Meet The Burnt Part Choreographer – Jennifer Madill Hagen!

601286_4518453802926_727235164_nWe’re just over a week away from opening night of our Northland premiere production of THE BURNT PART BOYS, brought to you in part by the fine folks at Visit Duluth and Kevin O’Brien Realty)!

 

This fantastic musical is brand-new to the region, and has also given us a chance to work with some incredible local talent who making their Renegade debut with this show. Over the past few weeks we’ve given  you a chance to meet the members of the cast – both those familiar to Renegade audiences and those performing in their first Renegade show. 

 

But today we are beyond thrilled to introduce you to the choreographer for the show, the fabulous Jennifer Madill Hagen. Chances are you already know her, or know about her.

 

Jennifer Madill Hagen has been running the Madill P.A.C. with her husband, Dusty since 1999. She has about 500 students, which includes an award winning competition team, adult classes and a team of all boys that has won national honors. She recently won the Masquerade National Dance Educator of the year for 2013. She just wrapped up a run as the role of Lucy in Lundeen Production’s Jekyll & Hyde, opposite her husband Dusty. And yet she somehow not only found time to contribute jaw-dropping choreography to our production, but also to answer our blog questions!

 

How long have you been dancing/choreographing?

 

I have been dancing for 30 years (wow!) and have been choreographing for about 20 years.

 

How did you get involved in this production?

 

I have wanted to work with Katy and Andy and Renegade for as long as I can remember, so I was thrilled when Peter (the show’s director) asked me to choreograph!

 

How has the experience been?

 

It has been an absolute blast! The actors came ready to work hard, and that they did, learning so quickly and retaining the material almost on the spot! They were sponges, wanting anything I had ready for them.

 

Anything else you’d like us to know?

 

I was able to be part of Bryce (who plays Pete in the show) Crandall’s journey, teaching him dance at the studio. He heads off for college soon, so one last show seeing him do his thing has been awesome. I’m very proud of him and I think he will do big things in this theater world!

 

The Burnt Part Boys – Field Trip!

On Saturday, July 20th, some of the cast and crew of THE BURNT PART BOYS headed up to the Tower-Sudan mine for a little research, a little video shoot, and a little fun. Check out the photos from the visit, below, and then GET YOUR TICKETS to this incredible new musical, opening August 8th!

The cast and crew arrive at the Tower-Sudan Mine.

THE CAST AND CREW ARRIVE AT THE TOWER-SUDAN MINE

 

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JACE AND KIER SPEND SOME TIME EXPLORING TOP-SIDE

 

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INTO THE MINE #1 – THE EXCITED VERSION

 

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INTO THE MINE #2 – THE MALE BONDING VERSION

 

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INTO THE MINE #3 – THE UNEASY, ANGRY, GIDDY AND BEARDED MAN IN FOREGROUND VERSION

 

1070634_10100631317703052_1313161770_oBUT DON’T WORRY, EVERYONE MADE IT BACK SAFE

 

Meet A Burnt Part Daddy – Jef Crosby!

photoWe’re deep into rehearsals for the Northland premiere of THE BURNT PART BOYS, opening August 8th (and brought to you in part by the fine folks at Visit Duluth and Kevin O’Brien Realty)!

 

This fantastic musical is brand-new to the region, and much of our stellar cast is brand-new to Renegade. So, we’ve been spending some blog time in the weeks leading up to the show giving you a chance to meet the cast.

 

Next up is another local talent making his Renegade Theater debut – Jef Crosby!

 

Tell us about yourself

 

I am currently working at northern pacific ore dock in Superior WI building a marina on site and deconstructing the ore dock structure. I grew up in Duluth and have been in a number of local productions, from Equus at The Playground to Side Show with Lundeen Productions.

 

How did you get started in theater?

 

I got started in theater when I was in grade school with some small church productions, and school productions. I also sang in Lake Superior Youth Chorus which contributed heavily to continued work in the theater.

 

What drew you to the show?

 

I was drawn to the show by the wonderful music, intriguing plot line and having worked with Peter in Side Show I was eager to work with him again. Once the show was cast with such amazingly talented people I became even more excited to work through the process of bringing this show to life.

 

Why should people see this show?

 

The show is full of so many wonderful things, from Jace playing the musical saw, James yodeling, and the amazing voices that are in the show — this is one you wonʼt want to miss! Hope to see you there!

 

Meet The Only Burnt Part Girl – Kier Zimmerman!

photoWe’re deep into rehearsals for the Northland premiere of THE BURNT PART BOYS, opening August 8th (and brought to you in part by the fine folks at Visit Duluth and Kevin O’Brien Realty)!

