A little ‘Variation’

Thanks to The Forum’s John Lamb for a great article about Linda Boyd, appearing in 33 Variations.

A little ‘Variation': FMSO director Boyd steps into spotlight with dramatic debut

Linda Boyd, Jay Nelson and John N. Roberts in ’33 Variations’. Photo by David Samson / The Forum

In her day job as the executive director of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, Linda Boyd does the bulk of her work behind the scenes, occasionally taking the stage at concerts for announcements or to bring flowers out for the featured guest artist.

It’s Boyd who will be front and center Friday night when “33 Variations” opens at Theatre B. Playing Katherine Brandt, a driven musicologist studying Ludwig van Beethoven’s obsession with a waltz, Boyd steps into the spotlight for the first time in a dramatic role.

“This has been the most incredible experience,” Boyd says.

It’s an experience that goes back about four years, when Theatre B’s Carrie Wintersteen first showed her a script for the Moisés Kaufman play to see if there would be interest in the symphony and theater working together on a production.

They were each so excited about the prospect that a whole Winter Arts Festival was formed to give people something to get out and see and hear in February. Beethoven Fest, which kicked off Saturday with an all-Beethoven concert from the FMSO, continues this week with a family concert called “Meet Mr. Beethoven” on Thursday night and the regional premiere of “33 Variations” on Friday.

From the moment Boyd read the script, she told herself, “I have to play this part.”

You can read the entire article at The Forum’s website.

Your Story of Impact

Hi there, this is Scott Horvik, and I have a request for you. I’m hoping you can help us tell the Theatre B story. Is there a specific Theatre B production or event that spoke to you? I’m excited to read your stories and put your words with our photos to give people a better understanding of Theatre B. The quote on the attached photo came from Megan Orcholski, who shared her thoughts about how our fall production of Wit affected her. She was kind enough to let us share her story:

Would you please share your story with us? We’ve set up a simple form to make it as easy as possible.

Thanks for your time. See you at B!

Coffee with Carrie, pt 1

From the Desk of Carrie Wintersteen, Executive Director:

Coffee with Carrie

photo by Michael Benedict

Everywhere I go I run into people I know. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say I meet people who think they know me because they sit in the audience and see me on stage at Theatre B. I enjoy these brief encounters, but rarely do I get a chance to have a real conversation and get to know these patrons.

So I am inviting people to come to coffee once a week, beginning in January. I will start by blowing my New Year’s Resolution workout at Nichole’s on Wednesday, January 7th at 10:30am. The next week I’ll have an afternoon pick-me-up at Babb’s on Thursday, January 15th at 3:30pm.

Please feel free to stop by and join me. I look forward to visiting with you. And don’t be surprised if a Theatre B Board member calls you to invite you personally. The Board is on deck to make sure I don’t sit alone in coffee shops too much.

Hope to see you at the coffee shop!

2014 in review

It’s been another incredible year at Theatre B. Our Ensemble is proud to make this their artistic home and we are so grateful for this community that has nurtured us.


We spent January putting together our production of Gruesome Playground Injuries, a play that our dear friend Matthew Burkholder had championed before he passed away. From our blog: “Asked why Gruesome is a part of Theatre B’s 11th season, director Pam Strait had this to say: ‘Gruesome, well, it’s in the season because Matthew loved it. This show is in our season because it was in his heart.'”

We also started the process of hiring artistic staff for the BEAT program and our summer collaboration with North Dakota Governor’s School.

The preparations for Giving Hearts Day went into full swing.. Ensemble Member Tucker Lucas made some incredible videos about the impact our little theatre has, including this one on some powerful productions:


February brought the production of Gruesome Playground Injuries, a two-hander with Christina Johnson and Taylor Schatz.

We participated in Giving Hearts Day, collaborating with the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre and the Fargo-Moorhead Opera, raising over $15,000 to fuel our mission. Carrie was very happy!

We cast our production of Clybourne Park, a wickedly funny and fiercely provocative play about race, real estate, and the volatile values of each is inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.


We announced our 12th Season, including Wit, Storefront Church, 33 Variations, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Work started in earnest on Clybourne Park, including building the largest set we’ve ever had at Theatre B. It also had the second biggest cast of any Theatre B Mainstage show, so it was a huge undertaking.


April and May featured the run of Clybourne Park, the “spiritual sequel” to the acclaimed 1959 Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin in the Sun, in which a black family struggles with a move into a predominantly white neighborhood in Chicago. The events in the first act of Clybourne Park run parallel to A Raisin in the Sun and the second act takes place in 2009, where the neighborhood has transformed into a black neighborhood while a white family is poised to move into the neighborhood, mirroring the first act.

