News

Everyday Arts Hero: Julie Ann Nevill

While theatres across the country and the globe are closed due to COVID-19, Park Square is taking an opportunity to share the stories of some of the hardworking and brilliant people who make the art possible. Come along with us to celebrate #EverydayArtsHeroes.

Julie Ann Nevill
Actor playing Mrs Van Dann in The Diary of Anne Frank

Photo of smiling woman- Julie Ann Nevill. She is white with brown eyes and curly strawberry-blonde hair.

2020 marks the 20th year that I have been involved with the production of The Diary of Anne Frank at Park Square. I first joined the show in 2000, and at that time I was playing Miep and was the understudy for Mrs. Van Daan. I played Miep for 1 ½ years, and then moved into the role of Mrs. Van Daan. I have also acted in Ten Little Indians, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Melville Slept Here, and Dracula at Park Square Theatre.

There have been so many funny, crazy, strange things that have happened through the years and many different shows I’ve been a part of. One of the funniest during The Diary of Anne Frank was during a year when the Van Daan’s mattress was actually an air mattress. It had deflated a little throughout the week, so when I was laying on it, Mr. Van Daan sat down and the shift in the air sort of launched me off of the bed. No one really saw it but us, but we found it very funny…we still giggle about it.

The rehearsal process enables we actors to find ways to differentiate between our characters and the Frank family characters. In the script, the Van Daan’s come from a background of money, material things, and the like. Through the many years, we have had a chance to come at the characters from a variety of different angles. Sometimes we focus more on the conflict between people, sometimes we look for more chances to show the love between them. Then we can mesh those ideas together to see what comes of that. Every new thing we try creates a new, fresh experience for us, and the audience.

The best thing about working on The Diary of Anne Frank is having the privilege of keeping this important story out in the forefront. Even today, in our very own country, anti-Semitism is on the rise. False statements about Jewish people, and anti-Semitic tropes are being thrown about by even our leaders in government. White Supremacy groups have been emboldened, and have increased their public presence and their hateful actions. This is a dangerous path that must not be followed, and people need to be made aware of it. Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it. This is why it is so important to continue this show. And, there are so many messages that apply to our lives.

Scene from The Diary of Anne Frank with the family cathered for the first night of Hanukkah. There is a menorah on the table and they are exchanging gifts.

Scene from 2018 production of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. From left: Julie Ann Nevill, Sulia Altenberg, Leslie Vincent, Michael Paul Levin, Laurie Flanigan Hegge. PC: Petronella J Ytsma.

Often students will ask “what are WE supposed to take away from this? What are WE supposed to do?” I ask them to reflect – how many times do you see fellow students being bullied and singled out because they are different; a different religion, a person of color, an immigrant, a different sexual orientation? In those times, I hope that the story of Anne Frank gives you the courage of people like Miep and Mr. Kraler; the courage to stand up and say “No”. I hope this gives you the courage to step in and say, “This isn’t right. This needs to stop.” Young people are the future. Young people have a voice in how the world can change for the better. You can BE the change you want to see in the world.

More and more I cling to Anne’s words, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart”.

COCKTAILS FOR SPRING MISCHIEF AT HOME!

We may not be together, but we can still raise a glass to springtime!

Park Square’s Front of House Manager, Jiffy Kunik, and Executive Director, Michael-jon Pease have whipped up these spring cocktails to inspire your time away from the theatre. Don’t have the exact ingredients? Use what you have and be creative!

Join us Monday, March 30, for an online cocktail party and online auction kick-off, or just sip one of these when you need something refreshing.

Chambord spritz

1.5 oz Chambord liqueur
4 oz dry white wine
Top with soda water
Take a large wine glass and fill it up with ice.
Add Chambord, white wine and soda.

