Posts Tagged Mark Ferraro-Hauck

Introducing the Company of THE HUMANS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT
Rachel Wandrei |wandrei@parksquaretheatre.org
Emily Halstead | halstead@parksquaretheatre.org

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON FAMILY IN THE HUMANS

Saint Paul, MN. August 25, 2022: Park Square Theatre’s 2022-2023 Season opens with the Tony Award-winning comedy-drama THE HUMANS (September 14 – Oct 9, 2022) by Stephen Karam, directed by Lily Tung Crystal. A one-act performed in real time, the play takes place as three generations gather for Thanksgiving at the new apartment of one of the children. Blisteringly funny but with a dark underside, Karam offers a stunning portrayal of a family navigating the challenges of everyday life.

Audiences are likely to come away commenting about how they relate to one or all of the family members. “This play is deeply and delightfully about family,” shares director Lily Tung Crystal. “What I love about THE HUMANS is that it fully captures the joy, humor, and dysfunction of family in all its nuances. The characters are doing the best they can to get through this one Thanksgiving dinner and everything else life throws at them–the trauma of 9/11, economic hardship, health challenges, broken relationships, old age, the effects of a hurricane. No one is perfect, but no one is a villain either, and somehow their love for one another helps bind them together, for better or worse.” 

After premiering in Chicago in 2014, THE HUMANS opened on Broadway in 2016 where it became a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play, but Tung Crystal is busy thinking about how to interpret it for a Minnesota audience in 2022. “There are a lot of Asian adoptees around the country, but particularly in Minnesota, and portraying a family of White parents with Korean adoptee daughters seemed to make a lot of sense. In fact, that choice has opened up many new ways to think about the play, which the audiences here in the Twin Cities will understand and resonate with. People often have a monolithic perception of what it means to be an ‘American family,’ but we are approaching this show with a 2022 lens, embracing a blend of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and beliefs, rather than the ‘traditional’ family construct. Portraying the family in this way allows us to embrace all the diversity that family can be.” 

Three generations will by played by John Middleton* and Charity Jones* as parents Erik and Deirdre Blake, Laura Anderson* and Dexieng “Dae” Yang as their daughters, Aimee and Brigid, Angela Timberman* as grandmother Fiona “Momo” Blake, and Darrick Mosley* as Brigid’s boyfriend, Richard. Lori Constable, Gary David Keast, James Rodriguez, and Janet Scanlon will understudy.

Examining human relationships and the bonds that tie people together is a through-line in the Park Square 2022-2023 Season. Executive Director Mark Ferraro-Hauck notes that THE HUMANS and BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY (at Park Square May 24- June 18, 2023) both specifically portray American family life. “A large part of the USA’s contribution to theatre is the exploration of family,” says Ferraro-Hauck. “It is really important to recognize that these two plays are in the same vein. While the central storytelling is told with different voices and comes from different lived experiences, they both show us ways in which our lives are bound together through the common experiences of family life.” 

Ferraro-Hauck also appreciates the deft hand in which Karam crafts the play. “What is amazing about THE HUMANS is how it weaves its way through both the best and worst of family experience but does so without judgment. It embraces us as flawed beings trying to make community and family together. It allows us to laugh at it, get angry, and cry over it simultaneously.” Who hasn’t felt that way after a holiday spent with their own family?

The production team for THE HUMANS includes Roshni Desai (Assistant Director), Erik Paulson (Set Designer), Matthew LeFebvreᐩ (Costume Designer), Katharine Horowitz (Sound Designer), Karin Olson (Lighting Designer), John Novak (Properties Designer), Katie Bradley (Dramaturge), Andrea Moriarity (Wigs Designer), Isabella Dawis (Music Director), Shae Palic (Intimacy Director), Keely Wolter (Dialect Coach), Lyndsey R. Harter* (Stage Manager), and Em Friedman (Assistant Stage Manager).
* Member, Actors’ Equity Association, ᐩ Member, USA Union 829

CALENDAR INFORMATION:

THE HUMANS

Park Square’s Proscenium Stage

Previews: September 14, 15

Opening Night: September 16

Regular Run: September 16–October 9

Audio Description: September 23

Pay-As-You’re-Able: September 25

ASL: September 25

Open Captioning: October 7, 8, 9

Post-Show Discussions: September 25, 29

TICKET PRICES: Previews: $27-$37. Regular Run: $40-$55. Pay-As-You’re-Able on Sunday, Sept 25. 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 parksquaretheatre.org.   #pstHumans

PHOTOS: As available, production photos will be posted at: PST The Humans_FOR PRESS.

