225A2942KATHRYN FUMIE (Hamlet) is deeply thankful for the opportunity to work with Theatre Unbound, her inspiring cast-mates, and Leah, their fearless director. Diving into the world of Hamlet has been as daunting as it is rewarding, and as terrifying as it is delightful. The process has been about the closest thing I can imagine to playing with lightning. I’d like to express a bottomless depth of gratitude for the people in my life who have helped me through this process, and for theater companies such as Swandive, Savage Umbrella, Pioneer Place, and Buoyant, who have given me spaces and time to play and use my craft. With theater companies like these pushing the boundaries of theatre making, the possibilities in the Twin Cities are endless. Cheers to that! Where’s the champagne?


In three words, describe this production of Hamlet.
Challenging, heartfelt, estrogen- laced

Hamlet-29_2_2Tell us about your character/s in the play.
Hamlet….heartbroken, lost, struggling to find his place. Revengeful. A man and a prince.

Shakespeare is the most commonly produced playwright of all time. Does that hold any significance for you as an artist?
Absolutely. I love language and story telling. Shakespeare is the perfect blend of the two, the king and father of fabulous storytelling and words.

TU puts women’s stories on stage. What is a story about women that you would like to see on stage?
The next phase of feminism, for stories about women who can call men out for cat-calling, without being considered a bitch or a prude. Empowered women.

Where is your favorite place to be?
At brunch.

Who would play you in a movie?
Someone in a tight leather body suit kicking ass on a crazy Sci-Fi show.

What do you do right before a performance?
Breathe deeply.

What’s your motto?
If a monarch butterfly can do it, so can you. Fly. Grow. Live.

What inspires you?
My mother.

KATHRYN FUMIE joins the acting ensemble in Theatre Unbound’s all-female cast production of HAMLET by William Shakespeare.

May 16-31, 2015
JSB Tek Box in the Cowles Center
Downtown Minneapolis

For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


QUEER! GIRLZ by Cassandra Snow and Immanuel Elliott
Directed by Jessi Hiemer
Featuring BethAnne Nelson, Alyssa Perau and Jada Simmons

A devised work inspired by Gadfly’s hit show “QUEER!” examining the intersection of queer and female discrimination. Hard-hitting and humorous, the performance chronicles stories and identities all over the LGBTQIA spectrum.

A part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 GIRL SHORTS FESTIVAL playing March 7-15, 2015 at People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


JESSI HIEMER is the Managing Director for Gadfly Theatre Productions, having joined the company in 2013. Her theatre background includes work in lighting design, set design and construction, costuming, directing, and the odd appearance on stage. Since moving to Minnesota, Jessi has focused her attention on the administrative side of theatre, but is pleased to return to directing with this show.

JAMILA ANDERSON is a multi-disciplinary recording and theatre artist and Associate Company Member at Pillsbury House Theatre. Some of her many theatrical credits include Home (directed by Tony Award-winning Marion McClinton), Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika (Pillsbury House Theatre); The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Waiting to Be Invited (Illusion Theatre); Courting Harry, These Shining Lives, The Last Minstrel Show (History Theatre); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Penumbra Theatre); and many more. Jamila’s musical endeavors have landed her a #15 single on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

BETHANNE NELSON is a former member of the HodgePodge Players Theatre Company and trained with the Penumbra Theatre Company.  She studied Performing Arts at Wells College in New York, where her credits included Anton in Show Business, Blithe Spirit, Hamlet, andThe Vagina Monologues. In New York she received the Helen Gertrude Dean Award for Dramatic Expression. In the Twin Cities, she has worked with Gadfly Theatre Company, Cromulent Shakepeare Company, and The Phipps Center for the Arts, among others. Her credits include Moonlight Starlight, Proxy, Victoria Reincarnated, Sans MerciThe Fox on the Fairway, A Comedy of Errors, and QUEER!

ALYSSA PERAU is excited to be doing her first show with Gadfly.  Since graduating with a B.F.A in Theatre Performance from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI Alyssa has been working as an actor and theater educator in the Twin Cities.  Past acting credits include: tours with The National Theatre for Children, In the Age of Paint and Bone (Nimbus Theatre) Love Letters from the Middle East (Hope Theatre Company,) The Tiger in the Room (Unfold the Sky Productions,) and Archival Revival (Freshwater Theatre.)


What was your first experience with theatre?

JH:  While I was performing in recitals with my dance school as a child, I didn’t get involved in theatre until high school. My first audition was for the community theatre’s production of Sound of Music. I only auditioned because my ex told me I shouldn’t. Even as a freshman in high school, I was strong willed. I’m glad he didn’t see the potential in me, because being in the nun’s chorus for that show is what got me hooked on theatre.

BAN:  Putting on productions of my own in my family living room.  I’d seen theatre productions on public television or in movies, and would derive inspiration from that.  One of my earliest memories is hand drawing tickets and then using a toothpick to make perforation lines, so that I could tear the stub off as my family “arrived” in our living room.

AP:  I “caught the bug” at a very early age.  I got my first big part in a play in kindergarten when I got to be the Mommy cat in our class play because I was the loudest student.

Was there a particular actor/actress, show, theatre company that made a big impact on you as an artist?

BAN:  My mother raised me on classic British literature and drama, such as Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare.  So my roots are there.  However as I grew up I found great inspiration from playwrights such as Suzan Lori Parks, Anna Deveare Smith, and modern dancer Anna Halprin.  The interconnected web of theatre and the arts creates this beautiful fabric in which we are all connected, and like a quilt every different piece you stitch on adds to its beauty and complexity.

AP:  I grew up living in a small town and I would religiously watch MADtv and SNL every week and fell in love with comedy.  As a theater student in college I became inspired by the verbatim theater style of Anna Deavere Smith.  As a theater making post graduate I want to figure out a way to combine these two worlds.

What was the last play you saw?

AP:  I saw one of Gadfly’s pop-ups of QUEER, which was extremely moving and made me even more excited to work with them on their next show.

