Park Square Theatre presents the Broadway Songbook Series with James A. Rocco

The award-winning cabaret concert series returns to the Twin Cities for Live at the Square


Saint Paul, MN, Tuesday, January 16, 2024: The Broadway Songbook Series finds a permanent home in Park Square Theatre’s Live at the Square programming. This acclaimed series, created right here in the Twin Cities by industry veteran James A. Rocco, are cabaret-concerts that take an intimate look at the stories behind the songs that have become the soundtrack of our lives, exploring different Broadway themes and topics. 

“It’s a comfortable atmosphere with lots of laughs and knockout performances by some of the Twin Cities’ best musical theater artists,” says Rocco.

This wildly successful theatrical anthology series ran for over 7 seasons at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, where it played to standing room only crowds and became a subscription series of its own. As the winner of Broadway World’s “Best Concerts of the Decade,” the Broadway Songbook Series has become a fan favorite for its unique blend of storytelling and musical performances. 

“As for returning home to the Twin Cities, I am ecstatic. I love the Twin Cities theater community. It is rich with diverse artists and I cherished the opportunity to create beautiful things together. Having a home at Park Square Theatre to regularly explore the songs that shaped musical theater with artists I love and admire is a dream come true,” says Rocco. 

Previous Songbooks have explored the life and works of Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers & Hammerstein & Hart, Stephen Sondeheim, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, The Singer- Songwriters of the 1970s, The Sounds of the 1950s, Contemporary Broadway, The Golden Age of Broadway, The Hollywood Songbook, The Holiday Songbook, and others.

“We are thrilled to have James’ Songbook series at Park Square,” says Executive Artistic Director Stephen DiMenna. “He is a multi-talented performer and director of great acclaim and I’m honored to give him a permanent home at Park Square.” 


The Broadway Songbook Series is reborn on the Park Square Theatre stage with a special Valentine’s DayBroadway Songbook: Broadway in Love- Text on background with a large red stylized heart edition, Broadway in Love. This highly anticipated concert will take audiences on a journey through the ups and downs of love, as told through the iconic songs of Broadway’s greatest musicals. 

“Love is a universal theme that has been explored in countless Broadway musicals,” says Rocco. “With the Broadway in Love Songbook, we wanted to delve deeper into the stories behind these beloved songs and hear more about the songwriters themselves, their inspiration, and experiences.”

Audiences can expect to hear songs from popular musicals such as South Pacific, Show Boat, Rent, Wicked, and more. 

Broadway in Love is a reunion of the original Minnesota Musical Director of the Broadway Songbook series, Raymond Berg, who helped get the original series off the ground. 

Broadway in Love will run on the Park Square Theatre Proscenium Stage from Friday, February 16 – Sunday, February 18, 2024.


Tickets for Broadway in Love are available for $40 (including taxes and fees) at 

JAMES A. ROCCO is a multi-hyphenated practitioner of the performing arts. Director Producer-Performer-Writer are just a few of his Award-Winning passions. His freelance work as a director/choreographer includes award-winning productions of 33 Variations at Park Square Theatre (Broadway World’s, Best Regional Production of the Decade), Maladies (Winner 2023 Best Play, Create Theatre Festival, Theatre Row, NYC), Grey Gardens, Yankee Doodle Dandy (World Premiere), Sweeney Todd, The Wizard of Oz (with Eartha Kitt, and Mickey Rooney), Chess, She Loves Me, Violet, South Pacific, As Bees in Honey Drown, A Little Night Music, Songs For A New World, Damn Yankees, Pirates of Penzance, Guys & Dolls, On the Town, A Christmas Story, and more. Rocco’s theatrical career started at three years old as the youngest member of the (Art) Linkletter  Totten Tots! He appeared in Oliver! with Ray Walston and Jules Munschin; Carousel as Enoch  Snow Jr with John Raitt; Sheppard in Sidney Lumet & David Merrick’s Paramount motion  picture Child’s Play and played The Rum Tum Tugger on Broadway in CATS. He is the first  man to play The Witch in Into The Woods and received critical acclaim for his performance of  Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. He is the visionary CEO of Thirty Saints Productions and the creator of the Songbook Series and Broadway Songbook®. Thirty Saints Productions is a dynamic and innovative company that excels in creating original theatrical works for a diverse range of venues across the globe. In 2022, the company expanded its horizons, venturing into negotiating, consulting, and acquiring music licenses for popular jukebox musicals, solidifying its position as an industry leader. From 2005-2017, Rocco was Producing Artistic Director of The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, where he presented and booked the best of touring Broadway (August, Osage County, An American In Paris, Kinky Boots, Les Misérables) and produced and directed award-winning theatricals (In The Heights, Love, Janis, Cabaret, West Side Story.) As the Ordway’s representative and member of the Broadway League and the IPN (Independent Producers Network), he was a producing partner and investor in Fun Home, Legally Blonde, The Color Purple, Monty Python’s Spamalot, and others, as well as serving on the IPN’s Governance Committee. In 2019, he was recognized by The Broadway League and The Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds for “30 years of dedication, craft, and contribution to the theater” at their annual Broadway Salutes ceremony.


PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul


Park Square Theatre Hires New Executive Artistic Director, Reopens With December Events in St. Paul

Theater Announces Live at the Square Event Series, and Produces ‘Holiday Hot Chocolate’ this December


SAINT PAUL, MN, Monday, November 27, 2023: Park Square Theatre announced today its official reopening and the organization has hired a new Executive Artistic Director. Stephen DiMenna will now lead the organization to launch a new series of events this December ahead of the 2024/2025 season. Park Square also announced plans for a full theatrical season of performances in 2024. This follows work by the theater and its supporters to create a new vision for the organization that builds on its important history and expands its ability to engage and empower the broader community.

“Stephen brings to Park Square Theatre a wealth of expertise over the last three decades,” said Board President Mark Howlett. “His knowledge, passion and commitment to take on the challenge of leading Park Square in a new direction connects with our vision to allow for broader audiences to continue to enjoy and experience Park Square Theatre. After a time of strategic assessment by our organization, we are now in a place to execute our proactive vision, and Stephen is the right person to lead us going forward.”

“I am thrilled to join Park Square Theatre and work with the staff, board and artistic community to bring new, exciting, innovative and diverse programming to the theater,” said Stephen DiMenna. “Park Square has a long and distinguished legacy and a committed board and group of amazing supporters. I’m honored to build upon that legacy and move forward as we produce some of the best plays and musicals in contemporary American theater and beyond.” 



DiMenna is currently planning a season set to open September 2024 with a theme of Celebrating New Beginnings, featuring plays about Redemption, Renewal, and Rebirth. As Park Square Theatre prepares to announce the 2024/2025 season this winter, DiMenna also expands Park Square’s programming to include a new event series: Live at the Square. This ongoing series of performances and social events will be produced alongside its regular season of plays and musicals. 



Live at the Square will include concerts featuring some of the Twin Cities’ most celebrated singers and musicians, literary events, family-centered programming, comedy performances, and more. Live at the Square’s purpose is to energize its space and bring people to downtown St. Paul. This event series is part of the theater’s new strategic vision to not only stage important theatrical productions, but to also be a place that hosts and supports other creative events that invigorate the community.

The first Live at the Square event is Holiday Hot Chocolate, a festive jazz concert, on the Proscenium Stage Friday, December 15 – Saturday, December 16, 2023. Audiences are invited to immerse themselves in the jazzy sounds of the Holiday with two of the Twin Cities’ most acclaimed singers,Thomasina Petrus and T. Mychael Rambo, who frequently perform at popular Jazz spots including the Dakota Jazz Club and KJ’s Hideaway. 

Tickets for Holiday Hot Chocolate are available for $35 at 

“Park Square is very much dedicated to continuing to be a place for important theater productions,” Howlett said. “We have a fantastic space in the Historic Hamm Building that gives us the ability to host creative events beyond our traditional productions. The December shows are just one example of how Park Square envisions being a more active part of the creative community going forward.”



With over 30 years of theater experience in both the Twin Cities and New York City, DiMenna has held many Artistic leadership positions in the entertainment industry. He has served as 

Artistic Director at InitialStage Theatre Company, Associate Artistic Director at The History Theatre, Associate Artistic Director at MCC Theatre (New York), and Co-Artistic Director at Stargate Theatre Company at Manhattan Theatre Club (New York). He has served as a company member at Pillsbury House Theatre where he directed six productions. DiMenna is also the founder and Artistic Director of The International Theatre Project, which uses theater as a means of education, self-discovery and empowerment for young people living in disenfranchised communities in developing countries. 

Executive Artistic Director of Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota and the founder and Artistic Director of The International Theatre Project ( which uses theater as a means of education, self-discovery and empowerment for young people living in disenfranchised communities in developing countries. He lives in Minneapolis where he is a resident director and company member at The Pillsbury House Theatre and a free-lance director and educator. He was the Artistic  Director of Initial StageTheatre from 1989-1995 and the Associate Artistic Director of The History Theatre from 1989-1995.  