BIOGRAPHIES:

LILY TUNG CRYSTAL (she/her) is a director and actor and the artistic director of Theater Mu. She is grateful to be collaborating with such talented and generous artists. In the Twin Cities, she has directed Jiehae Park’s peerless, Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, and the live film-theater production of Susan Soon He Stanton’s Today Is My Birthday at Mu and Art is a Verb (Harrison Rivers, librettist) at MNOpera. Other shows include David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish and Flower Drum Song at Palo Alto Players, and the world premiere of Leah Nanako Winkler’s Two Mile Hollow at Ferocious Lotus. For all three shows, she was named a Theatre Bay Area Award Finalist for Outstanding Direction. As an actor/singer, Lily has performed at theaters across the country, including Cal Shakes, Crowded Fire, Magic Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, New World Stages, Playwrights’ Center, Portland Center Stage, SF Playhouse, and Syracuse Stage. She is a YBCA 100 honoree, named by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as a “creative pioneer making the provocations that will shape the future of culture.” theatermu.org; lilytungcrystal.com

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

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Run Wild with Madagascar-A Musical Adventure Jr.

Two young people, one is wearing zebra ears and the other a lion's mane.

Media Contact – Rachel Wandrei wandrei@parksquaretheatre.org

Saint Paul, Minn., July 1, 2021 – SteppingStone Theatre for Youth invites explorers of all ages to come along on a transatlantic musical escapade with DreamWorks Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR. Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture, the show follows an energetic group of crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to Africa. The show will be performed by SteppingStone’s summer camp students outdoors on West 7th Place, July 27 – August 8 (photo link below).

DreamWorks Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR. features original music and lyrics by George Noriega and Joel Someillan and a book by Kevin Del Aguila.  As the show opens, we learn that Marty the zebra may be celebrating his tenth birthday at the Central Park Zoo with his friends Alex the lion, Gloria the hippo, and Melman the giraffe, yet he longs to experience life outside of the zoo’s walls. When Marty eventually escapes, his animal friends from the zoo pursue him into New York City. After reuniting, the animals are chased down, and ultimately felled by tranquilizer darts. They awake, trapped in crates, on a ship, which – through a series of events – is thrown off course.  Upon reaching land the animals discover they have been shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar.  Ultimately, it is only in being so lost that they can begin to discover where they really belong.

“As the world unmasks and ventures back out into gathering, it is an honor to be a part of a summer of renewal and re-emergence,” says the show’s director, Dane Stauffer. “How fitting to share this tale of the desire for freedom, and the redemptive power of friendship and connection. I’m looking forward to being inspired by these young artists as we bring the tale to life. I love summer theatre camp, the happy hours spent in rehearsal learning the joy of collaboration and working hard to realize a vision. Plus, “I like to move it, move it!”

“It is really special for young audiences to see performers their own age or a little older on stage. It opens up the imagination in a whole new way,” says Mark Ferraro-Hauck, SteppingStone’s Artistic and Executive Director. “At SteppingStone, we believe that all young people are artists, makers, and doers and that they need to belong and contribute to the world. The themes of this show – friendship, teamwork, adventure and forgiveness – really resonate with that vision, particularly as young people are readjusting to a post-pandemic world full of the interactions that we’ve all been missing. We can’t wait for audiences to come and engage with these fantastic young artists and have some great outdoor fun this summer.”

CAST 
The cast includes Max Perdu (Alex), Mary Slowinski (Marty), Rue Burdette (Gloria), Mady Sjoberg (Melman), Ebrima Sarge (King Julien), Adeline Halverson(Private), Juan Fiz-Torezani (Kowalski), Lauren Hyatt (Rico), Zack Nelson (Skipper), and ensemble members Keira Deiman, Za’im Dennis, Natalia Jorgensen, Annika Lewis, Grace Lilla, Spencer Lilla, Soren Miller, Ella Myhre, Kai Stolpestad, Sadie Wallace, and Mara Wells.