Theatre Unbound puts women’s stories on stage. What is a story about women that you would like to see on stage?

BAN:  I’m always excited and moved by new women’s voices on stage, especially those from marginalized communities or new stories or complications that come from our ever changing world.  Everyone in our world, women included, are pushed into boxes and labels, and those people who defy, challenge, or smash those labels often have extremely compelling stories.

AP:  Maybe a play about Eleanor Roosevelt since she was one kick butt lady.

What do you do outside of the arts?  

JH:  I am the facility caretaker for a local nonprofit, avid cook, sci-fi geek, and well-trained human of a chihuahua.

BAN:  I’m a social justice activist and work a small farm with my partner.  Reading and travel also take up much of my time.  I guess I never really leave the arts, they are with me in all that I do, the arts are how I see the world.  But whether formally in the arts or outside of them, I’m always seeking the next adventure.

AP:  I love cooking and exploring the city.

What is your biggest accomplishment to date? 

JH:  Returning as a performer with my local student belly dance troupe after a concussion sidelined me for months. I had to relearn most fundamentals of dance, including how to be patient with myself. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder than the moment I stepped back on stage as a dancer.


Theatre Unbound’s 2015 GIRL SHORTS FESTIVAL
March 7-15, 2015
People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis

For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


BRITTANY POOLADIAN (Technical Director) is thrilled to be working on her third set of Girl Shorts. Along with serving as TD for Theatre Unbound, Brittany keeps busy as a lighting designer around the Twin Cities and as the Technical Director for Andover High School. In her rare and precious free time, Brittany enjoys the company of her husband, as well as friends from her alma mater, Hamline University.

APRIL LAWSON (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working with Theatre Unbound for the first time. She has stage managed shows in and around the Twin Cities including: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with The Chameleon Theatre Circle, and As You Like It with The Public Theatre of MN. April is the Associate Producer for Sample Night Live, and will be returning to Theatre in the Round for Bedroom Farce next month as the assistant stage manager. April has a Theatre Production and Design Degree from Normandale.

BARRY NELSON (Lighting Design) This is Barry’s first production with Theatre Unbound. He is also currently designing for I and You with Public Theater of MN, where he is now the Production Manager. Other organizations Barry has worked for included Chaska Valley Family Theater, Chameleon Theatre Circle, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Ghost Light Theatre, The Dance Warehouse, MN State Thespian All State Show, and Paul Bunyan Playhouse (as the Resident Lighting Designer 2006-2010). Barry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Technology Education from Bemidji State University. He is currently working for Monkey Wrench Productions as a sales and installation associate and continues to freelance in the Twin Cities. www.barrynelsonproductions.com

VERONICA STRAIN (Sound Design) is a graduate of the Institute of Production and Recording, Minneapolis, MN (2004) and since has flown through the local scene freelancing doing whatever she can to stay involved from running audio, running spot lights, and building stages and sets. This is Veronica’s first time working with Theatre Unbound, and it is an exciting production for her – getting to work with so many amazing women.  A welcome change to the “sound business” where Veronica is part of the 10% of females!


What was your first experience with theatre?

AL:  My freshman year of high school, some friends of mine were staying after school for “tech.” I had absolutely no idea what this “tech” was, but they said it was fun, so I joined them. When I found out I had access to the entire wood shop and all the power tools, I was hooked.

RS:  How far would you like to go back? My first experience was a performance in a play, in grade school I played the part of RUMPELSTILTSKIN and my best friend Sarah was the queen.

Was there a particular actor/actress, show, theatre company that made a big impact on you as an artist?

RS:  I like to credit Tupac Shakur for having a profound impact on me as an artist. His music was an inspiration and really had me believing that I could do anything I wanted. Even when the odds are against you “Stay Strong” and “Keep Your Head Up” because when you do what you love you are going to be good at it and you will excel.

What was the last play you saw?

AL:  Theatre Latte Da’s Oliver! at Pantages (and 24:00:00 Xtreme Theatre Smackdown! before that)

RS:  I just saw an amazing performance of The Color Purple at Park Square Theatre last month.

TU puts women’s stories on stage. What is a story about women that you would like to see on stage?

RS:  It would have to be a musical of course with huge elaborate puppets and crazy costumes… pretend Alice (in Wonderland) moves to the forest in frustration of the “real” world. She builds a home and has great ideas about the monarchy in Wonderland, she realizes that with her compassion, intelligence and strength she can shape the “real” world to her suit. This is the story of every woman essentially, and she never needed a prince charming to get to the end! HAHA, now go write it down and call me so I can be a part of that production too. 

What do you do outside of the arts?

AL:  I work events in the theater at the Sabes JCC, but most days I’m a server.

RS:  Lucky for me that all my work revolves around the art and I am always exerting my creativity. Concerts, plays, events, television etc. But at home I am a mother of a happy and healthy 6 year old boy, we live with my sister and her two boys 11 yrs and 14 yrs and its great!

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

RS:  This is a tough question because I learn so much everyday and new opportunities constantly arise, such as being part of this production! I can not chose a favorite so I will list a few “big deal” accomplishments that stick out in my mind… working with ANATHEMA on their first American tour it was just me and them the whole great great great day (look them up if you are unfamiliar), when Chastity Brown called me a “mad” sound engineer, I guess whenever I am complimented on my work skills is great but I just love that Chastity so much, right!


Directed by Dionne Laviolette
Featuring Lauren Diesch and Kelly Krekelberg

A struggle for power in a mysterious, intimate language composed of hints and half-sentences, where colors serve as weapons. This abstract exchange becomes weirdly recognizable in Gerstenberg’s early 1900’s satire on the Futurist social movement.