Spring Breeze

1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz St Germain
½ oz Lemon juice and lemon twist
Top with Champagne in a flute

Mischief Maker (a slightly simpler version of a Seelbach)

1 oz Bourbon
½ oz Cointreau
7 dashes orange Bitters
Top with Champagne in a coupe or a flute

Spring Rose (enough for 6 of your stay at home family members)

12 oz Lillet Rose
12 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
6 oz Gin
Combine in a cocktail shaker with 3 ice cubes, shake, then divide into 6 flutes or coupes

COVID-19 Information — FOR EDUCATORS

To our invaluable educators,

With the governor’s decision to close schools in order to prepare for online learning, Park Square Theatre is working to innovate and meet your curriculum needs. At this point we are assuming that you cannot attend and are not planning on resuming productions until schools reopen.

We are planning to film our productions of The Diary of Anne Frank and Romeo and Juliet in order for your students to view them remotely. We are also working to offer you interactive live discussions with the artists. Without the need to get back on a bus, we can extend these interactions well beyond what we could offer you in the theatre itself.

There is also availability later in the run for both productions if you would like to move your tickets. I understand that we do not yet know how long the school closure will last and what ability you will have for field trips when it ends, but it is an option while seats remain.

We can extend credit toward next year’s field trip. Both The Diary of Anne Frank and Romeo and Juliet return in Spring of 2021.

If you have not sent in payment for your show, we can simply cancel your order. If you have paid and cannot make any of the above options work, we will do our best to issue a refund as swiftly as possible.
Like all of us, Park Square is responding to this situation moment by moment and needing to pivot our plans on a daily basis. The theatre has already contracted and paid artists, built sets, and completed rehearsals for these shows in preparation for field trips that were to start this week.

Thank you for the work you are doing! We are moving forward as your partner in delivering inspiration and insight to your students — at the theatre or virtually.

Sincerely,
Michael-jon Pease, Executive Director
Connor M McEvoy, Education Manager

An update on Park Square’s response to COVID-19 — FOR ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS

To our Park Square Community,

In the hardest of times, you look to our shared humanity to find new sources of resilience and inspiration. While Park Square is suspending programming to support your health and the safety of the greater community, you are also inspiring innovative ways to continue to fulfill Park Square’s vital mission.

Your health will be protected in line with the latest CDC and Minnesota Department of Health recommendations through the following program changes:

  • Spring Mischief Gala — MAR 30 — postponed. Ticket holders will be informed of a later date. An online silent auction will happen in late March or early April.
  • Romeo and Juliet — APR 4 — cancelled. This classic will return in 2021 and we encourage patrons to see it next season!
  • Marie and Rosetta — APR 15-MAY 24 — postponed. We are investigating performance options in the months ahead.
  • The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society — April 20, May 11 — going online. Perhaps even more than other performances, these “live radio broadcasts” lend themselves to adaptation and we are exploring how to best make these delightful programs available to digital audiences.

This global crisis is preventing more than 16,000 students from attending performances of The Diary of Anne Frank and Romeo and Juliet.

To help educators and parents transition to distance learning, Park Square is working to make our programs — vibrant and relevant plays as well as live discussions with artists — available to students through online platforms. Working toward this goal serves students and employs artists (but does entail additional costs).

Your kindness and generosity make Park Square possible. By acting today, you can assure that the theatre thrives during these hard times.

You have these options for your cancelled performances:

  • Donate your tickets — Park Square has already invested in the shows that are postponed or cancelled, including paying local artists. You can help offset those costs by turning your ticket into a tax-deductible donation.
  • Exchange your tickets to another performance (we’ll all need a night out when this is over!)
  • Receive credit for the value of your tickets for future use — including the 2020-2021 Season.
  • Receive a refund. Refunds will be processed after the global pandemic has subsided.

Your love of live theatre and your generous support will protect Park Square during this unprecedented time.

Your Park Square artists are with you in spirit. We all look forward to the day when you return to the theatre for a feast of joy, fun, music and mystery. Thank you for your continued trust in and passion for Park Square.