 

This fantastic musical is brand-new to the region, and much of our stellar cast is brand-new to Renegade. But there’s a few familiar faces you may have seen on the Renegade stage before. Like this girl, for instance. She’s been in a few Renegade shows before, like “Spring Awakening” and “The Nutcracker” and now she’s got the honor of being the only girl in the cast of The Burnt Part Boys.

 

It’s Kier Zimmerman!

 

Tell us about yourself

 

I was born in New Orleans, but was raised up here in Duluth. Iʼm about to be a junior at East High School. Mentally, Iʼm a ten year old boy, so Frances the crude tomboy wasnʼt a stretch for me.

 

How did you get started in theater?

 

My parents needed something to do with a hyperactive and obstinate kid during the
summer, so they signed me up for nearly every day camp in the state. But one stuck for
good: theater. Since then Iʼve barely stopped for breath. I started by doing every
summer camp the Duluth Playhouse had to offer. I then moved on to their main
childrenʼs season, then the main stage productions. I then auditioned at Renegade and
found a whole new home here. Some of my favorite roles include Rhoda Penmark in
The Bad Seed, Puck in A Midsummer Nightʼs Dream, Mary Lennox in The Secret
Garden, Anna in Spring Awakening, Rosalind in As You Like It, and Clara in Nutcracker.

 

What drew you to the show?

 

I was originally hesitant to audition for this show, because it would tie up my summer in
the middle of December. But then I read it. I read Frances. I fell in love with her loyalty,
humor, and ferocity. From then on, I had my heart set on that part and that show.

 

Anything else you’d like us to know?

 

I want to shout out to the Playhouse Teen Summer Intensive. Iʼve been spending my
days assistant directing their Metamorphoses. Go see them and support teenagers
devoting their days to making great theater. Iʼm so lucky to have my days filled with that
group and to then get to come to Renegade to perform in the show of the summer!

 

Meet A Burnt Part Boy – Erin Miller

photoWe’re deep into rehearsals for the Northland premiere of THE BURNT PART BOYS, opening August 8th (and brought to you in part by the fine folks at Visit Duluth and Kevin O’Brien Realty)!

 

This fantastic musical is brand-new to the region, and much of our stellar cast is brand-new to Renegade. But there’s a few familiar faces you may have seen on the Renegade stage before. Like that guy to the left. If you saw “Spring Awakening,” you’re familiar with his work. Although he’s not singing rock this time around. He’s showing off his bluegrass chops.

 

It’s Erin Miller!

 

 

How did you get started in theater?

 

I saw my twin sister in The Sound of Music in seventh grade.  She said she had a lot of fun and after singing in a dance/choir group with her I auditioned for Cinderella the next year and was cast as the hottest prepubescent doorman in the kingdom wielding my mighty braces to shepherd the royal subjects to the ball.  After that I had the bug and auditioned for almost all the shows in high school until I came to UMD for musical theatre.

 

 

What drew you to this show?

 

After having a blast in Godspell at the Duluth Playhouse, I was excited to have the opportunity to do a show that was less episodic and had a more linear narrative.  The folk influence in the music also was something that caught my attention, too.  The music in this show is so unique and is packed full of movement and momentum, which makes the times it takes a step back even more moving.

 

 

Anything else you’d like us to know?

 

This is a show for all audiences.  Anyone who comes is going to take something away from it that connected with them.  It’s just one of those shows where even if we haven’t been at the exact same place or in the exact situation we can all relate to these characters and their story because we have felt the same way.  Come hear this amazing music!  That alone, I’d say, is worth a ticket.  “Keep lookin’ up!”

 

Announcing Directors for our 2014 Season!

In case you hadn’t heard, we’ve got a pretty killer 2014 season planned. And it just got better. We’re thrilled to announce the directors for 5 of the 6 shows in our 2014 season. You may notice we’ve left “Things To Ruin” off of this list. That’s because we have an extra special announcement about that coming very soon. So stay tuned on that show. But for now, check out the people we’ve tricked into directing a show for us next year!

 

All New People

By Zach Braff

Jan 23-25, 30-Feb 1, & 6-8, 2014

DIRECTED BY ANDY BENNETT

 

Next To Normal

Music by Tom Kitt / Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

March 20-22, 27-29 & April 3-5, 2014

DIRECTED BY KATY HELBACKA

 

Rx

By Kate Fodor

May 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 2014

DIRECTED BY ROBERT LEE

 

Red

By John Logan

June 19-21, 26-28, 2014

DIRECTED BY ANIKA THOMPSON

 

Grace

By Craig Wright

October 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 2014

DIRECTED BY JULIE AHASAY

 

Meet A Burnt Part Daddy – Dereck Williams

Dereck PhotoWe’ve recently begun rehearsals for the Northland premiere of THE BURNT PART BOYS, opening August 8th (and brought to you in part by the fine folks at Visit Duluth and Kevin O’Brien Realty)!