DiMenna is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Theater BFA program. He lived in New York for twenty-four years where he directed extensively Off-Broadway and for television. He has directed at MCC Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Young Playwright’s Festival, The Daryl Roth Theatre and the Mint Theatre and was the founder and Artistic Director of The MCC Theater Youth Company, an ensemble of NYC youth that creates original productions within a professional Off-Broadway theater. He was co-artistic director of the Stargate Company, a company within Manhattan Theatre Club that created original work for and with young actors of color. He works as a senior teaching artist for the Theatre Development Fund and conducts professional development workshops for directors and teachers in New York City.  

He was on the faculty at NYU for 15 years where he taught directing and acting. He is currently on the theater faculty at the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program where he teaches acting for the musical theater. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and an alumnus of The Drama League.



Thomasina Petrus is a 30 year equity actor and premier jazz vocalist in the Twin Cities. She is a founding member of New Dawn Theatre, a company member of Penumbra Theatre, and, and has collaborated with the Twin Cities’ most beloved artists, mentors and friends. James “Cornbread” Harris, Sr., Javetta Steele, T. Mychael Rambo, Stokley, Walter Chancellor, AusteneVan, and Prince. Specializing in exceptional music and theatre, select original productions include: ‘The Best of Billie & Me’, ‘Etta James… Dreams to Remember’, ‘Hot Chocolate Holiday’ (theatre musical production  and concert series), “HOLD“, a musical poem-play with incarcerated women for HCL, ‘Lady Day @ Emerson’s Bar & Grill, by Lanie Robertson BROWNBODY(.org), a celebration of the Black experience on Ice’, “SingHers” a cappella ensemble, and her popular “ThomaSingaGrams!”  Petrus is a Playwright Center McKnight Theatre Arts Fellow, African American Registry Artist, Ivey Award winner, MN Theatre Award Winner, and Star Tribune Honoree. Last but definitely not least, creator of Thomasina’s Cashew Brittle (.com), featured at the MN State Fair, local retailers and online. 



Emmy Award winning actor, vocalist, arts educator and community organizer; T. Mychael Rambo is a long-standing Penumbra Theater Company Member. His Penumbra credits include: Black Nativity, Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Dinah Was, Last Minstrel Show, Jitney, Spunk, Gem of the Ocean, Ain’t Misbeheavin, Piano Lesson, and Ballad of Emit Till to name just a few. T. Mychael has made an indelible mark here in the Twin Cities performing principal roles at such theaters as: the Guthrie, Ordway Theatre, Illusion Theatre, Mixed Blood, Park Square Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Children’s Theatre and Minnesota Opera among others. Nationally and internationally his stage credits include Carnegie Hall and performances abroad in Africa, Europe and South America. He has appeared in local and national television commercials, feature films (including: The Cure, Justice, Crossing the Bridge, Wooley Boys) HBO mini-series (Laurel Avenue, Equinox), and other television programming. T. Mychael is an accomplished residency artist (COMPAS, Young Audiences, MN State Arts Board, VocalEssence) and an affiliate professor in the College of Liberal Arts, Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota As a recording artist, Rambo has released two popular CD’s: “Simply” – a collection of jazz standards; and “The Gift; A Christmas With Love” – a selection of original and holiday classics. T. Mychael had the great honor of singing the National Anthem for both President Barack Obama and former President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Rambo is also the proud recipient of the 2010 Sally Award in Arts Educator – presented by the Ordway Theatre and the 2010 Minnesota Black Music Award. His other honors and awards include Young Audience Art of the Year, McKnight Theatre Artist Fellowship, Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Fellowship, Bush Finalist and both the University of Minnesota Century Council Community Award and Outstanding Community Service Award in addition to others.


Celebrating 50-years in 2024, Park Square Theatre started in 1974 with 70 seats and has grown to a multi-stage, 550-seat professional theater offering creative programming across multiple genres. Showcasing diverse talent, inclusive programming, and student-inspired learning, Park Square offers an accessible, intimate experience in Saint Paul’s historic downtown Hamm Building with theater for all ages. 


PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul, MN 

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Park Square Theatre Celebrates Fundraising Success and New Strategic Plan

Supporters have raised significant new funding and brought others together to create a new, sustainable vision for the organization to support ongoing theatre programming.

