Meet the Artist: Matthew Collie

Matthew Collie is making his fourth appearance in a Theatre B production, as Shagspeare, in Equivocation. You may have seen him around town in the last couple of weeks making appearances as the Bard of Avon for this year’s WinterArtsFest, a community-wide celebration of Arts, Culture, and all things Shakespeare. Matthew is relatively new to theatre, but is no stranger to performing. He is a member of the National Forensics Association Hall of Fame and an American Forensics Association All-American.

TB: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
MC: I’m a recent Fargo-Moorhead transplant, having grown up in southern Minnesota (area code 507), and I work at CoreLink Administrative Solutions as an IT Team Lead.  I’m a cinephile and a geek with specializations ancient history, public policy, gaming and superheroes.  Former math-wiz.  I believe public health will save humanity.

TB: How did you first get involved with theatre? Or what drew you to theatre?
MC: My foray into the local theatre scene happened in 2014 when my partner, Megan Orcholski, decided to audition in the Fargo-Moorhead unified auditions to shake the rust off (she’s has a BA in theatre).  I tagged along and auditioned to meet people, try something new, and find an outlet to perform.

My first theatre involvement, however, was pre-natal.  My mother was in a production of On Golden Pond as Chelsea Thayer while she was pregnant with me.  She and my father met on a stage in a theatre class.  Ask my Dad about it, great story.  My siblings, Alex and Sarah, have also been in numerous theatre productions.  I’m the late bloomer. Continue reading

Meet the Artist: Clare Geinert

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Clare Geinert is making her second appearance on the B stage, as Judith, William Shakespeare’s daughter, in our upcoming production of Equivocation. Originally from Jamestown, ND, Clare’s been performing almost as long as she can remember.  She enjoys knitting; she ran an Etsy store for a while, where she sold her creations to buyers in at least 6 countries.

TB: How did you first get involved with theatre?
CG: I have a very theatrical family. The first play I can remember being a part of was a production of Jesus Christ Superstar, my dad played Jesus. The whole family would be involved in these summer productions in Grand Rapids. It was quite the endeavor. I also remember being in the children’s chorus of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat early on and trying to sneak onstage any chance I could get, unfortunately I never succeeded, someone always caught me.

TB: Does your whole family do theatre?
CG: Yep, we’re all involved in some way, some of us more heavily than others. Continue reading

Meet the Ensemble: Missy Teeters

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Photo by Dan Francis Photography.

Southern Minnesota native, Missy has always loved being in the spotlight. Upon graduating from Concordia College with a degree in Theatre Art and English Literature, she immediately became involved in Theatre B and has loved it since. From favorite roles to dream roles, she’s drawn to the complexity of theatre. You can see Missy onstage in February’s production of Equivocation. 

Theatre B (TB): When did you first get involved in theatre?
Missy Teeters (MT): Well it was something that I was always intrigued by. If you want to get technical it was probably my sophomore year of high school. However, I was definitely in those little plays we did in elementary school and I loved it. In 4th grade we did The Emperors New Clothes, and I got to be a swindler. And, of course, my mom would say I was completely overly dramatic in the role, just like my entire life. I guess it’s just kind of inherently Missy.

TB: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
MT: I wanted to be a stand-up comedian. I remember very distinctly watching stuff on Comedy Central and thinking I needed to do that. Continue reading

Meet the Ensemble: Scott Horvik

Photo by Dan Francis Photography.

Photo by Dan Francis Photography.

A quick Google search can tell you about the accomplishments and eclectic talents of Scott Horvik. You’ll learn that he is a founding member of Theatre B and is a local voice talent. However, it won’t tell you about the time he broke his neck or what his dream role is, keep reading to find out. You can see Scott onstage now, playing Ed in Straight White Men.

TB: How does theatre inspire you?

SH: To me I think one of the biggest things is empathy. Being able to relate to a character either that you create or that you see on stage. It allows you to get in their shoes and see what their life is like. 

TB: What draws you to a role?

SH: If it just speaks to me. One of the roles I loved playing at B was the role of the Fire Chief in The Guys. The story was beautiful, the empathy that you felt for the fire captain was wonderful, and that was a fascinating look at the tragedy of 9/11 from the standpoint of the fire fighters. Of the people who without thought and concern go in to save you. So I loved doing that. Continue reading

Meet the Ensemble: Michael Sunram

Photo by Dan Francis Photography.

Photo by Dan Francis Photography.

Michael has been involved with Theatre B since its start. From cleaning the theatre to fixing sets, running lights to acting, he does it all. He is always willing to lend a helping hand and is truly dedicated to doing what is best for B. You can see Michael onstage now, playing Matt in Straight White Men.

Theatre B (TB): Can you tell me a little about yourself, where you’re from and life after high school?