A part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 GIRL SHORTS FESTIVAL playing March 7-15, 2015 at People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


DIONNE LAVIOLETTE is a Minneapolis-based director whose most recent projects include Three Sisters with the Buoyant Group, The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Science Live Theater, Chicago Avenue Project with Pillsbury House Theatre, and The Sorcerer with Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company. As an Assistant Director, she worked at The Guthrie Theater on The Sunshine Boys directed by Gary Gisselman, M. Butterfly directed by Peter Rothstein and The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Joe Dowling, as well as at The Children’s Theatre Company on the world premiere of Iqbal directed by Peter Brosius. Dionne is an alumnus of St. Olaf College.

LAUREN DIESCH is delighted to celebrate female artistry as part of Girl Shorts. Lauren is CLIMB Theatre’s Producer of Excellence in Teaching. She recently appeared in Now I See (Fox in a Box), and as “Gina” in Girl Gumshoe and Detective Dad (Gadfly). In April, she will play Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar (Chameleon Theatre Circle). Lauren was a 3-year Actor in Residence with Bakerloo Theatre Project (Troy, NY) and played numerous roles including: Nurse (Romeo and Juliet),  Feste (Twelfth Night) and Procne (The Love of the Nightingale). She thanks Theatre Unbound for hosting this important festival.

KELLY KREKELBERG is thrilled to be making her debut with Theatre Unbound! Kelly has been acting across the United States for over a decade, but most recently you may have spotted her dancing in the premiere of Philly the Musical. Growing up in the Twin Cities, Kelly enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point to study musical theater & dance.  After earning her BFA, Kelly toured the country in several national tours. Deciding to pursue a career in voice-over and screen acting, Kelly then moved to New York City, where she lived and worked for several years. While in New York, Kelly discovered her love for health and wellness, and began studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in Manhattan. Upon graduation, Kelly returned home to the Twin Cities, where she now owns her own business, working as a holistic health coach.


What was your first experience with theatre?

LD:  I was always an imaginative and expressive child. One day, when I was about six, I was playing in the basement, and my father said, “Lauren, this place is a mess! I need you to clean this up better than the little old Polish lady who lives down the street.” So, I donned a babushka, apron, and started muttering in fake polish and shooing him out of the room. The next day, I took my first acting classes at Point Park University.

KK:  In second grade I played a Tiny Tot in the Wizard of Oz, it was the beginning of my love affair with theatre.

Was there a particular actor/actress, show, theatre company that made a big impact on you as an artist?

DL:  The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Science Live Theater program.  As an adult, the importance of educating and inspiring young minds has become increasingly more apparent to me as the need for STEM education rises.  An educated public is an empowered public and the approachable, professional work of the Science Live Theater team has certainly inspired the young minds that attend their programs.  Their work has challenged me to consider other ways in which we, as artists, can collaborate with educational tools to excite younger generations into learning more about the topic and perhaps later, specialize in it.

LD:  I’ve learned from every company, actor, director, stage manager, and technician I have been fortunate to create with, and I am thankful to each of them.

KK:  I always loved Bernadette Peters and longed for a career that emulated hers.

What was the last play you saw?

LD:  American Midget by Shadow Horse

KK:  The Heidi Chronicles at the Guthrie

TU puts women’s stories on stage. What is a story about women that you would like to see on stage?

DL:  The stories I find most intriguing are the ones that present a great challenge that was met with great effort.  Stories of people that strived to become more than the paradigms of expectation given by the world around them. Female scientists over the centuries have either been totally forgotten or written out of their own plot in favor of their typically male benefactors.  I want to see Ann Druyan’s story or less contemporarily, Cecilia H. Payne’s work on the composition of stars.  I would buy a ticket to that production — no, I would beg to be a part of it.

LD:  Really, just stories of women where we are neither superheroes, nor damsels in distress, but honest, complex people.

KK:  Plays about the very real conflict a female encounters when stripping away who they “should be” as opposed to “who they truly are or want to be”.

What do you do outside of the arts? 

DL:  Like most artists, I make my primary living elsewhere.  I mostly enjoy being home with my husband, terrorizing our two cats, and watching YouTube videos on space, the universe, and our place in it. We highly recommend the Crash Course series by Hank and John Green.

LD:  I work as the Producer of Excellence in Teaching for CLIMB Theatre. Outside the arts, I eat dinner, work out, watch movies, and breathe.

KK:  I am a health coach. I help people reach their health goals.

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

DL:  I recently made the most perfect batch of croissants I have ever tasted.  My arms are sore but my hunger is sated.

LD:  Recognizing that my biggest accomplishments are yet to come.

KK:  I had the opportunity to work alongside the stars of SMASH in Season 2, Episode 1. Fun stuff!


Created by Jenny Moeller and Rebekah Rentzel
Featuring Sulia Altenberg, Constance Brevell, Michelle Casali, Danielle Krivinchuk and Sarah Parker

It is the day of the competition. A small band of un-athletic girls from the city’s summer youth program all have their own reasons for being there. But stress is weighing on the team of 11-year-olds and tensions rise as they dream of glory - to win this year’s Summer Synchronized Swim Meet!

A part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 GIRL SHORTS FESTIVAL playing March 7-15, 2015 at People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


REBEKAH RENTZEL is working for the first time with Theatre Unbound! Rebekah is co-artistic director of Raw Sugar, and is a theater educator at Open World Learning Community. She enjoys creating new works in the Twin Cities with Bedlam Theater, Mixed Blood, Barebones Halloween Extravaganza, Wheel Sexy Cabaret, Cerulean River Productions, and did some boss shadow puppetry in There’s Nothing to Tell.  Her degree in Theater and Directing comes from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is super pumped for Raw Sugar’s The Funny at Bedlam this June!

JENNY MOELLER joins Theatre Unbound for her second time, after directing for 2013’s 24 Extreme Theatre Smackdown. Jenny is co-artistic director of Raw Sugar and a freelance theater artist and technician. She has had the pleasure of working with Four Humors, Bedlam, Nimbus, Cerulean River Productions, and Stages, among others. She is very excited to be designing props for Theatre Unbound’s upcoming production of Hamlet and for Raw Sugar’s The Funny coming in June at Bedlam Theatre!