Read more »

Women of The Revolutionists: Jane Froiland as Marie Antoinette

In celebration of International Women’s History Month, Park Square Theatre, and PRIME Productions present the final installment in the Women Wednesday Interview Series! For our last interview, we sat down with Jane Froiland, who plays the iconic former Queen Marie Antionette in The Revolutionists

Jane first discovered her love of acting when her second-grade teacher nurtured the creativity in her by carving time out of the school day for Jane to perform scenes. These scenes were completely made up by Jane and oftentimes included roping in the rest of her classmates. 

Jane later continued her studies at Normandale Community College and University of Minnesota, but was determined not to be a theatre major. After getting a theatre scholarship and excelling, she came to the conclusion, “I’ll be a theatre major even if it means I’ll have a miserable life.” Yet, college Jane would be comforted to know that her life seems to be everything but miserable! Since 2010, Jane has been completely freelance. For her, this means she gets to work in theater, television, film, and more. “Anything that I can use my very narrow but deep skillset is what I do now,” Jane shares. Last fall she even consulted with a politician for debate preparation. 

Working on The Revolutionists is particularly special because “this production shows that there’s room for a bunch of women.” Being part of an all-female cast is an experience that not many actors get. Jane’s first union house show was right here in Park Square Theatre, and it is great to have her back on the Proscenium Stage as Marie Antionette in The Revolutionists.

This play is about real historical figures. Tell me about your character. Who is she and how did you prepare for your role?

I was gunning for this role for a long time, ever since I first played her in a different show called Marie Antionette 5 years ago. Somebody asked me, “You know there’s another play with Marie Antionette out there?” They sent me the script and the moment I read it I knew exactly how to play this role. And that’s partly due to Lauren Gunderson’s really great writing, but a lot of research was embedded from that previous show for me.

Marie Antionette herself is not particularly fascinating to me, it is the way history at the time–her culture at the time and the culture to this day–has treated her. It is almost entirely false and it is in a way that she does not necessarily deserve. People don’t really know much about who she really was. They are obsessed with the way she dressed and her as an icon, so it’s very funny to me that 250 years later she’s still famous. The fact that she’s kind of like a pre-Kardashian is what I like about her. But underneath all of that, she was really just an average young woman who was constantly thrown into situations that she didn’t ask for. She was simply doing her best…and she really liked pretty clothes. That’s really who she was, and then she just got a really bad deal. 

What is the most rewarding part of acting in The Revolutionists? Do you have a favorite moment in the show?

I love how quick and snappy the dialogue is! As I said earlier, Lauren Gunderson has written this so well that she’s almost scored it. It’s almost like reading music. I know exactly how she wants it done, so that means, as an actor, I just get to play within this incredible structure. Lauren Gunderson built us this wonderful playground and we can play on it however we want! Or she drew this beautiful painting and I can color it however I like! It’s really satisfying as a performer to be able to have so much room to play and have moments of real poignancy and weight alongside the funny ones. 

This is the second time that you are playing the character Marie Antionette, how is this time different? How did the past experience with acting as Marie Antionette help in this new play?

Well, what helps is that I already have a bunch of language for her so I can easily access a bunch of her history in my brain. I would even study paintings of her to see how she would pose and the facial expressions she made. Granted, those are all artist interpretations, but it goes into my brain. I know a lot about her from having a previous rehearsal process where I could try things to see what failed and succeeded there. I have a language already. 

What makes playing Marie different now is that I also have to acknowledge that this is a different show. Here, Marie is part of an ensemble whereas everyone else was an ensemble around Marie in the previous show. Though that works to Marie’s character too because, to Marie, the world does revolve around her. Now that I have all of this information in my brain and body about her, it’s asking the question: what does that bring to this piece, to this time, and to this process opposite these women? It’s really fun to have this extra rich layer to be able to bring to the table. There are definitely worse people to play multiple times. I hope that, if there’s ever another one, people would be like ‘well let’s get Jane Froiland on the phone!’  I would be honored to keep playing Marie Antionette.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?

I hope that they experience the full gamut of catching a couple of feelings. I hope that they laugh and that the poignancy makes them think a little. I hope that everyone has a good time and leaves feeling energized. My biggest hope, though, is for everyone to leave the theater, get on the phone, and start googling these women. 


The Revolutionists is playing on the Park Square Theatre Proscenium Stage from March 31st to April 16th. To buy tickets, please call the box office at 651-291-7005 or visit

Interview & Article by Victoria Martynko

Behind the Scenes of THE REVOLUTIONISTS

“The Revolutionists” opens this Friday, March 31. Go behind the scenes with the cast and crew to see how they made this production a reality!