All my best,
Michael-jon Pease
Executive Director

2020-2021 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT

Park Square Announces 46th Season

Fresh and Forward Looking Series Features Artistic Collaborations and Three World Premieres

MEDIA CONTACT
Connie Shaver, shaver@parksquaretheatre.org

Saint Paul, Minn., Feb 28, 2020 – Park Square Theatre announced the Harris Family 2020-2021 Theatre Season today, the company’s 46th.  The coming season is supported by a major gift from the John W. Harris family. The series kicks off in fall with a rebellious comedy rescheduled from the summer, and continues with artistic collaborations, three world premieres, one musical and two mysteries.

The season opens on the Proscenium Stage with guillotines and a cry for liberty with the regional premiere of THE REVOLUTIONISTS by Lauren Gunderson (Oct 2 – Oct 25, 2020). Produced with PRIME Productions, the show will be directed by PRIME co-founder Shelli Place in her Park Square debut. Four spirited women lose their heads in this irreverent comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen (and fan of ribbons) Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat, and try to beat back extremist insanity in 1793 Paris. This grand and dream-tweaked comedy is about violence and legacy, art and activism, feminism and terrorism, compatriots and chosen sisters, and how we actually go about changing the world.

Two white women sit in directors chairs. They are drinking whiskey and have two whiskey barrels at their feet.

Carolyn Pool (L) and Shanan Custer (R) in Bad Things, Good Whiskey. Photo by Richard Fleischman, hair and make-up by Jancyn Bindman.

Woman-centered writing continues on the Boss Stage with the world premiere of BAD THINGS, GOOD WHISKEY by Shanan Custer and Carolyn Pool (Oct 23 – Nov 22, 2020). Directed by Elena Giannetti and featuring music by Rhiannon Fiskradatz, this “comedy on the rocks” is the final installment in their beverage-inspired trilogy from the creators of 2 Sugars, Room for Cream and Sometimes There’s Wine. The comedic duo weave together “scenes from life and stuff we think is funny” – only this time the drink is a spirit as strong as the women who drink it!

November brings a special season add-on presentation of Katha Dance Theatre’s world premiere of SHAAMYA – OF EQUALITY (Nov 5-8, 2020) with choreography by Rita Mustaphi. Inspired by the poem “Of Equality” by Bengali revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, this multicultural dance piece infuses poetry, gospel and R&B music with original Kathak choreography. This new work, with music composed and performed by J.D. Steele and poetry by Somali poet and playwright Ifrah Mansour, makes parallels between the experiences of today’s communities of color and those of Nazrul Islam’s era.

Winter brings the regional premiere of AIRNESS (Jan 29 – Feb 28, 2021) by Chelsea Marcantel. Five oddball rock fanatics go to dingy bars and cramped stages all across the nation to express their inner shred genius as they vie for a place at the National Air Guitar Championship. Following them on their quest to achieve ‘airness’ on the long road to qualification, this righteous and smile-inducing comedy shows how community is forged in unexpected places. “This show was the unexpected and universal hit for the group of Twin Cities theatre goers who accompanied us to the 2017 Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, KY,” says Park Square executive director Michael-jon Pease.

Park Square and the Ordway, who first collaborated in 2009 on an acclaimed production of the off-beat Broadway musical Grey Gardens, present TRIANGLE (Apr 2 – May 9, 2021), with music by Curtis Moore, lyrics by Thomas Mizer, book by Curtis Moore, Thomas Mizer and Joshua Scher. Directed by Rod Kaats, this area premiere musical is original and compelling,  full of mystery and romance, with songs by two of America’s hottest new musical theatre writers. Two parallel love stories separated by a hundred years are woven together by the thread of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City.

