Auditions for “Ghost Light!”

Renegade Theater Company is very excited to announce audition for the next show in our 2012 season, the world-premiere of “Ghost Light” by Andy Bennett, and directed by Julie Ahasay!


One cold October night at the height of vaudeville a small theater played host to a young magician and his brand-new act. But when the lights went out, the audience was treated not to magic, but murder. Now, 100 years later, the theater has become a tourist trap, the centerpiece of a tour highlighting the city’s most ‘haunted’ spots. When a group of young tour guides are forced to spend the night locked inside, they’ll come face to face with things they can’t explain and find themselves in a life and death struggle to see the sunrise.

Renegade teams up with renowned Minneapolis illusionist Sean Phillips to create never before seen feats of magic and special effects that will power this pulse-pounding production. Using sleight-of-hand, misdirection and the latest in sound and light technology, we will take you on a terrifying journey through the longest night of four young people’s lives.


WHEN: Friday, July 13th from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm / Callbacks on Saturday, July 14th 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

WHERE: Auditions will be on stage at Teatro Zuccone

PREPARE: Nothing! Auditions will be readings from the play. Click the link below to download the sides.

CASTING: All adult roles: The Amazing Arcana, Stage Manager, Mr. Wallace, Irene, Rickie, Tyler and Lee. The roles of the 4 students (Chad, Freeman, Casey and Jessie) may not be officially cast until early September. But if you would like to be a part of workshopping one of those 4 student roles in August, please come to these auditions!

NOTE: “Ghost Light” is a new play. This means cast members should be prepared for changes, revisions, cuts, great new ideas and other cool stuff. We’re looking for actors who are flexible, ready and willing to play well with others, and committed to doing scary things in the dark.

If you are interested but unable to attend auditions on the 13th, please contact to arrange an alternate audition time.



Renegade’s 2013 Season – Show #2!

Hey Blog Readers:

For the past several seasons we’ve done our best to keep our season under wraps until we make our big season announcement. But we’re bored of that. So this year, we’re doing it differently.

We’re announcing our mainstage season one show at a time. Which means you’re just going to have to keep an eye on this blog over the next few months as we slowly unveil the shows we’ll be producing next year. We’ve already announced BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, and now we’re ready to announce show #2.

As flesh transformed Lycaon into raging beast,
these dead now awaken for one final feast.
Their bite brings affliction – wounds that don’t heal –
so sever their necks with thy good English steel.


A true and accurate account of the 1599 zombie invasion at the Globe Theatre


This smash hit of the 2008 Minneapolis fringe fest explores the Elizabethan era of Shakespeare, Francis Bacon and Queen Elizabeth … all of whom are struggling to survive a zombie attack.

In the midst of an argument in which Will Kemp is thrown out of the theater for refusing to acknowledge Falstaff’s death in Henry V, a costume designer is mysteriously bitten by a zombie, thus causing all hell to break loose. As the Globe becomes a quarantine-zone in a zombie-riddled London, the characters must learn how to survive amongst both the undead and each other.

Which Play Is Better? Your Chance To Choose!

One writer, two plays: You decide which is best
Christa Lawler – 06/07/2012

Tennessee Williams made his choice clear. In a battle between his play “Summer and Smoke” and the similar-but-different rewrite “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” the latter got the playwright’s nod. “I prefer it,” Williams wrote in the author’s note for the Broadway production of “Eccentricities.” “It is less conventional and melodramatic.” Renegade Theater Company has opted to not pick between the two plays: They’re producing both versions using the same cast and sets and different directors in alternating performances at Teatro Zuccone. “Summer and Smoke,” directed by Molly O’Neill, opens at 8 p.m. today. “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” directed by Anika Thompson, opens at 8 p.m. Friday. Both play on Saturdays. “I don’t know what we were thinking,” theater director Katy Helbacka said and laughed.