Theatre B was an invited artistic organization for North Dakota State University’s Symposium ‘Playing on Common Ground’.


Big Love poster

Our collaboration with North Dakota Governor’s School and NDSU’s Department of Theatre Arts started. 15 incredible High School students trained and created with the Theatre B ensemble and guest director Melissa Flower.

And, yes, there was a live band. Concordia professor Colin Holter reconfigured traditional wedding music and made sure everyone was part of the band.

We also participated in the first Unified Audition with Tin Roof and FMCT.


We took the show on the road!

There were performances of Big Love in Lisbon, Bismarck, Wishek, Minot, Williston, and Fargo with over 500 people sitting in a circle outside and witnessing. Thankfully the weather held for each and every performance. The parents of the students also fed us well at every stop.

We had our Annual Season Preview party at the Impact Foundation / DMF building.


We received a Bush Foundation / Consensus Council Community Innovation Grant for our collaboration with the Embrace Cancer Survivorship Program around Wit, which we put together in August and early September.


Our season opened with Wit, with performances at Theatre B, and at Sanford’s Downtown hospital for staff, medical residents, and nursing students.

Ensemble Member and Executive Director Carrie Wintersteen turned in an acclaimed perfomance as Vivian Bearing, Ph.D.

We also received an incredible national honor with a National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing, the host organization of the Tony Awards.


Rehearsals for Storefront Church went into full swing.

Wit went to the UND School of Medicine for performances for 1st year students and the public.

The Arts Partnership’s Community Supported Art came to Theatre B for a reading of Ray Rea’s play in development The Sweet New.


Storefront Church opened after Thanksgiving. A powerful story with a fantastic mulit-cultural cast came to life for 5 weeks.

The second Unified Audition took place, filling up the casts for 33 Variations and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

We received an Art Works Award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the Incubator Series for new work premiere of The Art of Bad Men, by Vincent Delaney. Based on interviews with former German prisoners of war, the play is a true story about prisoner of war camps in Northern Minnesota during World War II.

Rehearsals for 33 Variations began and are in full swing.

Thanks for joining us, and here’s to another crazy creative year at Theatre B!

Meet the Artist: Rick Mangahas

It all started with an invitation to sit on a board.

“Well, I started being involved with theatre in 2007 when the E.D. of FMCT asked me to sit on their board of directors. From there I tried stage managing and some other technical things. Then all of a sudden I was in the New Years Review, singing and dancing. So that was kinda interesting.”

Since then, Rick Mangahas has been in several productions around town, including shows at FMCT and the Harwood Prairie Playhouse. He is making his Theatre B debut this holiday season as Donaldo, the borough president stuck in the moral quandaries that are at the heart of Storefront Church.

“Donaldo, he’s at this fork in the road. He’s in this dilemma about what is right. Should I stick with my ideals? Should I make a decision that might be good for my community but outside my moral standards? What should I do? For me, it’s a great challenge to try to live out that crisis every night.”

Not only is it a complex role, it’s also the largest he’s played. “The amount of dialogue and being onstage is pretty intense. The memorization thing, that’s been a good challenge for me.”

“It’s just been great. I love working with all the actors involved and this process. I love that experience of going from first read all the way through closing night. And I’ve learned a lot from the cast, and Patrick, the director, to help make me a better actor.”

Where did the Thanksgiving performance go?

Poster design for Storefront ChurchIt’s a hallmark of Theatre B’s season, quite an FM arts tradition, and part of what makes the occasion special: to open the holiday show on Thanksgiving.

And yet, this year we will not present on Thanksgiving. “Why?” you may ask.

It wasn’t an easy decision. It has become a tradition, and it’s always dangerous to mess with traditions. However, there are two very good reasons.

First, it’s become a question of values. We have a set of value statements, and one of them is stewardship of all resources, especially the artists who come to create at Theatre B. Asking those artists to take time away from their families and friends to put on a show is already a lot to ask; adding in performances on holidays is an extra burden. More and more businesses are opening on Thanksgiving, sending a very clear statement on what our culture values. We decided it was time to make the opposite statement. We value the time we spend at home, with family and friends, not working, not shopping. That is something we value, and it was time to live into that value in the work we produce.

The other reason is that we have been working with more and more professionals who are members of the union, Actor’s Equity. Actor’s Equity ensures that its members have two days off per year: Thanksgiving and either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. So we thought it wise to make the change before it became a problem for the professionals we would like to engage.

We hope you will understand and take the opportunity to develop your own traditions at Thanksgiving with your family and friends. We’ll see you at the theatre the next day!

’33 Variations’ and ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ Cast Lists!

It was an inspiring experience seeing all of the passion and talent come out for Unified Auditions. It’s always difficult to put a cast together, especially with so many incredible people.