The Cast In Rehearsal

Video by Michael Hanisch

Download Video HERE

The Production Team Set Load In

Set Design by MJ Leffler    Technical Director: Austin Stiers   

Assistant Technical Director: Garrett Conard    Carpenter Supervisor: Erin Gustafson

Download Video HERE


Join the Revolution! Playing on the Proscenium Stage March 31 – April 16, 2023. Ticket your tickets here:

Women of The Revolutionists: Tia Marie Tanzer as Marianne Angelle

In celebration of International Women’s History Month, Park Square Theatre, and PRIME Productions present the following installment in the Women Wednesday Interview Series! This week, we had a conversation with Tia Marie Tanzer, who plays the freedom fighter and abolitionist named Marianne Angelle in The Revolutionists

Tia’s journey to acting started in fourth grade when her school put on a performance of Willy Wonka and she was cast as Veruca Salt. She had the best time acting, yet she decided to help with set design and music when her school put on The Wizard of Oz the following year. Her teachers probed her with the incredulous question: why? Tia was steadfast in her choice to explore the many other facets of theater…until an actor dropped out and she got a part anyways! She realized, “acting is definitely not the biggest or most important element of theater, but this is my way of contributing to a production–I think this is what I’m supposed to do.”

This realization, however, did not fully set in until her adulthood. Tia first worked as a teacher year-round, so there was not much time to spare to devote to acting. Her acting career took off when she decided to take one summer off and audition for a show. She got the part and then “the next audition came, and then the next, and then the next!” Tia took one acting role after another, which rekindled her motivation to pursue acting as a career. We will have the pleasure of seeing Tia Marie Tanzer take the stage by storm as Marianne Angelle from The Revolutionists.

This play is about real historical figures. Tell me about your character. Who is she and how did you prepare for your role?

Marianne Angelle is not a real person in the way that the other characters are real, documented, and have Wikipedia pages. She’s actually an amalgamation of several historical figures. She is a freedom fighter, a spy, an abolitionist, and a free Black woman of St. Domingue who wants everyone else in St. Domingue to be free, as well. Marianne is also a wife, a mom, a daughter, and a lovely, complex person who we get to see on stage.

The preparation doesn’t stop! Unfortunately, because of the way we do things in history–the way we rely on documents and center European thought and methodologies–there’s not as much good information about the women of St. Domingue in the revolution. But, if you look at women like Sanité Bélair and Gran Toya, there are a lot of examples of women’s resistance in that struggle that I think are only now coming to light for most people. I’m sure folks in Haiti have known and been telling these stories for a long time, but the rest of the world is catching up to this neglected part of history. 

What is the most rewarding part of acting in The Revolutionists? Do you have a favorite moment in the show?

I find just preparing for the show to be very rewarding. Building and getting to embody a character when you can convince yourself and others that you’re not yourself I think that’s great. And working with this marvelous team was, of course, rewarding.

It’s interesting, when I was offered the part of Marianne, I was reading Kropotkins’ “History of the French Revolution” because I have an interest in mutual aid and I don’t know a ton about the French Revolution–though I feel like it’s something that I should know more about. For this particular role, because Marianne is not French, she is of St. Domingue–soon to be Haiti–, I started with the wonderful Tumblr that Lauren Gunderson created as almost a dramaturgical document for the show that holds a lot of her inspiration and her sources. That led me to the Library of Congress which has a nice, big bibliography about the Haitian revolution. So I’ve just been reading some of the biographies of women including Sanité Bélair and Gran Toya who were prominent revolutionaries in Haiti. I was really just reading a ton. 

It’s the same with music: I started listening to a lot of Compa and just anything I could find to inject a little bit of what her day might sound like into my day. I also started to listen to some podcasts in Haitian Creole to see if there was anything I could bring or anything I could incorporate in her sound to be more authentic. Honestly, I’m not sure if I have the skill in this short of time to do that but I wanted to get a little more of her world and more of her soundscape in my brain. 

I think for me, my favorite part of the show is when Marianne sort of confronts Olympe about her inaction, fear, and reluctance to show up in the world and to show up for her friends–who are dying and being executed. It is a political argument but it gets very personal between the two women. Things are said on both sides that I think needed saying to bring them into a closer understanding and a better friendship. 

You are the only actress whose character is not based around a real person. Were there particular challenges around capturing a composite of Haitian revolutionists?

I think that Marianne is a very well-drawn and well-constructed character. The play and the script shows very clearly who she is, what moves her, what motivates her, and what she cares for. In that way, all this information makes my job easier

One challenge is that there’s no authoritative source on who she is, so there’s a lot to pull from. The body of work about the Haitian revolution, particularly about women’s role in the Haitian revolution, is pretty small–at least the stuff in English. Capturing Marianne’s character is a challenge because it is a little tough to edit what’s really going to be useful. 

