More about The 7-Shot Symphony's set of collaborators:
MARK BENZEL (performer) is a company member with Upright Egg Theatre and has worked with companies such as Sandbox Theatre (Unspeakable Things and The Horse, The Bird, The Monkey and The Dancer), Walking Shadow (Mojo and The American Pilot), Upright Egg (Love Project, Chuck Mee Project), 20% Theatre Company (elephant shoes and olive juice), and Old Log Theater (Treasure Island). Mark has studied clown at the Burlesk Center in Switzerland and continues to study physical theatre and ensemble work. He thanks friends, family, and fellow performers for all the inspiration and support they give him with his every leap.
LISA BOL (marketing assistant) is thrilled to be working with Live Action Set again. She was introduced to their incredible world last spring when she played a Bunny in The Happy Show. Having spent the last 5 years working with theater companies around the Twin Cities, Lisa found one of the most intreging aspects of producing theater to be the marketing of the actual show. She's greatful to be offered the opportunity to assist with this for 7SS. For more information on her antics, check out www.lisabol.com.
TRAVIS BOLTON (musician) is very honored to be working with the Live Action Set for the first time. He is a guitar player and singer in the local country band "Tree Party". He has performed as the onstage band leader and guitar player for a "Closer Walk with Patsy Cline" at the Plymouth Playhouse. For the last several years, he has been involved in the Minneapolis original music scene. He released and album in 2007 with "Travis and Jonny" and with "Tree Party" in 2011.
NOAH BREMER (artistic director) is an actor, director, creator and instigator. He has worked with the Guthrie Theater, Children's Theatre Company, The Red Eye Collaboration, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, the Soap Factory, Illusion Theater, Southern Theater, Pillsbury House Theatre, and others. As a director or actor/creator, he has collaboratively created more than 40 original theatrical works. He received an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2005. Also that year, the Star Tribune and City Pages recognized his co-creation of Please Don't Blow Up Mr. Boban, with the latter naming him Artist of the Year. Noah has studied theater at the University of Minnesota and at the Dell'Arte School of Physical Theater in California. He also recently played, The Skywatcher, a leading character in Cirque du Soleil's touring production of Varekai.
ANDY CARROLL (musician): is a local bassist who plays in two old school country bands Tree Party and Calamity and the Owl. Aside from playing in honky tonks he also dabbles in the world of musicals. Be it country shows like The Medora Musical, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and his Honky Tonk Hero's or broadway shows such as Rent and Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat. He's lucky to be working with such talented people and thankful for having a loving family and the best wife ever!
AMELIA ENGLISH (stage manager) is excited to work with Live Action Set again having been seen on stage in last year's The Happy Show. Favorite performances include the titular roles in Amanda Tears, Teenage Detective with Red Eye Theater and Goldilocks and the Three Bears with the Old Gem Theater, as well as You Make Me Smile with BSPM Entertainment. She proudly serves on Bedlam Theater's board of directors and will be part of In the Heart of the Beast's May Day Parade again this year.
JOEY FORD (performer, musician) has acted with Open Eye Figure Theatre's Driveway tour, Hardcover Theatre, Walking Shadow, The Medora Musical, and Sandbox Theatre. He is also core member of the local country band Tree Party. He graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Mankato State University, currently works for The National Theatre for Children as a School Marketing Coordinator, and is a weekly photographer for Powderhorn 365 (powderhorn365.com).
JOANNA HARMON (executive director) has been a part of Live Action Set's administrative team since 2009. She was associate producer of Jon Ferguson's Super Monkey, which played in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie. As a performer, she holds professional credits from The Guthrie Theater and theaters in Southwest Florida, where she was raised. Locally she has also performed with Jon Ferguson Theater, The Directors, The New Theatre Group, The Playwrights' Center, Red Eye Theater, Walking Shadow Theater Company and The Workhaus Collective. Joanna has made two co-creations with Ally Carey-- a devised piece called [Something clever goes here. for the Southern Theater's Brouhaha Comedy Festival and an adaptation of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse that performed at the Bedlam Theater. She performs in Walking Shadow Theater Company's Drakul in February. In 2005, she was awarded the highest level of honor in acting from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Her short stop-motion animation film was an Official Selection at the Minnesota Museum of American Art 2008 Animated Film Festival. And, in 2009, she was chosen as one of three students from the University of Minnesota's Visual Art Department to travel to China to cultivate a relationship with the Beijing Film Academy. She is graduate of the University of MN/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program.
WILLIAM HARMON (administrative and technical assistant): is eager at the chance at being involved with the fantastic theater of the Twin Cities. A self-taught stage manager, lighting and sound designer, he has been involved with Cole, Baby, Miracle in Rwanda, Chess, Nine, Leader of the Pack and several other shows, wearing many different hats for TheatreZone in Naples, FL, toured with Miracle in Rwanda in New York and Edinburgh, Scotland, and served as technical director for St. John's College in Santa Fe, NM where he is currently pursuing a liberal arts degree. Proud member of Actor's Equity Association.
DAMIAN JOHNSON (performer) is honored to be working with the Live Action Set. He is a native Minneapolis improviser, actor and teacher in love with improvisation and ensemble creation and David Bowie. He has performed with the Jon Ferguson Theater, Joanna Harmon & Ally Carey, The Center for Hmong Arts and Talent, Robert Karimi, Upright Egg, Hardcover Theater, Stages Children's Theater, CLIMB Theater, and The Science Museum of Minnesota. He is a regular improviser at Comedy Sportz, teaches improv at the Brave New Workshop, and performs improvised zombie films, boyish adventures and experiments with podcasts through his own group, BoyTron.