ARTISTIC TEAM 
The artistic team includes Dane Stauffer (Director), Andrew Fleser (Music Director), Ricky Morisseau (Choreographer), Mark Ferraro-Hauck (Set Design), Rhiannon Fiskradatz (Costume Design), Charlotte Deranek (Sound Design) Alexi Carlson (Stage Manager), Johanna Johnson (Assistant Stage Manager), and Connor McEvoy (Production Manager)

TICKET INFO: Tickets are $12 child/student/seniors, $16 adults.
Group discounts available starting with groups of 10+.
Purchase at steppingstonetheatre.org or email boxoffice@steppingstonetheatre.org.

LOCATION: Outside Park Square Theatre at 20 West 7th Place, St. Paul, MN 551042

DATES 
Tuesday, July 27: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Wednesday, July 28: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Thursday, July 29: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Friday, July 30: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Saturday, July 31: Noon & 4:00 PM
Sunday, August 1:  Noon & 4:00 PM
Saturday, August 7: 10:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Sunday, August 8: 10:00 AM & 2:00 PM

SUGGESTED AUDIENCE: Great fun for anyone 3 +

PHOTO LINK: Press Photos available at https://www.steppingstonetheatre.org/series/madagascar/
From left: Mary Slowinski as Marty the Zebra, Max Perdu as Alex the Lion. Photos by Rachel Wandrei.

ABOUT STEPPINGSTONE THEATRE 
We Believe: Young People are artists, makers, and doers. They need to belong and contribute to the world. When young people make art together, they change themselves, and the world around them, for the better.

We Do: SteppingStone Theatre for Youth ignites belonging, generosity, mastery, self-advocacy, and inspiration by creating art with young people to share with the world.

STEPPINGSTONE THEATRE FOR YOUTH. 20 W. 7th Place, Saint Paul. steppingstonetheatre.org  

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Park Square and SteppingStone Theatre to Join Forces

PARK SQUARE THEATRE AND STEPPINGSTONE THEATRE ARE
JOINING FORCES
TO CREATE “THEATRE FOR LIFE”

Media Contacts:
Connie Shaver,  shaver@parksquaretheatre.org
Kiersten Birondo kiersten@steppingstonetheatre.org

This fall, Park Square Theatre and SteppingStone Theatre for Youth join forces to create “your theatre for life” in downtown Saint Paul. The two companies have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that will lead to more robust regional theatre programming for all ages. Through joint management and mission, though operating as separate legal entities with separate boards and finances, the two companies will provide a full range of theatre experiences out of the Historic Hamm Building. 

Those experiences will encompass all ages and the best that both theatres have to offer: classes and camps for young people, workshops for adults and intergenerational groups, family-oriented productions for young audiences, and Park Square’s full mainstage season of new works, classics, mysteries and beloved musicals. In tandem the two partner organizations will serve an audience of 125,000 with more than 70,000 young people attending performances and educational programs.

“I got my start in a theatre for youth company at eight and had my first theatre internship at 18,” says Park Square executive director Michael-jon Pease. “What excites me by joining forces is how together we truly become Saint Paul’s theatre for life for artists and audiences. This innovative partnership is a natural outgrowth of the theatre-in-residence concept Richard Cook started with the addition of Park Square’s Andy Boss Stage.”

SteppingStone’s artistic and executive director Mark Ferraro-Hauck agrees. “With the planned sale of our building near Summit Avenue and Victoria Street in Saint Paul, SteppingStone will return to its downtown roots for performances while maintaining easy accessibility for our hundreds of camp and class families through neighborhood-based programs and facilities.  Greater geographical flexibility and the strength of our combined resources are essential to meet the evolving needs of young artists, families, and schools.”