Summer in Saint Paul kicks off with two very different mysteries by local writers. First Park Square presents the Full Circle Theatre world premiere production of FIRE IN THE NEW WORLD written and directed by R.A. Shiomi (May 28 – Jun 20, 2021). In the third installment of Shiomi’s popular noir-style detective stories, Sam Shikaze, hard boiled private eye, fights crime in Vancouver’s Japantown and beyond in the years after WWII.  This time the beautiful Japanese American wife of an ambitious real estate developer goes missing, and Sam is on the case. The show is smart and fun with a dash of social commentary and plenty of sly intrigue.

The final mystery of the season is at press time, still just that – a mystery. What is known is that the writer and director will be award-winning playwright Jeffrey Hatcher (Holmes and Watson, Sherlock Holmes and The Ice Palace Murders, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club) and that the dates will be Jul 9 – Aug 15, 2021. “One of the projects we’re working on should get confirmed in the next few weeks,” says Pease. “It will be a treat to have Jeffrey direct one of his own edge-of-your-seat scripts. After all, Park Square has produced three of his mysteries over the years and Jeffrey even wound up making his Park Square stage debut for one weekend in Sherlock Holmes and The Ice Palace Murders, so it’s about time to get him on as a director as well to round out his Park Square resume.”

In addition to the full season of public performances, Park Square will continue to serve the region’s largest teen theatre audience with daytime matinees for students in 7th-12th grade of THE REVOLUTIONISTS and SHAAMYA – OF EQUALITY as well as from its repertory of literary classics ROMEO & JULIET, adapted and directed by David Mann, and THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, directed by Ellen Fenster.

Beyond Park Square’s theatre season, its two stages will continue to be a home for productions by companies from across the Twin Cities, such as Flying Foot Forum, Trademark Theatre, Zorongo Flamenco, Theatre 55, and the Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society. “The Boss and Proscenium stages are amazing assets,” says Pease. “Sharing them with our area’s amazingly varied artists helps make Saint Paul a vibrant destination for all ages and tastes. I’m particularly excited by a brand new partnership with Metropolitan State University’s Playwriting Program that showcases staged readings and workshops of new plays by their diverse student writers on the Boss Stage. Each season and each partnership reveals new ways to center our community’s multiplicity of voices.”

SEASON TICKETS are on sale now. Current subscribers have priority in ordering through March. Seating of new subscriptions will begin in April. Season packages range in size from all six plays and three add-ons in the season to a choose-your-own series of three or more. Subscription package prices begin at $66.

Purchase Tickets Here

The Ticket Office is open from noon to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Friday. Call 651.291.7005.

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PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. www.parksquaretheatre.org

Introducing the first members of new Artistic Associates cohort!

Park Square Theatre announces the first members of its new cohort of Artistic Associates, who will help shape programming in 2022. Park Square first developed its Artistic Associates model in 2014-2018 as an intentional way to expand the range of its storytelling. An open call for additional associates will be announced this spring.

Artistic Associates confirmed to date are:

Ellen Fenster, a professional theater director and arts educator in Minneapolis. Ellen has directed at Pillsbury House Theatre, The Illusion Theater, Yellow Tree Theater, Theatre Mu, Artistry, Gremlin Theatre, U of MN/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program and Park Square Theater. She is an associate artist at Pillsbury House Theatre where she ran the Chicago Avenue Project from 2008 to 2016.  She is also an artistic associate at Illusion Theatre where she helps connect the theater with young and emerging artists. She is currently the Artistic and Executive Director of Twin Cities Theater Camp, a summer theater intensive for children.

Rick Shiomi, a founding member and the Co-Artistic Director of Full Circle Theater. He has been a playwright, director and artistic director in the Asian American theater movement since the 1980s and was a co-founder of Theater Mu and Artistic Director for twenty years. His twenty plays include Mask Dance, Rosie’s Café and Yellow Fever. His directing credits include: Flower Drum Song (David Hwang version), Into The Woods, The New Mikado and Caught by Christopher Chen. He has received The McKnight Distinguished Artist Award, The Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Vision.