LEE JOHNSON (Stage Manager) has worked with Theatre Latté Da, Mu Performing Arts, Bedlam Theatre, 7th House Theatre and the Minnesota Fringe Festival in a Stage Management capacity, as well as a Child Supervisor and Spotlight Operator for Theatre Latté Da.  Lee just finished serving as the Assistant Technical Director for KCACTF when Normandale Community College hosted it this January.  He received his BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

MICHELLE CASALI is stepping into the Theatre Unbound world for the very first time with Girl Shorts.  You may have previously seen her drenched in blood during Dangerous Productions’ Frankenstein in the Twin Cities Horror Festival.  She has also performed with Dangerous Productions in Happy Vagina Puppet Show and Hear No Evil. She is very grateful for this opportunity to work with the brilliant minds of Raw Sugar and hopes you thoroughly enjoy all the fancy land swim-dancing

DANIELLE KRIVINCHUK is making her Theatre Unbound Girl Shorts Festival debut. You may have seen her earlier this year as Chatty La Rue, in Theatre Unbound’s 24 Extreme Theatre Smackdown.  Other theatre credits include Workhouse Theatre Company (Eastern Standard) Six Elements Theatre (Orpheus Descending, Much Ado About Nothing and Human Combat Chess), Freshwater Theatre Company (Freshwater goes to high school), Chain Reaction Theatre (Seven) 20% Theatre Company (Anon), Starting Gate Theatre (Our Country’s Good) and the Minnesota Fringe Festival. She Would like to thank her husband for his continued love and support!

SULIA ALTENBERG is excited to return to Girl Shorts after performing in Graceland last year. Currently Sulia is working to graduate from the U of MN in August, understudying for Anne Frank at Park Square Theatre, and performing in Illusion Theater’s Keepin It Real. You may also have seen her in Hour Town (Dana’s Boys), The Philadelphia Story (DalekoArts), or as Becca in the many Harty Boys Mysteries (Comedy Suitcase). Performing with Mainly Me Productions, Youth Performance Company, Frank Theatre, and at her high school, South High, has also made her life very fun.

CONSTANCE BREVELL is a Nevadan native and just recently graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2014 with a BA in Theatre Honors. Before college, she went to Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing, and Visual Arts high school where she majored in theatre. This is her first time working with Raw Sugar and she is very pleased to be involved with such wonderful people. She is very excited to produce a devised theatre piece again and she looks forward to working on many more shows with Raw Sugar and Theatre Unbound.

SARAH PARKER is happy to make her official debut with Theatre Unbound, after joining them in last year’s Smackdown. A Minnesota native, she appeared most recently in Aswar Rahman’s George and will be performing in Vile Affections with Gadfly Theatre later this month. She has also worked locally with Youth Performance Company, Hope Theatre Company and Acadia Repertory Theatre. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the Santa Fe University of Art & Design in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


What was your first experience in theatre?

RR:  When I was in preschool we did a Baby-Jesus christmas play. I was supposed to be a sheep, but I threw a tantrum and somehow ended up playing Mary. How did that even happen?!? I teach now and would have had a smackdown with my 4-year-old self about being respectful. But I think it worked out in the end.

LJ:  I was the 9th Narrator in our first grade showing of The Three Piggy Opera.  A little more realistically, I was effectively the Props Master on this random show our class put on in 5th grade.  I remained involved with theatre in my schools since.

CB:  It definitely started in church.

SP:  My grandpa used to take me to CTC, and my dad would bring me to the Guthrie. I also memorized the soundtracks of a LOT of classic movie musicals.

Was there a particular actor/actress, show, theater company that made a big impact on you as an artist?

JM:  Kathleen Hanna and Bikini Kill. While I’m not trying to put on a punk show (yet..), I find the way that Hanna always made space for women at her show is inspiring

DK:  My brother and sister. Growing up watching them act in school plays is what made me want to act, and the passion they passed on to me has never ceased.

CB:  Audra McDonald’s passion for the stage. I love looking up to someone I can identify with.

SP:  As a child I was always really inspired by the shows in the WorldStage Series hosted by the Guthrie. Also Sandra Bullock. And Gene Kelly. OH but also and especially Barbra Streisand-my favorite movie of hers is ‘What’s Up Doc?’. Her character is basically my all-time role model, but I also really identified with her Fanny Brice when I was a kid, especially “I’m the Greatest Star”.  As a Jewish girl with a big nose who liked to sing, she has always been really important to me.

What was the last play you saw?

MC:  Happiest Craziest New Year at the Bedlam.  What a fantastic way to ring in the new year!

LJ:  A Christmas Story at the Ordway

DK:  20% Theatre Company’s If We Were Birds

SP:  The Misanthrope at Bryant Lake Bowl

TU puts women’s stories on stage. What is a story about women that you would like to see on stage?

JM:  Something about Ada Lovelace or Rosalind Franklin. They are two super smart women whose contributions to science and our modern worlds whose works are often ignored.

MC:  I want to see more shows with lady clowns. I want female characters causing trouble and getting into silly situations and not learning anything but just having a stupid good time.

DK:  Sisters and Friendships.

CB:  Women have always been the underdogs in theatre, I would like to see more women taking a stand.

What do you do outside of the arts?

RR:  I teach high school and help them make their art! I also work as a waitress at Bedlam.  Here are two other jobs outside of the arts I have done: Christmas-toy-packager-and-shipper, answering calls from truckers at a dispatch site.

JM:  I like to spend time with my husband, read books on feminist theory or romance novels, and watch documentaries on conspiracy theories and cryptozoology.

MC:  I like to spend my time geeking out about craft beer, taking advantage of my library card, and snuggling on the couch with my goofy dog, Winnifred. Beers, books, and bullies!

SA:  I watch a lot of the Dick Van Dyke Show and try to plan travels to far off places on my depressing actor/student budget. Woo! Hopefully studying Italian for four semesters will get me to Italy someday.