33 Variations by Moises Kaufman

Dr. Katherine Brandt:  Linda Boyd
Clara Brandt:  Missy Teeters*
Dr. Gertrude Ladenburger:  Pam Strait*
Mike Clark:  Ibukun Awosika
Ludwig van Beethoven:  Jay Nelson
Anton Schindler:  Matthew Collie
Anton Diabelli:  TBA

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang

Vanya:  Hardy Koenig
Sonia:  Pam Strait*
Masha:  Carrie Wintersteen*
Spike:  Taylor Schatz
Nina:  Crystal Cossette
Cassandra:  Monika Browne

* denotes Theatre B Ensemble Member

‘Red, White, [Black & Blue]’ at Theatre B


Red, White, [Black & Blue]: Uncharged at Guantánamo
by Nathan Tylutki and Michael J. Opperman
performed by Natahn Tylutki
November 8, 2014
7:30 pm    

at Theatre B

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students; available at the door.

Theatre B is proud to host, for one night only, the provocative touring production Red, White, [Black & Blue]: Uncharged at Guantánamo this Saturday. The show explores the body of the tortured, spaces of exception, indefinite detention, resilience, and the lack of due process at the detention facility in Guantánamo Bay.

“There are clear human rights violations occurring at the detention facility in Guantánamo which is which is why we wanted to write and produce this play,” said Nathan Tylutki, producer, writer and actor of Red, White, and [Black & Blue]. “Fear of the government has changed the way people behave—we want to explore dissent as a form of patriotism and a way to use our right to freedom of speech.”

Nathan Tylutki is the Development Manager at Penumbra Theatre Company and has been performing in the Twin Cities for over a decade. As an actor he has been featured at Park Square Theater, Illusion Theater, MN Actors’ Theater, Theatre Coup d’Etat, Bloomington Civic Theater, Theatre Pro Rata, Shadowplay Theater, Table Salt Productions, MN Shakespeare Company, among others.

Michael J. Opperman is a writer, educator & digitalist (at Clockwork Active Media) living and working in Minneapolis. Founder of dislocate (the University of Minnesota journal of writing and art) and Indigo Spaces (an online writing workshop for adults in recovery), his work has appeared in publications including the Twin Cities Daily Planet, Coe Review, New Hampshire Review, Borealis Magazine, Maverick Magazine, ditch, and MARGIE Review.

Reid Kruger has composed music, sound designs, mixes and re-mixes for film, dance, theater, ad and television.  In 2009, Reid composed the score for the Emmy award winning television show, NATURAL HEROES: Brower Youth Awards. Whereas,” recorded live at the Artist Quarter was released on the Dreyfus label and was nominated for a Grammy the following year.

‘Wit’ coming to Grand Forks

We’re not done collaborating yet! We are joining with Sanford Health’s Embrace Cancer Survivorship Program and The UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences to present Wit in Grand Forks. The play will have two special performances at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Grand Forks on Thursday, Oct. 30 at The Reed Keller Auditorium in the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 501 N. Columbia Road.

The 3 p.m. performance is mandatory for first-year, UND medical students and will be open to other health science students, residents and faculty on a first-come, first-serve basis. Following the performance, a panel discussion comprised of physicians and stage 4 female cancer patients will be held.

“Understanding what your patients are going through and being able to empathize with those emotions is so vital to providing the best care,” said Medical Director of Embrace Shelby Terstriep, M.D. “This play should help providers better understand the emotions and prepare them for engagement with their patients in the future.”

At 7 p.m., there will be a free performance for the public and the university community at large, also at the Reed Keller Auditorium.

The UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Interprofessional Education program presents these performances as part of a medical humanities series. These performances are supported in part through a Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation and special funding from the Dakota Medical Foundation.

‘The Sweet New’ – An Incubator Series Staged Reading Cast

Our latest project in our Incubator Series for new work is The Sweet New by local playwright and film artist Ray Rea. The Sweet New chronicles several generations of a family as they grapple with issues of identity.

We are excited to be reading this play for The Arts Partnership’s Community Supported Arts shareholders on October 25th. We plan to host a public reading in late winter or early spring as well.

Our cast:

Leo: a Northern Italian man David Wintersteen
Duci: a Southern Italian man Jay Nelson
Lorenzo: Leo’s son, an Italian-American Mike Sunram
Vivian: Lorenzo’s wife, a WASP woman Emily Vieweg
Kyle: Lorenzo’s son, a Female to Male Transsexual Jeff Miller
Jaime: Kyle’s girlfriend Hannah Amundson
Furie: the family adversary. Monika Browne
Directed by: D. Marie Long
Stage Manager: Stephanie Bahnij