How this works

Renegade Theater Company’s season selection committee was kicking around a classic, something they’ve yet to do under the current theater director. When “Summer and Smoke” was mentioned, Thompson — who had read both plays — mentioned the alternate version and threw out the idea: “I said, ‘Let’s do both and let other people make the decision,’ ” Thompson said. It was more of an idea than an edict, but it stuck. The idea fit with Renegade’s lean toward edgy theater. Instead of just doing a classic, they would turn it into extreme theater. It’s not unusual for a company to have simultaneous performances starring the same cast, Helbacka said. “It happens a lot with summer repertory programs,” she said. “But usually it’s completely different shows. They’ll be in ‘Oklahoma’ and a Neil Simon play at the same time.” Rehearsals started about eight weeks ago with chunks of consecutive days dedicated to one script, then switching to the other for a similar period. This meant making clear divisions between the plays. While there was some initial brainstorming between the two directors, they’ve both stayed away from the other production. “For me, I said I don’t want to hear anything about the other show when we’re in rehearsals,” O’Neill said.

For the actors

Carolyn LePine, who plays the lovelorn Alma Winemiller, might have the trickiest job. There are similarities between the shows, but the feel is different, she said. Some of her lines cross over, but come at different points in the different plays and sometimes have a different meaning. “This has literally been the hardest theater thing I’ve ever done,” LePine said. “Once I started getting into it I thought, ‘I don’t know if this is actually possible.’ I knew that it was both plays, which is partially what appealed to me. But I don’t think I realized how difficult it would be. If they were two completely different shows, I don’t think it would be a problem. But the same characters and some of the same scenes and some dialogue moved to different areas of the play … that has been really, really hard.” Joshua Stenvick plays Alma’s love interest, John Buchanan Jr., versions that are different enough to consider them as separate characters. “I’ve had an easier job,” the University of Minnesota Duluth student admitted. “To me, Tennessee Williams wrote them completely different. He’s two different men.”

So which play is better?

Renegade Theater Company’s selection committee originally asked Thompson which version was better, and she said she didn’t know. But when she realized she didn’t have the time to direct both shows, she selected “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale” without hesitation, she said. “Previous to that, I hadn’t been able to say (which one I liked better),” she said. “There are elements to both.” The character John is more fun in “Summer and Smoke,” she said. But it’s Alma’s refusal to be a victim in “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” that sold her. “She acknowledges that she’s different, but refuses to change,” Thompson said. “That might make her an outcast, but she can’t change the way she is. It’s a much more empowering version.” O’Neill said she likes the old-fashioned romance of “Summer and Smoke.” “In ‘Eccentricities,’ (Alma’s) the pursuer,” O’Neill said. “John’s more cool and she’s more hot. In this one, John’s hot and she’s cool. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, I just feel like that is such a romance for me.” Plus she gets characters such as Rosa Gonzales, Dr. John Buchanan Sr. and Alma’s young vocal student, Nellie, who aren’t a part of “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale.” “I have these really cool characters,” O’Neill said. The actor’s aren’t revealing which version of the show they like best. “I don’t want to say,” LePine said. “That’s a secret I’m going to keep to myself,” Stenvick said.



The Stars Speak + 2 for 1 Tickets!

We’re just a few days away from the opening nights of our Tennessee Williams summer repertory, and we wanted to give you a sneak peek inside the process from the point of view of our two leads, the fabulous Carolyn LePine and Joshua Stenvick. But before we get to the interviews, don’t forget you can still get two tickets for the price of one to EITHER “Summer & Smoke” or “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale” by clicking the link below. In fact, since you can buy two deals, you could get two tickets to see BOTH shows for the price of ONE show. Happy summer.


R: What drew you to audition for this show?
JOSHUA: Two summers ago I did some stand up comedy, last summer I did Shakespeare in rep. I like to find projects in the summer months that challenge me and help me grow as an actor and a person. Came across the audition notice online, almost like fate had pulled me to it, and the rest is history. Plus, it’s Tennessee Williams.
CAROLYN: I have been wanting Duluth and the local theaters to do more Tennessee Williams for a long while, so I knew right away it was an awesome opportunity.
R: Have you done Tennessee Williams’ plays before?
JOSHUA: Outside of a classroom setting, no, I’ve never. It was one of the few things I’ve wanted to do in my performance lifetime and it’s been a goal, so to say that I’ve done two, makes me really pleased. I feel blessed and grateful to have this opportunity. He’s such a brilliant playwright and the experience has just been peaches.
CAROLYN: Never! Scratch one off my bucket list. I hope it won’t be the last, however – Williams is my favorite playwright of all time.