Kim Vasquez, a Saint Paul native specializing in the development of new plays and musicals. She is currently a producer on Be More Chill (Chicago, London, Broadway and Off-Broadway) and Austen’s Pride. Kim is a proud Founding Producer for the currently defunct New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), which survived for a glorious 16 years. Her most recent directing credit was for the New York Times bestselling Author and Poet, Rupi Kaur, in a live theatrical production of The Sun And Her Flowers at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

“Park Square’s Artistic Associates are working professionals who direct, write, teach, produce and perform,” says Pease. “They come to us with rich careers, distinct histories, personal networks and perspectives that will keep expanding Park Square’s circle of artistic relationships. We live among many different histories, cultures and people; the community is always enriched whenever new voices are added to the conversation.”

FACE TO FACE takes the stage

Hmong Community Members take center stage in new theatrical Production created with Ping Chong + Company

Media Contact – Connie Shaver 612.308.5785
shaver@parksquaretheatre.org

Image of 5 women in a group. They are in a mix of styles of clothing and are all smiling.

Saint Paul, Minn., Feb 24, 2020 – Park Square Theatre resumes its 2019-2020 season with the world premiere production of FACE TO FACE: HMONG WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES (Mar 5-15), an interview-based theater production co-written and co-directed by Sara Zatz (Associate Director, Ping Chong + Company) and Twin Cities theater artist Katie Ka Vang, featuring five local Hmong community members, all women, sharing their true stories on stage. Told with humor, heart, and courage, it addresses complex issues such as the history and arrival of the Hmong community in St. Paul, coming of age as a first-generation Hmong American, and finding your own voice and identity while balancing culture and family.

The project began in April 2019; then community info sessions were held, and the open call for participants started and continued through October. The script is created from extensive interviews conducted by Zatz and Vang with the five cast members, then woven together to tell performers’ individual experiences in a chronological narrative that connects the personal to the political, with final script approval maintained by the cast. Through their stories, the cast addresses topics including mental health and depression, bullying, domestic and sexual violence, gender identity, beauty standards and more.

The script is performed by the community interviewees themselves, not actors. The result is a highly theatrical and emotional story-telling experience; what Ping Chong + Company Artistic Director Ping Chong calls a “seated opera for the spoken word.”

FACE TO FACE is a partnership with the internationally renowned Ping Chong + Company, a New York leader in community-specific, interview-based theatre events. Written and directed by Sara Zatz and Katie Ka Vang, in collaboration with the performers, the project is part of Ping Chong + Company’s ongoing interview-based community–specific oral history theatre work, Undesirable Elements.

The performers include Laurine Chang, Houa Moua, Pang Chai Xiong, Pang Foua Xiong and Cydi Ywj Siab Yang.

The Production team includes Sara Zatz (Co-writer/Co-director), Katie Ka Vang (Co-writer/Co-director) Maxwell Collyard (Video Designer) Shannon Elliott (Light Designer), Ashley Raper (Stage Manager) and Akiem Scott (Sound Designer).

The project received special funding from the Saint Paul Cultural STAR program, the Marbrook Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

ABOUT THE LEAD ARTISTS

Sara Zatz (Co-writer/Co-director) is the Associate Director of Ping Chong + Company where she oversees the company’s community engagement and training programs, and is the lead-artistic collaborator with Ping Chong on the interview-based Undesirable Elements series, exploring issues of culture and identity in the lives of individuals in specific communities. She is the writer and director of Secret Survivors, a work in a series which explores the experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse. Recent productions include (Un)Conditional, with individuals living with chronic illness (Profile Theatre), Generation NYZ  with NYC teens (New Victory Theater, La MaMa ETC), Undesirable Elements: Dearborn (Arab American National Museum), and Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity (national touring). She has spoken and presented workshops on community-engaged theater at many conferences and universities. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens with her family.