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

RR:  Starting Raw Sugar. Deciding to make your own work is messy and sticky and vulnerable and gross. It’s also extremely fun.

LJ:  In life, being a financially independent adult for the last two years with little debt.  In theatre, no one accomplishment stands out; each show has been its own little victory.

MC:  Surviving this most recent Mercury in retrograde - it has been a doozy.

SA:  Getting to vote was pretty cool!

CB:  Getting a new car and car insurance.

SP:  Last September I did a 10-day silent meditation retreat where I couldn’t speak, read a book, write, or do strenuous exercise, all I was really allowed to do was meditate for 10 days, and I thought that would be impossible for me, but I did it and I learned and grew a lot.


Raw Sugar tells stories about women in zany, honest, imaginative ways. When asked a year ago to be a part of Girl Shorts, we imagined a team of misfit synchronized swimmers dancing onstage and we couldn’t stop gigging.  Along the way, though, we became fascinated with the idea of how middle school girls would evolve if we rooted them in Commedia dell’arte stock characters.  Commedia is a type of improvised street performance based in bawdy, loud, lascivious stock types - the selfish old man, Pantalone, the pompous, know-it-all Doctor, the forgetful Clown, the cowardly Captain, and the swooning Lover. These selfish, greedy, self-absorbed stock characters seemed to fit just as well in the middle school locker room. As adults we often say how hard it is being twelve or thirteen, but I think we forget how grotesque and intense and brutal and vain we all really can be, and Commedia nails that side of humanity.  So Synchronicity is a fun experiment, exploring the dark and silly deep end of the youth community pool.

As a company, being a part of Girl Shorts is a fun part of a larger experiment for us. Raw Sugar often creates shows on our own, with only two or three people writing and creating and performing. Girl Shorts gives us the chance to create the script along with a troupe of amazing actors and one amazing stage manager. So this twenty-minute snippet is our first draft of an experiment in group devised theater, and we are so grateful to get to sit on our butts and laugh while the actors do amazing work. So thank you actors! And thank you Lee!



Conceived and devised by Heather C. Brady, Anne Bertram and ensemble
Featuring Heidi Berg, Audrey Callerstrom and Alexandra Gould

What would happen if our emotional walls became physical barriers?  We explore…

Drive and Ambition:  Important motivators, but sometimes what you think you want looks different when you actually achieve it. Can you get back what you lost on the way? And then what do you do?

Beauty: With a long history of repressive women’s fashion, we chose footwear to explore how easy it is to get lost in the extremes of beauty and how we are affected by watching others make these extreme choices.

A part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 GIRL SHORTS FESTIVAL playing March 7-15, 2015 at People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


HEATHER C. BRADY was a Theatre Unbound company member from 2003 to 2013 and she is happy to be joining them again for Girl Shorts. Prior to working with Theater Unbound she put her BFA in dance to good use dancing with Corning Dances & Company, Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, and VanDance.

ANNE BERTRAM is a founding Artistic Associate of Theatre Unbound and currently serves as Executive Director. Her work as a playwright has been seen in venues from off-Off Broadway to middle-school classrooms in Fargo, as well as Theatre Unbound bestsellers Murderess (2011) and The Good Fight (2012). Awards and commissions include Northwestern University’s Agnes Nixon Playwriting Award (for “lovehateforgive”), The Playwrights’ Center’s Jones Commission (for The Donner Gold), Studio Z’s Playwright in Electronic Residence Commission (for St. Luke’s), the Tennessee Williams One-Act Prize (for Liability), and the Babes With Blades Fighting Words New Play Development Program (for The Good Fight).

HEIDI BERG is a multidisciplinary artist in the Twin Cities. Recent work includes the experimental, one night only, White Rabbit Red Rabbit for Arts’ Nest and Prince Rama’s Journey with Green T Productions. Heidi has also performed with Walking Shadow Theatre, Illusion Theater, Nimbus and Pangea World Theater. A commercial, film and voice talent, she can be seen in Anthony: Lost & Found as part of the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival.

AUDREY CALLERSTROM makes her debut with Theatre Unbound. Previously she could be seen in Shadow Horse Theatre’s Crazyface at nimbus and Last Days of Wonder with Eden Prairie Players. She has been featured in Simulationship for the Z-Fest Film Festival and spent her youth performing improv with the American Variety Theater Company. She enjoys reading, writing, performing, taking risks, and eliciting spit-takes in response to her jokes.

ALEXANDRA GOULD has been living and working in the Twin Cities for 13 years, and is a proud company member of Theatre Unbound. She is excited about this artistic process and the group of talented artists she is creating with. Her work has been seen at The Guthrie, Penumbra, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Williams Town Theatre Festival, to name a few.


What was your first experience with theatre?

HBerg:  I remember attending a production of Pippi Longstocking as a young child. I don’t remember anything about the show itself, but I will never forget how terrified I was of Pippi when she and the other actors came out to greet the audience afterwards.

AC:  I performed with the American Variety Theater Company when I was in high school. I performed in plays, improv, haunted houses, and toured doing educational theater. It was an opportunity that was not available to me anywhere else and I am fortunate that I had that outlet.

AG:  Playing the Virgin Mary in the church pageant.

Was there a particular actor/actress, show, theatre company that made a big impact on you as an artist?

HBerg:  Studying with Eric Morris when I was 18 had a profound impact on my approach to acting, though not perhaps in the way he would have preferred. Meeting and attending a workshop of Tere O’Connor’s was the kick in the ass I needed to find my dancing feet after years away. And the ethereal performances of Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton ensure that I get out of bed every day with new depths to strive for.

AC:  Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty makes me feel stronger.

AG:  The company that has made the biggest impact on my life is Theatre Unbound. Theatre Unbound has given me endless opportunities and lifelong friends.

What was the last play you saw?

HBerg:  Little Boy, Pangea World Theater Alternate Visions Series

AC:  I just bought tickets to Shadow Horse Theatre’s upcoming American Midget at the Phoenix Theater.