R:  What’s been the biggest challenge for you in acting in both shows?
JOSHUA: The million dollar question. Having two different directors, for me, as been the biggest challenge. It’s like having two fathers in your life. Double the expectations and double the disappointments! That, and working on any Tennessee play is a challenge in itself. There’s so many layers to his material that you can always find something to discuss or explore. Making sure my character is his own person in each show has also been a challenge, but that’s been the most fun aspect of acting in both shows.
CAROLYN: The biggest challenge has been the sheer volume of things to learn/remember. Not JUST the lines, but the blocking, the different props, etc. If these two shows were completely different, I think it would have been easier, but there are vague similarities everywhere, and that has been the hardest part.
R: How do you keep your lines and blocking straight?
CAROLYN: I don’t. Kidding! Kind of! I guess I’d say getting into the groove before each rehearsal– looking over all my lines, going over my blocking in my mind, and trying to remember the specific (and different) character notes each director has given me, which sets each show apart.
JOSHUA: As my directors and co-stars will tell you, I don’t! Lines come, I’ve never been able to answer that question other than, ‘I just remember them’. When the world of the play and the characters and his objectives are so clear to you, remembering your lines is the easiest part of the process. Sorry, I know that answer was boring and technical, I’m just not that witty. As for blocking? Next question…
R: How do you remember which show your doing?
JOSHUA: Before I go to rehearsal for that particular show, I focus on that one and that one only. Try not to worry or think about the other show. Submerge myself in the script and my notes. There have been some mishaps, but it’s been great and I’ve never really worried about mixing the two up.
CAROLYN: I have to sit for at least 2 hours before each rehearsal and go over every line so that I can remember which show I will be rehearsing. I also have my script backstage to remind me.
R: What’s the one reason people should come see both of these shows?
CAROLYN: The writing is beautiful in both, but different. The shows have some of the same characters in them, but there is a definite difference in the FEEL of each show. Also, my role (Alma) was one of Tennessee Williams’ favorite characters he ever wrote, and he said he felt like she was the female version of himself. I think that’s really interesting, and a great reason to check it out!
JOSHUA: If you’re a literary buff, you’ll come for the language. If you’re a theatre buff, you’ll come because it’s one of the greatest playwrights who’s ever lived. If you simply want entertainment, we’re doing two shows that are almost the same, yet completely different, so there’s bound to be plenty of mistakes for you to laugh at. But mainly because you’re sick of summer television and the box office smashes of the summer haven’t hit the silver screen yet, so what else are you going to do? And you want to support local theatre. And, I hear they sell beer there. You said one reason? Sorry..

New Fun For Thursday Nights!

First off, we want to thank all of you who came out over the past year for our Thursday night long-form Improv performances. But last night, May 31st, was our very last one. If you missed it, you missed out.

We’ve abandoned the long-form Improv plans, because we’ve got something new and very entertaining planned for your Thursday nights from now on…

Beginning June 7th, every Thursday night at 10:30 pm you can head down to the Teatro Zuccone and catch Renegade’s Stand-up Showcase! Local stand-up comedians will be given the time and space to perform each and every week. And if you’ve ever wanted to give stand-up a try yourself, one Thursday a month will be an open mic event where everyone is welcome to get up on stage and give it a try.

We’re so excited to add stand-up to our weekend comedy block with Improv on Friday and Saturday nights. So come on out on June 7th, buy some drinks (but there’s no minimum, we promise) and settle in for some of the finest comedians in town.

Oh, and the best part? The June 7th and June 14th performances are FREE.

See you there.