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-and-Blue-Poster-Theatre-B-web

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

‘Wit’ Opens Thursday

We are excited to open our 2014-2015 season with the Pulitzer Prize winning play Wit by Margaret Edson, in collaboration with the Embrace Cancer Survivorship Program. The show, which opens Thursday, Sept. 25, runs through Oct. 18. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There will be one Sunday Matinee on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. and one ASL-interpreted performance on Oct. 4.

Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at 701-729-8880. New this season: during opening weekend only, tickets are buy one, get one free!

About Wit:

Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the intricate, difficult Holy Sonnets of John Donne, is diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Continue reading

Theatre B Awarded Grants

Theatre B is proud to announce that it has been awarded several grants to support the programming that engages our community with innovative theatre.

The American Theatre Wing, best known as the creator of the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards, has awarded Theatre B in Fargo one of its 2014 National Theatre Company grants. The grants recognize and support the most promising emerging theatre companies in the country. Theatre B is one of only 12 theaters in the nation to be awarded this grant.

We also received a Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation and the Consensus Council to fuel our partnership with the Embrace Cancer Survivorship Program around Wit and the role of the humanities in creating more compassionate health care providers.

Theatre B and the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony also received funding from the City of Fargo to help launch the February Performing Arts Festival, which will feature Beethoven in this Inaugural year.

We are proud of and humbled by the continuing support that we’ve received from so many individuals and organizations, allowing us to grow, thrive and continue bringing thought-provoking art to the Fargo-Moorhead community.

The Look and Feel of Season 12

Click on the title of the show to read a full description.

Thanks, Jeff Knight, for some striking images for our upcoming season.

Poster design for WitWit

September 25 – October 18 | Sunday Matinee October 5
ASL Interpreted Performance October 4

Our first show of the season, ‘Wit’ by Margaret Edson, will feature Ensemble Member Carrie Wintersteen in the lead.

We have been collaborating with the Embrace Cancer Survivorship program at the Roger Maris Cancer Center on this project. There will be private performances at the Cancer Center as well as at the UND Medical School to use ‘Wit’ as a teaching tool around empathy and a doctor’s relationship to their patient. Exciting!

Poster design for Storefront ChurchStorefront Church

November 28 – December 27 | Sunday Matinee December 14
ASL Interpreted Performance December 6

Our Christmas show this year is ‘Storefront Church’, by John Patrick Shanley, author of ‘Doubt’. A Christmastime comedy about what happens when faith, politics, and ambition collide.

That bible-cake looks incredible.

Theatre B will partner with the Gathering, an area faith organization dedicated to helping those who seek community, as well as other local faith organizations, for special performances and conversations about the connection between art, faith, justice, and morality.

Poster for 33 Variations33 Variations

February 5 – February 28 | Sunday Matinee February 15
ASL Interpreted Performance February 21

February brings us to ’33 Variations’, part of BeethovenFest, a community arts celebration. Linda Boyd from the FM Symphony will portray Dr. Katherine Brandt, a musicologist racing against the ravages of ALS to uncover the truth behind Beethoven’s obsession with the Diabelli Variations.

Theatre B will partner with the Fargo/Moorhead Symphony as well as with Concordia College to feature Music Department Chair John Roberts on the piano, weaving Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations live throughout each performance.

Poster for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeVanya and Sonja and Masha and Spike

April 16 – May 9 | Sunday Matinee April 26
ASL Interpreted Performance May 9

Closing the year will be the outrageous comedy and 2013 Tony Award winner “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang. “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” delights audiences with its abundant comic twists while paying loving homage to Chekhov’s classic themes of loss and longing.