Playing Marianne is challenging because, when you have a really compelling character who is a woman of color, you want to get it right and do her justice. This is a really rich role for someone who looks like me to play–which is not necessarily a given. I think that is all changing, but slowly. And so I just want to eat it up. 

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?

I hope that audiences will reflect on intersectionality. I hope the show will inspire them to think about their place in the world in terms of their friendship groups, their social groups, their political engagement–or lack thereof. I want them to interrogate where they stand and push themselves forward. I think it’s time to…how does Marianne put it? She goes “You can’t write the world if you’re not in it.” And so I want people to walk away asking themselves: Am I in the world? And, if not, how do I get in it? And how do I bring my friends with me? How do I bring my family with me? How do we all get in it? How do we all get freer?


The Revolutionists is playing on the Park Square Theatre Proscenium Stage from March 31st to April 16th. To buy tickets, please call the box office at 651-291-7005 or visit


Interview & Article by Victoria Martynko

Women of The Revolutionists: Jasmine Porter as Charlotte Corday

In celebration of International Women’s History Month, Park Square Theatre and PRIME Productions present our next installment in the Women Wednesday Interview Series! This week, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Jasmine Porter, who plays the young, headstrong assassin Charlotte Corday in The Revolutionists

If you were to ask a teenage Jasmine if she wanted to be an actress when she grew up, she would probably say she’d like to make it through the first day of her high school acting class, her initial introduction to performing. However, despite her early trepidation, she went on to join a social justice theatre troupe at Gustavus Adolphus College and discovered her “infinite curiosity” about people and their communities, as well as the vital importance and complexity of human connection that she wanted to keep as a “throughline in whatever (she) did as an adult.” 

After graduating, Jasmine built upon her unique experiences devising original works with her troupe in college to auditioning and performing professionally. 

This play is about real historical figures. Tell me about your character, Charlotte Corday. Who is she, and how did you prepare for your role?

She’s very fierce and very strong-willed, with an even stronger conviction. She is the youngest character in The Revolutionists at 24; and she was so upset seeing this violence and harm done to her people. She grew up in the countryside, from a noble family that didn’t have money. She’s a young woman who’s gone through a ton of trauma –haven’t we all– who truly feels compelled by her empathy and her love of her people and a desire to end the suffering she was seeing in France. 

I’ve had a lot of fun exploring that aspect of her personality and what it means to be young and impulsive and driven by your convictions and so sure that everything you do is good. When I was in college, I knew all the answers and now at 32, I know none of the answers. It’s so funny, I used to say, “Well, why don’t you just do this?” And my grandma, who raised me, used to say, “It must be nice to know everything!” It’s a fascinating conversation to look back on and really let that part of myself come out and shine in this role. 

I’ve also enjoyed exploring the dark side of that, the absence of conviction and assuredness–what does it mean to be driven by feeling unsure and unsettled? I think that duality is kind of what drives Charlotte. She’s such a fun person to play and I’m very grateful and excited for the opportunity to tell this story. 

What is the most rewarding part of acting in The Revolutionists? Do you have a favorite moment in the show?

For one, this cast, creative and production crew is phenomenal. I feel really grateful and excited to work alongside so many really wonderfully talented women. There’s a quote that goes: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I’m so excited to be surrounded by people that can influence  growth and development as a person and as a creative artist.

I tried to pick a moment that wasn’t a spoiler but there’s one where Marianne Angelle says that she needs a dramaturg and Olympe de Gouges says, “Don’t we all?” I love that because every time I hear it I think, wouldn’t it be so nice to have someone quietly explaining everything to you? What everything means, why it’s important and what you should do? 

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?

First, I hope the audience can have some laughter and brevity brought to their lives. I hope that even in the darkest of times when it feels like you’re battling these really intense social and political systems, that you can find lightness. Without that lightness you’re not going to make it very far. It’s going to weigh too heavily on you so you have to find the light with the dark and find the laughter with the seriousness. 

The second thing I think is really important about this play is that all of these women, in some capacity, don’t really like each other at the start. What does it mean to find connection in humanity even though our means of achieving a goal might be different? They’re all seeking freedom and equality but they’re all doing it in their own way. There’s something very poignant about what it means to accept somebody and love somebody through spaces of disconnection and points of tension. Despite it all, you might not see eye to eye but you still have a sense of connection. That’s what’s important when it comes to friendship and love and moving a cause along versus splitting hairs. 