AG:  The last play that I saw was Dr. Faustus, which I also directed. I liked it 😉

TU puts women’s stories on stage. What is a story about women that you would like to see on stage?

HBerg:  I would like to see a story about women akin to the leads in the serial dramas The Fall (Gillian Anderson) and The Killing (Mireille Enos). Flawed, powerful, dangerous, sexual, driven seekers.

AC:  I don’t think there is one story, but I do want to see the stories of women, particularly young women, taken more seriously.

AG:  There are too many to count.

What do you do outside of the arts?

HBerg:  Not much. Though I do manage the Wells Fargo History Museum in downtown Minneapolis.

AC:  I work in law.

AG:  Hang out with my Husband and my cats.

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

HB:  The exploration both with an ensemble (Personal Effects, Pangea World Theater) and as a solo performer (Monkey’s Fist, Red Eye Collaboration) of devised, multimedia work for the stage. Also, surviving, and thriving, after cervical fusion surgery. These accomplishments may be related.

AC:  I don’t think there is one, but I am proud that I always go for the option that is the most challenging. I was auditioning to no avail for a long time and for some silly reason I kept going.

AG:  I am very proud to say that I have worked with some Tony award winning artists.


20% THEATRE COMPANY presents
WHISKEYTOWN by Seraphina Nova
Directed by Meghan Gunderson
Featuring Libby Anderson and Cameron Cylkowski

Angie lives in the same small town, works the same restaurant job that she had in high school, and is supported and trapped by Cal, her high school boyfriend.  When she is offered a new job in Whiskeytown, she must confront her self-doubt and fears and find the strength to overcome her emotionally abusive boyfriend.  Will Angie find the strength to leave everything she knows behind?

A part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 GIRL SHORTS FESTIVAL playing March 7-15, 2015 at People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis. For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


MEGHAN GUNDERSON is thrilled to be working with Theatre Unbound.  Meghan is a freelance director and stage manager in the Twin Cities.  She has had the pleasure of working with 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities, Children’s Theatre Company, Workhaus Collective, Sherlock Studios, Upright Egg Theatre Company, 500 Clown, and Footprints Collective/Wonderlust Productions.

LIBBY ANDERSON is making her post-undergrad Minneapolis stage debut with Girl Shorts. Before graduating with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Viterbo University,  she got to do some of her favorite roles in college, including Jo in Little Women, Raina in Arms and the Man, and Maggie in A Chorus Line. She is excited to start her theatre career here with 20% Theatre Company and Theatre Unbound.

CAMERON CYLKOWSKI  is making his debut with 20% Theatre Company and Theatre Unbound after appearing in the premiere production on the new Andy Boss Stage with The House on Mango Street at Park Square Theatre. You may also recognize him from a few local and national commercials, he is represented by Ruggiero Model and Talent. He has also appeared on stage with Candid Theatre Company, Theatre in the Round, Coup d’etat, New Plastic Theatre, and Brazen Theatre to highlight a few. He also appeared in the feature film Solitude which appeared at this years Twin Cities Film Fest.


What was your first experience with theatre?

LA:  I studied ballet with the Classical Ballet Academy from the age of 6. It was one of the only companies to include all of their students in a semi-professional production of the Nutcracker. I hit the stage as a leaping mouse in first grade and never looked back. My first musical experience was playing young Ti Moune in my grade school’s production of Once of the Island. I was completely in awe of my co-stars and completely in love with the whole experience.

CC:  My very first was when I was about 5 years old I believe and my mother took me to see Oklahoma. She said I was very captivated by the show and didn’t fidget at all, as most younger kids do.

MG:  Playing a mermaid in a junior production of Peter Pan in elementary school.  As a terribly shy child, I did not particularly enjoy this experience.  It wasn’t until my later teen years that I discovered my passion for working behind-the-scenes, creating theater.

Was there a particular actor/actress, show, theatre company that made a big impact on you as an artist? 

LA:  I had the privilege of attending Penumbra Theatre’s Summer Institute, which was a summer course for high school actors. It taught me a lot about making choices as a responsible art maker, knowing that your work exists in a larger context and can affect people, positively or negatively. It also affirmed my belief in the vitality of theatre for social and cultural expression.

CC:  Leonardo DiCaprio, just his whole process. Every character he has done has had their own walk, quirks, speech. The thought and dedication he puts into a role is amazing. Just watch all his different walks in every film he does. It is remarkable.

MG:  While studying abroad in London, I was able to see Kneehigh Theatre’s original production of Brief Encounter.  To date, it is my favorite production that I have seen.

What was the last play you saw? 

LA:  Hauptmann, produced by Candid Theatre Company.

CC:  A Christmas Story the Musical at the Ordway.

MG:  RED-EYE to HAVRE de GRACE by Lucidity Suitcase International and Wilhelm Bros. & Co.

TU puts women’s stories on stage. What is a story about women that you would like to see on stage?

LA:  I think it’s important to see more stories about women who are flawed in ways we aren’t used to seeing. Women who are complicated and whose goals don’t revolve around men! These roles are becoming more common but are vastly outnumbered by the sweet, lovesick ingénues.

CC:  I would love to see my mother’s story. She is so strong and has overcome so much in her life.

What do you do outside of the arts?

LA:  I nanny my awesome little cousins. Their creativity and uninhibited play inspires me.

CC:  I am a huge sports fan, so most likely I am watching a game with friends. Really excited for baseball season to begin.

What is your biggest accomplishment to date? 

LA:  Graduating college! I am now officially and adult. Still in the phase where I’m in denial about it though.

CC:  Playing guitar and singing at my high-school’s senior last supper. Everyone was singing along and was one of the best moments in my life.


VOICES by Hortense Flexner
Directed by Mel Day
Featuring Shana Berg and Cynthia Hornbeck

Something must be done to end the constant ruin and destruction of war. When a young woman calls upon the spirit of Joan of Arc to help guide her for a solution, she receives a visitor that challenges and inspires her to put an end to the war. She knows it’s up to her to lead her people home and what it will take, but is she ready?