Michael Sunram (MS): My hometown is Audubon, Minnesota, just to the east of here. I graduated from Lake Park Audubon in 1992. I went to Wahpeton for a couple of years for a liberal arts degree. Then thought about what I wanted to do, and decided to transfer to NDSU where I majored in theatre from 94’- 99’. I originally thought about acting and then started getting into the tech side of it, running lights, designing sound and stuff like that. Afterwards, I didn’t really take the leap like a lot of other theatre graduates. I had debt, so I decided to just stay in town and work it off. The only real theatre I did was with a group out in Harwood called the Harwood Prairie Playhouse. Lori and Scott Horvik were also working on some projects out there at the time.

TB: So those connections led you to B?

MS: Yeah, then the Horviks and Wintersteens began Theatre B, and I just was kind of a helping hand with them from the beginning. Then eventually things just started to grow around here, and I felt at home, so I have been involved with Theatre B ever since. Continue reading

Goodbye Brad

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by Carrie Wintersteen

Brad Delzer has been pushing me artistically for over ten years, first as a student in my Acting class at NDSU, then as a young director/performer in our Ensemble, finally as our first programming staff member at Theatre B.

I often point to Brad as the quintessential example of what we mean when we say Theatre B serves emerging artists. Brad emerged from college with strong ties in the Fargo Moorhead community that eased the imperative to move immediately to a larger market as most of his theatre classmates did. He had a passion for directing, but needed to build his resume. And he was hungry to continue learning in an ensemble environment that would afford him artistic agency.

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Brad and founding member, David Wintersteen during a rehearsal of ‘Sylvia’.

Brad’s interest in directing was a welcome addition, since accomplished directors are rare in our market. His first project with Theatre B was directing Sylvia, which starred three of the five founders, Scott Horvik, Carrie Wintersteen and David Wintersteen. It was a test for everyone, a trial by fire, and if Brad could handle it, he could handle anything.

Continue reading

A Farewell to the Farrens

by Brad Delzer

If you ask any of us in the Theatre B Ensemble the reasons why we have an ensemble, you’ll hear the phrase ‘intentional family.’ For us, who we get to make stuff with is just as important as the stuff we get to make. Making theatre can be terrifying; it’s easy to feel lost at any step of the process. So we try to surround the process with people who care, and especially with people who care about each other.

Alie and Joel Farren have been constants at Theatre B and in our intentional family for years. It wasn’t easy to tell people of my own impending departure (off to Pennsylvania with my wife for a Great Adventure), so when I heard that two more ensemble members were moving (down to the Twin Cities) for their own Great Adventure, it hit pretty hard. They helped build this theatre, both literally and metaphorically. Continue reading

Finding Home and ‘The Art of Bad Men’

Guest post by Theatre B Ensemble Member Pam Strait

B-48 (2) (1)When my husband accepted a job teaching at MSUM, I felt a bit lost. As a born and bred southerner, I never dreamed I’d be spending more than a decade of my life in the distant, exotic American Midwest. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t really fit in. So I was always looking for things that connected me to my old life.

I happened across an ad for a local theatre company producing my favorite A.R. Gurney play, Sylvia. I went (alone, because I didn’t really have any friends) and I did something most Theatre B fans have also done: I fell in love. That night, I registered for Theatre B’s mailing list assuming they’d let me know what they were doing next and instead what I got was an email notice for auditions. It was a just a mass email – I think most people took a look at it and went ‘meh.’ I went ‘oooh!’ Continue reading

On devising ‘The Oil Project’

by Colin Holter

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Colin Holter

I was recently asked how many productions I’ve had the chance to work on with Theatre B. When I counted them out on my fingers, the answer — six, including The Oil Project! — came as a bit of a surprise to me because it feels like six distinct jobs rather than six instances of the same job. Making art with Theatre B is always a richly collaborative process, but the shape of my contribution to that process is never quite the same twice: in some cases I’ve been a capital-C Composer, in others a traditional theatre-style sound designer, and in still others a hybrid sound artist with recourse to a sprawling collection of tools and resources.

oil project_square-01In The Oil Project, my job is to invite sounds both beautiful and terrible from a custom-built microtonal electric guitar while wearing a gaudily bedazzled suit that might even have been a bit much for the likes of Rex Allen and Porter Waggoner, a suit whose loudness is exceeded only by the loudness of the guitar. This isn’t the kind of work my training in the field of contemporary concert music led me to anticipate, but it’s the task that turned out to be waiting for me at the end of The Oil Project’s development process — a long, occasionally meandering, not always well-marked but always compelling road that our nine company members have navigated together. Continue reading

The Company of ‘The Oil Project’

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Meet the devising ensemble of The Oil Project. These artists have spent the past several months researching, creating, and rehearsing The Oil Project, which premiere’s August 13 & 14.

The Company: Continue reading