Interview & Article by Morgan Gray

Reserve your tickets to The Revolutionists today!



Dear Park Square Patrons, 

Park Square Theatre is in challenging times and we have been forced to make some difficult decisions. After careful consideration and hard work by the staff, board and friends of the theater, Park Square Theatre has made the decision to cancel the end of the current season.  Our desire is to reimagine the theatre in the context of post-COVID-19 realities to assure a successful reopening.

Small theatres such as ours across the country are struggling to rebound but are facing the challenge of revenues that have been significantly less than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. Those losses, plus the heavy upfront cost of productions have severely diminished Park Square’s financial well-being. Thus, we are making the difficult decision to shorten the current season to plan our future. 

Status of Shows:

  • The Revolutionists, produced in partnership with PRIME Productions, will continue as scheduled and is the final production of our 2022-2023 season
  • SteppingStone Creative Learning camps and classes, including spring classes and summer camps, will continue as scheduled.
  • Planned facility rentals with other production companies will proceed. 
  • The canceled productions include: Between Riverside and Crazy, ANN, and Holmes/Poirot.

Your options:

  • Ticket holders will be contacted directly to discuss options starting the week of March 20th. 
  • Donating your tickets back to the theatre is the first, best action you can take to assure a successful return to the stage.
  • Patrons can also exchange their tickets for a current performance of The Revolutionists or request a full refund. We aspire to provide refunds to those requesting them, but note that we are not in a position to issue refunds immediately. 

We are particularly sensitive to the impact of these decisions on the artists and staff who were preparing to put on marvelous work for our audience. If there had been any viable way to continue with the season as announced, we would have done it. Our challenge is to both address our current challenges as well as create the best plan for the theatre’s future.

Seeing you in our lobbies buzzing with friends and family is what Park Square most treasures about live theatre. 

We are passionate about Park Square Theatre as a place of art and community. Park Square’s legacy is broad and deep. The support of every Park Square fan is needed to assure its future. 


Rachel Murch-D’Olimpio, Interim Executive Director 

Paul Sackett, Board Chair


For more information, find Media Alert linked here.

Women of The Revolutionists: Alison Edwards as Olympe de Gouges

In celebration of International Women’s History Month, Park Square Theatre and PRIME Productions presents the Women Wednesday Interview Series! Kicking off this series is Alison Edwards, who plays the historical activist and playwright Olympe de Gouges in The Revolutionists.

Alison found her love of acting through her parents, who were both heavily involved in community theatre – with her father as a director and her mother as an actress. Throughout her time at school, Alison participated in the theatre program until she thought “Well, no one is really an actor for real.” and began to explore other passions, including her love of animals. But after having some trouble “pithing her own frog” in AP Biology, she went on to study Theatre at Boston University. 

Alison worked regionally for many years, including in New York, four seasons at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and was cast in the National Shakespeare Company – which toured to schools all over the country. With the urge to do something different, Alison moved to the Twin Cities about eight years ago.

In 2016, Alison Edwards co-founded PRIME Productions with Elena Giannetti and Shelli Place as a response to the lack of available roles for mature actresses in the Twin Cities.

The Revolutionists is about real historical figures. Tell me about your character, Olympe de Gouges. Who is she and how did you prepare for your role?

I’ve done some research and what I love about her is that she was a very early women’s rights advocate– she was a Revolutionist! During the Revolution they came out with the Rights of Man and she went, ‘Well wait a minute, there’s something wrong with that!’ She rebutted the entire thing, article by article, including women in it. She was also one of the first women to come out vocally in support of the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean. She’s a real radical character and I have always been attracted to female characters that are outside of their time. One of the things that I personally find frustrating is being told that there were things I couldn’t do, as a woman.

That is the kind of journey that so many women in history have taken, and to look at powerful women from that lens of being constrained by the legality of the time, by the mores of the time. That’s one of the things I love about Olympe because she was widowed very young, she was smart enough to go  ‘well, I’m a widow now, I have all the rights I need, as long as I don’t get married again!’ She, apparently, had a lover for a long time but she refused to marry him because she had more power as a widow. So that’s one of the things that really appeals to me about her – she was able to break out of that mold. 

Playing Olympe de Gouges, you are embodying someone who was both an artist and activist. What are some of the challenges you’ve come up against as an artist during a tumultuous time in our history?