A part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 GIRL SHORTS FESTIVAL playing March 7-15, 2015 at People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


MEL DAY is thrilled to be working with Theatre Unbound for the second time! She has also worked as a director for theater companies such as Pillsbury House, Gadfly, Freshwater, Box Wine, and 20% Theatre Company. She has also served as an Assistant Director for the renowned Guthrie Theater, Dark and Stormy Productions, and Mixed Blood, to name a few. She currently serves on the board for Dark and Stormy Productions and is the Artistic Director of Day In, Day Out Productions.

SHANA BERG is honored to be joining Theatre Unbound for the second time.  She can currently be seen in The Diary of Anne Frank at Park Square Theatre.  She was most recently seen in the Ivey Award-winning production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Maria Elena Holly) and Lonely Soldiers: Women at War in Iraq (Anna Peterford) at The History Theatre.  Other performances include Motherhood Out Loud (Theatre Unbound), Oklahoma!Rocky Horror Picture Show, and School House Rock: Live! (McNally Smith College of Music).  www.shanaberg.com

CYNTHIA HORNBECK is thrilled to be working with Theatre Unbound again after participating in this year’s Xtreme Theatre Smackdown and having played the role of Giovanna in Silkworms last spring. Recently you might have seen her as The Pregnant One in If We Were Birds (20% Theatre Company) and Calpurnia in Julius Caesar at Shakespeare and Company. She is currently working with Nimbus Theatre on a devised theatre piece about forgery, to be performed in May.


What was your first experience with theatre?

MD:  Somewhere in the second or third grade, I remember seeing a production of Oliver! that was probably the first play I ever saw or at least have a recollection of.

CH:  When I was six or seven I was in a girl scout troop was working on an adaptation of The Lorax. We rehearsed, made a forest of Truffla trees, but never performed. The next theatre I did was the sixth grade Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, and just auditioning for that told me that I had to become an actress.

Was there a particular actor/actress, show, theatre company that made a big impact on you as an artist?

MD:  There are numerous moments that I see in many shows, and I say to myself, “That is what I want to make.” Moments of beauty and magic. I especially have to thank Ben McGovern, Sara Marsh, Marion McClinton, Dark and Stormy Productions, and The Guthrie Theater that really helped shape me as an artist.

What was the last play you saw?

MD:  Rehearsing Failure, Theater Novi Most

CH:  Frank Theatre’s Love and Information- by one of the best living (female) playwrights, Caryl Churchill.

TU puts women’s stories on stage. What is a story about women that you would like to see on stage?

MD:  More lesbian and queer stories.

CH:  I crave theatre that challenges the audience to deal with unpleasant experiences and confront difficult issues. One thing I personally haven’t seen on stage yet is a realistic portrayal of domestic abuse and what it takes to leave an abusive situation. In some plays Tennessee Williams and Harold Pinter touch on it, but I can’t think of a recent play, or one by a female playwright, that focuses on that and doesn’t Hollywood it. I know so many women who have dealt with emotional or physical abuse in their lives, and it’s something that is not only terrible to live through and hard to recover from, but it is really difficult to talk about. So let’s talk about it.

What do you do outside of the arts?

MD:  I’m a damn good barista.

CH:  I write marketing copy for a local game company. I also play a lot of tabletop board games, card games (challenge me to a game of Netrunner!), and RPGs. Totally a nerd.

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

MD:  Getting engaged…or making a chocolate soufflé successfully.


Written and performed by Rachael Brogan Flanery
Music and lyrics by Jim Robinson and Dennis Curley
Directed by Anne Byrd

Fallen country super star Ginger puts on her brightest lipstick and tightest pants as she tries to dig out from under an internet scandal. Will a come back interview put her back on top? Anyone who has ever spent a moment or two in Ginger’s whiskey soaked shoes will be rooting for her.

A part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 GIRL SHORTS FESTIVAL playing March 7-15, 2015 at People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis.For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


RACHAEL BROGAN FLANERY originally wrote and performed Ginger while getting her MFA in playwriting from UCLA. The show earned her the George Burns and Gracie Allen comedy fellowship. She is so happy to be working with Theatre Unbound and having Jim, Dennis, and Anne bring this piece to the next level of awesomeness. Her plays have been produced in Aspen, Iowa City, Los Angeles, Prescott AZ., Minneapolis, and New York. Rachael is a co-founder of Table Salt Productions and has performed locally with The Brave New Workshop, Hey City Theater, and The Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company.

DENNIS CURLEY is a co-founder of Table Salt Productions, and has composed music for their Productions of Psych 101, The VOW Factor, Vampires! Horror! and Love After Hours, as well as for the Troupe America production of Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping. He has recently performed in Theater Latté Da’s Steerage Song and Troupe America’s Ring Of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical. He can be seen this September 11 at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, where he will remount his tribute show Country Roads: Dennis Curley Sings the Music of John Denver.

JIM ROBINSON  is a co-founder of Table Salt Productions.  He has written and performed for the Brave New Workshop, The Theater of Public Policy, Actors Theater, and Hang Kitty Productions, among others.   His most recent show-Psych 101-features the music of Dennis Curley and the talents of Rachael Brogan Flanery, and he’s pleased to be working with them again.  Jim hails from Riverside, California.

ANNE BYRD is pleased to direct Ginger for Table Salt Productions, for whom she wrote After the Fire for their Short Play Festival last year.  Locally, Anne has worked with Daleko Arts, Park Square Theatre, the Minnesota Jewish Theatre, Hardcover Theatre, and Yellow Tree Theatre, where she was honored with an Ivey Award for her direction of The 39 Steps.  Anne is a faculty member in the Department of Theatre at Normandale Community College in Bloomington where she teaches performances classes and just directed Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House, which was recognized with an invitation to perform at the recent Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival held in the Twin Cities and hosted by Normandale.