Katie Ka Vang (Co-writer/Co-director) is a Hmong American Theater Artist and Playwright. Her work explores the complexities of identity. Her plays include WTF, Hmong Bollywood, 5:1 Meaning of Freedom; 6:2 Use of Sharpening, Myth of Xee, Fast FWD Motions, In Quarantine, FINAL ROUND and Spirit Trust. Her work has been developed and produced at Theater Mu, Pillsbury House Theatre, CHAT, Bushwick Starr, Bedlam Theatre, Theatre Unbound, Walker Art Center, Out North Art House, Intermedia Arts, Northern Sparks, The Royal Court (London) and Brown University. She’s received support from The Jerome Foundation, Knight Foundation, National Performance Network, Metropolitan Region Arts Council, and Minnesota State Arts Board. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brown University.

ABOUT PING CHONG + COMPANY COMMUNITY PROJECTS

“Generating empathy, defying small-mindedness, this is an inherently political show that arrives at a time of fervently uncivil discourse [and] believes in the power of storytelling to create a stronger, kinder culture.” The New York Times

“…consistently powerful and eye-opening.” The Washington Post

Ping Chong + Company produces works addressing the important cultural and civic issues of our times, creating theater that crosses boundaries of identity, community, and form.  Founded in 1975 by National Medal of Arts recipient Ping Chong, the company’s projects initiate dialogue about identity and the power of sharing individuals’ stories. This production is part of an ongoing series of community-specific oral history theater works known as the Undesirable Elements series. Created in 1992 by Ping Chong, each production is made in a specific community, with local participants testifying to their real lives and experiences. The script is based on interviews with the participants who then share their own true stories in the final production. Since 1992, over 60 productions have been made across the United States and abroad. Recent productions have explored themes as far ranging as the disability experience, Native American identity, the experiences of refugees in the U.S., and the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse. Ping Chong + Company has created documentaries, toolkits, and training workshops and arts education programs for communities who wish to use the arts to address social justice issues in their own work.

Ticket prices: $16-$30. Discounts are available for seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale at the Park Square Ticket Office, 20 W. Seventh Place, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday), or online at parksquaretheatre.org.   #pstFACETOFACE

CALENDAR INFORMATION

Regular Run: Mar 5-15, 2020
Opening Night Reception: Mar 6
Post-show discussions: Mar 8 and 15

Tickets: $16-30
PARK SQUARE THEATRE, 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul
Ticket office: 651.291.7005 or parksquaretheatre.org

PHOTOS by Tomas Leal at parksquaretheatre.org/media/photos/

The Ticket Office is open from noon to 5:00 pm Wednesday through Friday. Call 651.291.7005.

SEASON TICKETS are on sale now.  Subscription package prices begin at $66.

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. parksquaretheatre.org

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Park Square Theater eliminates Artistic Director Position

As many of Park Square’s friends and fans have read, Park Square’s Board of Directors made the difficult decision to eliminate the Artistic Director position held by Flordelino Lagundino. By streamlining the organization’s leadership structure, the board sees the potential to align Park Square’s resources more effectively in order to achieve its vision with its current financial situation.

The planned productions for the remainder of this season are on schedule and will be managed by the Executive Director and a part-time interim artistic producer.

The 2020-2021 program planned by Flordelino and his team will be announced later in February. Artistic vision and programming for the next season will be accomplished during this transition period by an Artistic Committee including key staff and 3-4 members of the theatre community.

Flordelino is leaving an important legacy at Park Square that builds on Richard Cook’s vigorous commitments to artistry, education, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Thank you to all of the Park Square friends who helped us exceed  the $100,000 challenge match earlier this month. We can’t wait to see all of you at the theatre soon.

Further information can be found in the press coverage from the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune.