MANDI JOHNSON (costume designer) is enthusiastic about working with Live Action Set for the first time. She is a company member with Theatre Pro Rata, and has worked with the likes of Frank Theatre, Hardcover Theater, Old Log Theater, Ordway Center, Sandbox Theatre, Starting Gate Productions, Tedious Brief Productions, and Theatre in the Round. Mandi is also an Associate Costumer at Northwestern Costume Company in Minneapolis.
EMILY KING (perfomer) is a native of the South Dakota plains. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Dance from the University of Minnesota, she has had the privilege to work with many talented and inspirational artists such as Karen Sherman, Morgan Thorson, Jon Ferguson, Eric Melzer, the MN Opera, Live Action Set, Black Label Movement, Luverne Seifert and Ryan Underbakke, among others. Her collaborative composition with Mr. Underbakke was featured in the Walker Art Center's 2009 Choreographer's Evening. In addition to her performance and choreographic work, Ms. King also teaches Vinyasa Flow Asana yoga and designs floral arrangements.
TYLER OLSEN (admin. assistant) has recently returned to Minnesota after working as an actor, administrator, manager, teacher, producer, and wilderness guide at Del'Arte International in Northern California. Recent projects include The Age of Wordsworth with Four Humors Theater, The Flying Doctor with Woodbury High School, A Christmas Carol with Rosetown Playhouse, Quake at the MN & Bertkshire fringe Festivals, The Blue Lake Opera at Dell'Arte, and The Horror Experiment with the Theatre Fondue in Berlin, Germany. He's thrilled to be working with Live Action Set!
MATT RIGGS (performer) makes his second appearance with Live Action Set after last year's The Happy Show, and he is SUPER excited to work with them again! COWBOYS! Matt is company member with Upright Egg and has done a dozen shows with them. He is a graduate of Hamline University and the O'Neil National Theatre Institute. In addition to his theatre work, Matt is also a teaching artist working with students grades K-12 all over the Twin Cities.
For MATT SRPING (co-writer), this is his second production with Live Action Set, having assisted with The Happy Show, and he is very excited to share in their latest work. Matt is a Founding Member of Four Humors Theater and has been with the group since its inception in 2005. With them he's had the pleasure of appearing in Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Mortem Capiendum, Romeo and Juliet, Bards, and Deviled Eggs. He was also in Speech with Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions this summer. Also this March, Matt performs in Four Humors' The Age of Wordsworth at the Southern Theater. Matt graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a BA in Theater Arts in 2006. He is deeply impressed with the level of commitment, talent and fun this cast and crew have brought to the show.
DUSTIN SUGGS (performer) is excited to be working on a show with such a collaborative feel. Being able to supplement his career teaching students on the Autism spectrum with involvement in the arts around town allows him to fulfill his two great passions. He is very lucky to have gotten to work with so many great people in both fields. He hopes he can be as proud of his next thirty years as he is of his first. Thank you to everyone who has shown support when needed.
DEREK TROST (musician): A chameleon at heart, Derek has enjoyed accompanying a wide variety of live dance, theater, and musical projects in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Minneapolis, Chicago and points between on drums, vibraphone, marimba, accordion, guitar and voice. Derek performs regularly as a session musician in the studio, in addition to composing, producing and recording music for film and television. Derek leads a double life in architecture, as well as music, designing recording studios and live music venues, as well as custom residential projects.
RYAN UNDERBAKKE (director and co-writer) has spent the last several years as an international artist, choreographer, performer, director, and instructor working professionally in Los Angeles, Rhode Island, New York, Minneapolis and London. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and received the Jane Enroth Award for Best Undergraduate Performer in 2005. He soon after moved to Los Angeles after being accepted into the Stella Adler Conservatory in Hollywood California. In Los Angeles, Ryan worked as professional company member Son of Semele and City Garage Theater Ensemble and guest lecturing with The Artist Seminar. He went on to receive his Masters of Fine Arts from the London International School of Performing Arts in London, England where he set up residency working with acclaimed Punch Drunk Theater Company, the Beatabet Collective and starting his own commissioned company, Giant Bird International Theater. His co-collaborated piece with Emily King was featured in 2009's Choreographers Evening at the Walker Art Center. Ryan serves as summer faculty member for both acting and film sessions at the acclaimed New York Film Academy in New York City, is also currently teaching for the Directors Studio, and has been a featured artist instructor for Live Action Set, of which he co-conceived and lead directed The Happy Show, an excerpt from which was featured last fall at the Ivey Awards. This March he is touring a new piece to New York, London, Wales, and Jordan with Giant Bird.
JENNA WYSE (performer, musician) participates in both the theatre and music scenes here in the Twin Cities and is grateful for a chance to merge the two together for The 7-Shot Symphony. Jenna studied theatre arts and vocal performance at the University of Minnesota and focused a great deal on puppetry after graduation, working mainly with Open Eye Figure Theatre's Driveway Tour program. She performs with local bands Tree Party and The Poor Nobodys and is an ensemble member of Sandbox Theatre Company.
Other important people:
ANNE BLESSING (seamstress), MARC BOHN (musician), LYDIA BOLDER (seamstress), KRISTINA FJELLMAN (seamstress), ERIC MELZER (photographer)