It’s interesting that you asked because much of that speaks to why we formed PRIME Productions to begin with. When I was fresh out of college during the women’s movement, I remember thinking ‘I’m in the theatre, it’s never going to affect me. Men can’t play my parts.’ Well, yes they can, thank you very much. The frequency that I worked was decreasing drastically because roles for mature women aren’t being written and, if they are, there’s generally only one woman in the play. 

What is the most rewarding part of acting in The Revolutionists? Do you have a favorite moment in the show?

What I love about this play–well, I sort of love everything about this play! I was actually the one who found it and went, I think we should do this! I love the writing and the dialogue and all of these women are portrayed as very smart. The thing that I find really interesting is sort of the dream concept and that it’s her life passing before her eyes. I think what will probably be a lot of fun, performing the final scene when she’s actually facing her death. 

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?

I hope they will be surprised by these women, and I hope that they will take away the idea that they can make a difference.


The Revolutionists is playing on the Park Square Theatre Proscenium Stage from March 29th to April 16th. To buy tickets, please call the box office at 651-291-7005 or visit

Interview and Article by Morgan Gray

*Interview shortened for clarity and brevity.

Heads Will Roll in Feminist Dark-Comedy THE REVOLUTIONISTS

Saint Paul, MN. March 1, 2023: Park Square Theatre & PRIME Productions presents THE REVOLUTIONISTS directed by Shelli Place and written by award-winning playwright Lauren Gunderson, on Park Square’s Proscenium Stage March 31 – April 16, 2023.

THE REVOLUTIONISTS is a riotous comedy about four very real women who find themselves caught up in the French Revolution. Playwright Olympe De Gouge, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle find friendship, plot murder, fight for their rights, and lose their heads in The Reign of Terror. This grand and dream-tweaked comedy is about violence and legacy, feminism and terrorism, art, and how we actually go about changing the world.

THE REVOLUTIONISTS originally premiered at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in February of 2016, where the Cincinnati Enquirer called the production, “…a wild ride, filled with verbal gymnastics that come racing at you so quickly it’s occasionally hard to keep up. Listen closely, though, and hang on tight. If you do, you’ll be treated to an invigorating and enlightening journey.”

Director and PRIME Productions co-founder Shelli Place says, “After a two year wait, we are excited to bring Lauren Gunderson’s comedy, THE REVOLUTIONISTS, to the main stage of Park Square. Comedy is about contrast. When I first read the play, I loved the “mash up” between the French Revolution and the smart, sassy, 21st century dialogue. The designers agreed, and this will be seen in the scenic, sound, and costume designs. This is a smart play, with smart women who declare their rights, at their own peril, regardless of age or race. We selected this play because of its reflections on society, past and present… but mostly because it’s a comedy!”

PRIME Productions was founded in 2016 as a response to the scarcity of substantial roles in theatre for mature female actors in the Twin Cities. PRIME believes that mature women of all cultures must be seen as fully drawn, proactive characters in an accessible way, on the stage, for the vision of their roles in society to materialize in real life.

The cast of THE REVOLUTIONISTS brilliantly tells the untold stories of the women who were at the forefront of the French Revolution. This production features the talents of Alison Edwards* as Olympe De Gouges, Tia Tanzer as Marianne Angelle, Jasmine Porter as Charlotte Corday, Jane Froiland* as Marie Antoinette, with understudies Laini Beth Devin and Julie Ann Nevill.

The creative team for THE REVOLUTIONISTS includes Shelli Place (Director), Ashley Raper* (Stage Manager), Keara Lavandowska (Assistant Stage Manager), Megan West (Producer), Anita Kelling (Sound Designer), MJ Leffler (Set Designer), Karin Olsen (Lighting Designer), Andrew Isaacson (Projection Designer), Lily Isaacson (Co-Projection Designer), Marc Berg (Properties Designer), Bee Tremmel (Wig Designer), Sonya Berloviz (Costume Designer), and Annie Enneking (Fight Choreographer).

*Members, Actor’s Equity Association



Park Square’s Proscenium Stage

Opening Night: Friday, March 31

Performance Run: Friday, March 31 – Sunday, April 16 

Open Captioning: All Performances

Audio Description: Friday, April 7

Pay-As-You’re-Able: Sunday, April 2

ASL: Sunday, April 2

Post-Show Discussions: Sunday, April 2; Thursday, April 13 

Masked Performances: Thursday, April 6; Saturday, April 15

TICKET PRICES: Regular Run: $40 – $55. Discounts are available for students and educators, seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale by phone at 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday – Friday) or online at


PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul

Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. 


The box office is currently closed. Please email with any questions.

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