THE MYSTERIOUS OLD RADIO LISTENING SOCIETY

GOLDEN AGE OF RADIO LIVE ON PARK SQUARE THEATRE STAGE WITH
THE MYSTERIOUS OLD RADIO LISTENING SOCIETY

BUY TICKETS

Media Contact – Connie Shaver
shaver@parksquaretheatre.org

Saint Paul, Minn., January 9, 2020 –Mondays are for mystery as Park Square Theatre kicks off the New Year with a five-part residency with The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society. Shows are scheduled for January 20, February 17, March 9, April 20, and May 11 on the Andy Boss Thrust Stage beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Society will revisit the great horror and suspense shows from the golden age of radio, performed in the style of a classic radio broadcast, including original commercials, eerie music and live sound effects. The opening performance on Monday, January 20 includes live lobby music with Ben Cook-Feltz.

“We’ve been wanting to partner with this talented team of performers for ages,” notes Park Square Theatre Executive Director Michael-jon Pease. “They are a perfect fit for Saint Paul, breathing fresh life and a spirit of fun into a classic genre from the age of the ‘well-made play.’ After visiting Heimie’s Haberdashery or strolling through Rice Park, you can go back to the days of live radio with these talented artists and delightful scripts.”

Members of The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society include local theatrical favorites: Eric Webster (Shade’s Brigade), Shanan Custer (2 Sugars, Room for Cream), Joshua English Scrimshaw (Comedy Suitcase) and Tim Uren (Ghoulish Delights).

For their first night in residence, Monday, January 20, The Society will present The Best of Old-Time Radio with two legendary thrillers. “Sorry, Wrong Number,” from Suspense, was first broadcast May 25th, 1943. Lucille Fletcher’s famous radio play tells the story of a woman confined to her bed who overhears two men plotting a murder. No less an authority than Orson Welles called it “the greatest single radio script ever written.” Voiced by Agnes Moorehead, the radio play, was added to the National Recording Registry in 2015. In “Three Skeleton Key,” three lighthouse keepers battle a horde of rats off the coast of French Guiana in the classic story from French writer George Toudouze. First broadcast on Escape on November 15th, 1949, the show’s popularity led to multiple radio productions, famously starring Vincent Price.

MORE ABOUT THE MYSTERIOUS OLD RADIO LISTENING SOCIETY PODCAST:
The Society’s live performances are inspired by the podcast of the same name. The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society Podcast revisits the great crime, horror and suspense shows from the golden age of radio, including tales from Suspense, Lights Out, Quiet Please, The Shadow, and more. Each episode features a classic, or maybe-not-so classic story from the mysterious old-time radio vault, complete with historical notes and nerdy trivia. At the end of each podcast, your hosts, Tim, Joshua and Eric discuss the merits of the story and decide whether or not it stands the test of time.

Subscribe to The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society Podcast on iTunes, Youtube, or download episodes directly at ghoulishdelights.com.

MORE ABOUT THE CAST:

Four performers gathered around a 1940's style radio. They are surrounded by instruments for making sound effects

Eric Webster, Shanan Custer, Tim Uren, Joshua English Scrimshaw. Photo by Ben Theitje


Shanan Custer
is half of the 2 Sugars Show (with Carolyn Pool) that includes their Ivey Award winning show 2 Sugars, Room for Cream, their Park Square 2018-2019 season opener hit Sometimes There’s Wine and—coming soon—Bad Things, Good Whiskey. Other original work includes the 2018 MN Fringe Golden Lanyard Winning musical Not Fair, My Lady! (with Colleen Somerville and Anita Ruth).

Joshua English Scrimshaw is the co-founder of the Twin Cities-based all-ages theater company Comedy Suitcase, and the dance and physical comedy troupe English Scrimshaw Theatrical Novelties. Joshua has been called “a clever and inventive voice in Twin Cities comedy theater” by The Star Tribune, and “a modern-day Buster Keaton” by mnartists.org. When not making comedy, Joshua enjoys performing and listening to old-time radio with his Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society pals.

