O, Cynthia Hopkins, Lee Breuer, Adrian Lester, Lolita Chakrabarti, Indhu Rubasingham and Daniel Kitson, as well as many extraordinary companies such as The National Theatre of Great Britain, National Theatre of Scotland, Galway Arts Festival, Druids Kneehigh, The Wooster Group, Mabou Mines, Sydney Theatre Company, The Baxter Theatre of South Africa, the Checkhov International Theatre Festival, the Gate Theatre in Dublin, the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra, Foundry Theatre, The Tricycle Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse.
Kristina Mitchell received her graduate degree in acting from the London Academy of Music and Drama (LAMDA) and is now acting in Los Angeles. She also produces the Vagina Monologues each year (her first production was part of St. Olaf’s Quade One Act Festival) the proceeds of which go to various charities. Last year she raised over $3,000 for Darfur.
Julie Lachance, after graduation from St. Olaf, Julie moved to New York City and spent four years acting regionally and in Off-Broadway shows. She then received her MFA from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, which included a year as an associate company member. Now, she lives in Colorado with her husband and finally has her dream job as the Director of Theater at Legend High School. She says, “I couldn’t be more thankful to the St. Olaf Theater department and particularly Dona, who have made such an impact on my life.”
Sarah Rasmussen just opened The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s first ever all-female Shakespeare. Her recent credits include I & You (Marin Theatre Company), In the Next Room (Jungle Theater, Zach Theatre), The Seven (Ten Thousand Things), We Play for the Gods (Women’s Project), Bureau of Missing Persons (Neighborhood Prod. NYC), Ballad of 222 & 223, Hero Dad (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival), Chile Pod (LaJolla Playhouse), Crashing the Party, Red Ink, 1001 (Mixed Blood). Sarah has developed and/or directed new work as the former Resident Director of OSF’s Black Swan Lab and at theaters such as Soho Rep., New York Theater Workshop, Arena Stage, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, The Lark, PlayPenn, and The Playwrights’ Center and has worked as an assistant director on Broadway. Fellowships include Princess Grace, Dram! a League, Fullbright and OSF’s Phil Killian. Upcoming: Sense and Sensibility, Dallas Theatre Center. Awards: Minneapolis IVEY Award for Overall Excellence & Best Director, Austin Criticts Table for In the Next Room. She is Head of MFA Directing at UT Austin.
Kurt Anderson is a Los Angeles based actor who has appeared on Ugly Betty, Big Love, Veronica Mars and Parenthood, among many other television shows. He was also seen in the fourth installment of the Die Hard Series, titled Live Free or Die Hard. Kurt continues to be involved in Parson’s Nose Productions, a theater company that adapts classic theater (Shakespeare, Moliere, etc.) to 50 minute productions and then tours to elementary schools. It is a very popular program that is funded and run by the Geffen Theater, where the pieces also perform as part of their Saturday Series for young audiences. Additionally, Kurt produces through his company, Should Productions. Check out more on his IMDBpage . From Kurt, “Thanks so much to all of you for the continued support and love that you send me. I feel truly blessed to have all of you in my life.”
Todd Coulter is an Assistant Professor ot Theatre and Dance at Colby College in Waterville, ME.
Jennifer Maren is a professional actress in the Twin Cities on the stage, screen and radio. She is the voice of Virtuell.com, it’s Just Lunch, Order Law and several other radio spots across the country. Jen has appeared on the stages of the Guthrie Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company, History Theater, Park Square Theater, Frank Theater, Mixed Blood Theater, Old Log Theater, Hennepin Stages, The Mystery Cafe, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Theatre L’Homme Dieu, Troupe America, and Illusion Theater. Jen will appear in the Minneapolis Fringe Festival with fellow Ole alum, Michael Lee, in BOBBY GOULD IN HELL by David Mamet. In October 2015, Jen will star as Marjorie Congdon Caldwell in the world premier of GLENSHEEN a new musical by Jeffrey Hatcher and Chan Polling at the History Theater in St. Paul.
Doug Scholz-Carlson earned an MFA in acting from the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1994. He is Associate Producing Director, acting company member and Fight Choreographer for Winona’s Great River Shakespeare Festival. Doug’s work as a fight choreographer has also been featured in Minnesota Opera’s world premier of Silent Night. The St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote of his work, “…the opera’s opening battle, which is one of the the most vivid and breathtaking pieces of stagecraft to ever grace the Ordway Stage.” Upcoming projects for Doug include sirecting Lucia di Lammermoor for Austin Lyric Opera of Texas, playing Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, and working on King Lear and The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) for the Great River Shakespeare Festival’s 2012 Season.