What was your first experience with theatre?

RBF:   Dancing in the Nutcracker. I was a toy soldier way better part than a mouse but nearly as cool as a party guest.

DC:  Probably watching a school performance of Mummenschanz back home in upstate New York.

Was there a particular actor/actress, show, theatre company that made a big impact with you as an artist?

RBF:  I love - love - love Jesus Christ Superstar. I’ve seen it done by community theatre and on the West End. Saw it here with the guy from Skid Row. I don’t know why it speaks to me. I’ve never gone to church…I guess all the times I’ve sung along to the cd counts for something.

What was the last play you saw?

RBF:  The Clean House and Dead Man’s Cell Phone in rep at Normandale Community College.

DC:  Colossal at the Mixed Blood; 2014

TU puts women’s stories on stage. What women’s story would you like to see on stage? 

RBF:  Margaret Sanger. I know as a woman I don’t always appreciate exactly how far we’ve come and how much better I have it because the women before me did something about it. My grandma went to college because she wanted to be an engineer. The closest she got was taking a home economics class in small kitchen appliances where she got to fix a toaster.

What do you do outside of the arts?

RBF:  I’m a mom, wife, and teacher. When not feeling guilty for trying to do too much I like to watch TV and walk around Lake Hiawatha.

DC:  I play tennis! As often and as vigorously as I can!


LILY by Sally Nemeth
Directed by Shelli Place
Featuring Sulia Altenberg and Anna Lakin

Through rhythmic song and lyrical flashes of memory, two immigrant sisters reconstruct a secret that haunts their small mid-western town.

A part of Theatre Unbound’s 2015 GIRL SHORTS FESTIVAL playing March 7-15, 2015 at People’s Center Theatre in Minneapolis.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit:  theatreunbound.com


SHELLI PLACE has staged plays, musical reviews and fashion shows in the U.S., Europe & Asia. Relocating to Minneapolis 3 years ago, Shelli has directed Over the River and through the Woods and 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche for Theater NOW, As an actress she has appeared in A Certain Age (Fringe Encore 2013), Two Weekends (Playwrights Center), and Steel Magnolias at the Old Log where she also choreographed Life Could be A Dream and most recently Stars of David at MJTC. She is thrilled to be returning to Theater Unbound’s GIRL SHORTS Festival with Lily after directing last year’s production of The Lives of the Great Waitresses.

SULIA ALTENBERG is excited to return to Girl Shorts after performing in Graceland last year. Currently Sulia is working to graduate from the U of MN in August, understudying for Anne Frank at Park Square Theatre, and performing in Illusion Theater’s Keepin It Real. You may also have seen her in Hour Town (Dana’s Boys), The Philadelphia Story (DalekoArts), or as Becca in the many Harty Boys Mysteries (Comedy Suitcase.) Performing with Mainly Me Productions, Youth Performance Company, Frank Theatre, and at her high school, South High, has also made her life very fun.

ANNA LAKIN is excited to be a part of Girl Shorts after having participated in the 24:00:00 Xtreme Theatre Smackdown with Theatre Unbound in 2009, 2013, and 2015. Recent Theatre Credits include Andrea in Framed with Eden Prairie Players, Kitty Duval in The Time of Your Life with The Minnesota Shakespeare Company, Mrs. Chisholm in The Petrified Forest with Lakeshore Players, and Grace in Annie with Lyric Arts. Anna received her training at St. Olaf College and The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin. She is a member of The Actors Studio with Lev Mailer in Minneapolis.


What was your first experience with theatre?

SA:  Seeing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat that my brother was in in his middle school, then the next year I saw him in Anything Goes at South High, and it blew me away. When I went home and started singing and recording myself singing all the songs, I knew I wanted to do this stuff.

AL:  I saw a production of Helga’s Dowry when I was 6. If you’ve read the book there is a little girl troll in every illustration, in the background. Her character on stage captivated me the entire play. She filled the stage without uttering a word. When I met her afterwards, it turned out she was in my kindergarten class. We were friends through high school.

Was there a particular actor/actress, show, theatre company that made a big impact on you as an artist?

SA:  Judy Garland and Ethel Merman and anyone who ever played Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes on Broadway have entertained and inspired me a whole lot. Their grand voices and giant stage presence are ridiculous and funny and I love them. I think seeing End of the Rainbow made a big impact on me, seeing the effect of genuineness is really wonderful.

AL:  Sylvia Langworthy with The Masque Youth Theatre in Rochester, MN was a huge influence to me as an actor. I think I am only now beginning to appreciate all I learned growing up being a part of that theatre company. Any one of the young people who was lucky enough to work with her will know what I am talking about.

What was the last play you saw?

SA:  The last play that I want to advertise that I saw was Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Lab that the Moving Company did. It was SO BEAUTIFUL and I cried.

AL:  The Buddy Holly Story at The History Theatre.

TU puts women’s stories on stage. What is a story about women that you would like to see on stage?

SA:  I love women who are incredible feminist activists that aren’t opposed to expressing their sexuality just because they want to. So whatever story needs to be told to indulge in my wish of expressing that side of feminism to society, that is what I’d like to see on stage.

AL:  I’m fascinated by Elizabeth Blackwell. I would definitely watch her story on the stage.

What do you do outside of the arts?

SA:  I watch a lot of the Dick Van Dyke Show and try to plan travels to far off places on my depressing actor/student budget. Woo! Hopefully studying Italian for four semesters will get me to Italy someday.

AL:  Well, raising my adorable and exhausting 5 year old son takes up an astonishing amount of my husband’s and my time (who knew?) and provides a lot of entertainment.  With all the extra time left over, I love to go out with friends, talk and talk and talk with my family, go running, do yoga, and sleep.

What is your biggest accomplishment to date? 

SA:  Getting to vote was pretty cool!

AL:  On the whole, enjoying or appreciating almost all the moments of life.  It’s not an easy task, and I do pretty well at it.