Tim Uren has been performing, writing, and directing theater at festivals and small venues in the Twin Cities for over 25 years. Along the way, he has worked with companies such as Theater Pro Rata, the Brave New Workshop, and Theater in the Round. In 2013, he established Ghoulish Delights, a theater company dedicated to bringing tales of horror and suspense to Twin Cities stages. Additionally, Uren has written and designed for board games, including Arkham Horror and Eldritch Horror.

Eric Webster is an actor, producer and writer for stage, radio and television for 25 years. On stage credits include; Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theatre, Artistry Theater, Workhaus Collective, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Pioneer Place Theater. He also directs Theater and Improv for the Centennial School District. He is the creator of the original radio theater drama Shades Brigade.

MORE ABOUT GHOULISH DELIGHTS:
Ghoulish Delights is a Minneapolis-based theater company that specializes in bringing tales of suspense and horror to the stage. For more information visit ghoulishdelights.com

 

TICKET PRICES:

All tickets $23
Tickets are on sale at the Park Square Ticket Office, 20 W. Seventh Place, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday), or online at parksquaretheatre.org.   Tickets will also be available at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m.

BUY NOW

CALENDAR INFORMATION

Performances: January 20, February 17, March 9, April 20, and May 11 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Andy Boss Thrust Stage

Photo by Ben Thietje Left to right: Eric Webster, Shanan Custer, Tim Uren and Joshua English Scrimshaw

Photo by Joe Weismann Left to right: Joshua English Scrimshaw, Tim Uren and Eric Webster.

The Ticket Office is open from noon to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Friday. Call 651.291.7005.

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. parksquaretheatre.org

Coming Soon: Park Square’s General Auditions

Sign-ups for Park Square’s General Auditions are now open for AEA members!

Sign up opens to EMC members on January 9th and Non-Union Members on January 10th. 

Click Here to Sign Up!

This year, Park Square has added an accompanist to support musical theater artists on Monday, January 27th, from 12 pm to 4 pm.

Picture of Stage with an arrow pointing to center stage with text saying "insert hundreds of actors here."

Audition Times and Location

The General Auditions will be held in Park Square Theatre’s Thrust Stage. Audition dates are:

  • Sunday, January 26th 10am-5pm (Lunch Break 1pm-2pm)
  • Monday, January 27th 12pm-9pm (Dinner Break 4pm-5pm) *AEA/EMC featured
    • 12pm-4pm – Accompanist provided for singers
  • Saturday, February 1st 10am-5pm (Lunch Break 1pm-2pm)
  • Monday, February 3rd 12pm-9pm (Dinner Break 4pm-5pm) *AEA/EMC featured

Audition Preparation

  • You will have two minutes TOTAL to present your materials after introducing yourself onstage. We ask that you please prepare two contrasting monologues. If you would like to sing as part of this audition, you may substitute one monologue for a 32-bar cutting of a song, to be sung a cappella in the audition. In order for each actor to be seen, these auditions will be timed. Our apologies, but it is the most respectful way to protect everyone’s time.
  • Park Square will provide an accompanist on Monday, January 27th from 12-4 pm. If you are able, please send a .pdf copy of your music for the accompanist to review prior to the day of your performance. Please clearly mark the start and end of the song you will be performing. If you are unable to provide music ahead of time, please make sure to place your music in a binder with the start and end of song clearly marked.
  • Talent Profile: We are asking everyone to create a FREE talent profile on Minnesota Playlist. This profile will be used by directors and producers to view headshots and resumes in the audition room. Instructions can be found on our sign-up page.

Park Square Artistic Associate Jillian Robertson will be joined by Park Square’s production directors, local area producers, and freelance directors.

While we offer the opportunity to be seen by dozens of local companies at no cost to the actor or theater, we cannot guarantee an organization’s attendance on a specific day. There will be a whiteboard in the lobby listing all additional directors and producers in the room.

Park Square is committed to programming for and collaborating with a wide range of talent. Our General Auditions is a color inclusive, ability inclusive, and gender inclusive audition.