Each company has championed new work for the stage, from Park Square’s world premiere commission of Christina Ham’s NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN that has gone on to productions around the country to SteppingStone’s recent world premiere of Ricardo Gamboa’s THE REAL LIFE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY DE LAS ROSAS. Park Square’s mainstage subscription programming will continue, such as the upcoming world premiere of BAD THINGS, GOOD WHISKEY, and the new musical TRIANGLE (a co-production with The Ordway). SteppingStone’s annual productions by and for young audiences will move to the Park Square stages during the school year, with summer productions held elsewhere to accommodate the growing summer audience. The partnership kicked off informally on August 1 and 2 with the SteppingStone production of DISNEY’S LITTLE MERMAID, JR, which took place outdoors on the 7th Place Plaza in front of Park Square.

“Partnerships with artists, theatre companies, and schools have also been integral to both Park Square and SteppingStone’s work in recent years,” comments SteppingStone Board President Mike Erlandson.  The new joint venture will include ongoing partner relationships with local companies such as Ghoulish Delights/The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society, Flying Foot Forum, PRIME Productions, Ballet Co Lab, Full Circle Theater, TruArtSpeaks, and Trademark Theatre. 

“This step not only protects both Park Square and SteppingStone during the continued pandemic and forced theatre ‘intermission,’ by bringing together their assets and skillsets,” notes Park Square Board chair Paul Mattessich, “but re-establishes the Hamm Building – which also houses the former SPCO recital hall and the former Vieux Carré jazz club – as a thriving, diverse performance center that can help rebuild downtown’s economy once the pandemic is over.”

With this move, the two organizations are also transforming their leadership model and building on Park Square’s March announcement of a cohort model of Artistic Associates including Kim Vasquez, Rick Shiomi and Ellen Fenster. Mark Ferraro-Hauck becomes the newest element of the artistic and executive leadership team, serving as interim Executive Director, while Vasquez will become Producing Director of the Park Square Mainstage. Another Artistic Associate is currently meeting with the team and is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Michael-jon Pease, Park Square’s current Executive Director, will remain with the company as a part-time consultant through the transition. Pease begins a new career as Executive Director of the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy in September. Ferraro-Hauck observes, “As we have discussed the challenges of the current economic moment and the complexity of bringing together two organizations, we have also been inspired by the necessity of re-imagining artistic leadership in ways that join and celebrate the many gifts and lived experiences found in our artistic community.”

As a teacher at St Paul City School, a current board member of SteppingStone Theatre, and a subscriber and donor to Park Square Theatre, Pondie Taylor agrees. “I think the energy of SteppingStone and Park Square Theatre truly complement each other well. Thanks to their theater classes, SteppingStone has given my children the tools and confidence to be on stage. Park Square Theatre has invited my students to watch the magic of a novel come to life on stage. I bring my entire family to watch a SteppingStone play and my husband and I enjoy date night at Park Square! I think these two theaters together will continue to strengthen the art scene in the Twin Cities and the greater Midwest.”  

Artistic and Executive leadership

Mark Ferraro-Hauck
Interim Executive Director of Park Square, Artistic Executive Director of SteppingStone Theatre for Youth
Mark has a passion for providing all youth with an opportunity to grow, discover their strengths, and interact with the world around them. He has conducted teacher and parent trainings in arts-based wellness strategies for youth and led a federal study of the role of the arts in building resiliency with traumatized youth. Mark has directed and designed over 60 plays throughout the Midwest at professional and educational theatres. He was a founder and held the position of Executive Producing Director of the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota, and was also founder of Public Theater of Minnesota in 2010, a program focused on professional Shakespeare productions featuring young actors. In addition to working in the arts, Mark spent 15 years as the principal designer and co-owner of Bluestem Construction, a nationally recognized residential and commercial remodeling firm.

Kim Vasquez
Producing Director of the Park Square Mainstage, Park Square Theatre Artistic Associate
Kim Vasquez is a Saint Paul native specializing in the development of new plays and musicals as head of Gray Lady Entertainment, Inc. 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 15 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. Kim is also an Actor recently having worked on In The Heights, the movie, and Saturday Night Live. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

Ellen Fenster
Park SquareTheatre Artistic Associate
Ellen Fenster is 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
Park Square Theatre Artistic Associate
Rick Shiomi is 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.

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Tickets

The Park Square Ticket Office is open for phone calls Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 5:00 pm.
Please call 651.291.7005.

For service other days of the week, please email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org.

Tickets can be purchased online at anytime.

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