 

This fantastic musical is brand-new to the region, and much of our stellar cast is brand-new to Renegade. So, we’ve been spending some blog time in the weeks leading up to the show giving you a chance to meet the cast.

 

Next up is someone you’ve previously seen play a zombie on Renegade Theater stage – Dereck Williams!

 

Tell us about yourself

 

I am a Hairstylist/Educator in Duluth. I have been involved in a number of area theater productions from Rent and Hair at The Duluth Playhouse to Cabaret produced by Lundeen Productions at Fitger’s Spirit of the North Theater, to most recently William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead at Teatro Zuccone.

 

How did you get started in theater?

 

I was involved with theater starting way back in high school and then was not involved in anything until I was urged by a client and friends to audition for a local production about three years ago. I haven’t been able to stop since.

 

What drew you to this show?

 

I was definitely drawn to the music in this show. It is unlike anything else. I was also drawn to being in this show because of the people involved. The right people definitely make a show way easier and a lot more fun to be a part of.

 

Anything else you’d like us to know?

 

You must encourage everyone you know to see this show. The content and music of this show really fits the area we live in. We are neighbors to mining towns and bluegrass music is so popular in our music scene. This show is definitely not to be missed!

Meet A Burnt Part Daddy – James Goodman!

Jim PhotoWe’ve recently begun rehearsals for the Northland premiere of THE BURNT PART BOYS, opening August 8th (and brought to you in part by the fine folks at Visit Duluth and Kevin O’Brien Realty)!

 

This fantastic musical is brand-new to the region, and much of our stellar cast is brand-new to Renegade. So, we’ve been spending some blog time in the weeks leading up to the show giving you a chance to meet the cast.

 

Next up is another local talent making his Renegade Theater debut – James Goodman!

 

Tell us about yourself:

 

I’m from Sparta, Wisconsin and I am a senior at UMD for Musical Theater. Back in high school, I did every show my school produced, but theater was a mere hobby for me. My passion, at that time, was vocal jazz and choral singing. On a whim, I checked out the Duluth Theater program and was unexpectedly drawn to it. I took the leap and declared a BFA Music Theater Major and haven’t looked back since.

 

How did you get involved in theater?

 

The first experience I remember is when my mother signed me up for a summer school theater program in the first grade. We spent the summer working on a musical about flowers and animals on a farm that was being threatened by the villainous weeds. I got to play a weed and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Still do, actually.

 

What drew you to this show?

 

Definitely the music. I enjoy listening to bluegrass music and the chance to perform it while acting made the decision for me. Also, I have never worked with the Renegade before and I really wanted to have the experience of working with different people. So far it’s paid off. The cast, directors, and what crew we have currently are a pleasure to work with!

 

Anything else you’d like us to know?

 

This show on paper has a lot of heart. I’m a bit jealous of our future audiences who will actually get to watch it and empathize with the characters. But, to be one of the people to bring it to life and to make it something more is an honor. This show has had its fair share of unexpected hurdles, but it has reaffirmed my conviction that theater is the thing I love! Hope to see you at the show!

Meet A Burnt Part Daddy – Evan Kelly!

photoWe’ve recently begun rehearsals for the Northland premiere of THE BURNT PART BOYS, opening August 8th (and brought to you in part by the fine folks at Visit Duluth and Kevin O’Brien Realty)!

 

This fantastic musical is brand-new to the region, and much of our stellar cast is brand-new to Renegade. But not ALL of them. No, we’ve got some Renegade VIPs in the cast as well.

 

Case in point? Evan Kelly. This guy’s been in more Renegade productions than anybody else. This show is like his 11 billionth Renegade show. If you don’t know him, you’ve probably never seen a Renegade show before. But if you don’t know him, here’s your chance to learn more about him!

 

Tell us about yourself:

 

I’ve been working with Renegade Theater Company in various positions and roles over the past five years. My current position as Technical Director gives me the opportunity to design and build most of the sets, while giving me the freedom to perform in main stage shows, with the Improv team, and direct a show once in a while. I directed “William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead” most recently, and I’m acting in “The Pillowman” next.

 

As of the First of July, I bought my first home with my wife, Jenna Kelly … and come December, we’re expecting our first child. Life is pretty exciting lately!

 

How did you get involved in theater?

 

It started when my younger brother, Connor, played greasy snowman agent Freddie Fast-Talk in a play called “The Runaway Snowman” in elementary school. I was super proud of him, and super jealous. At the time, it was the coolest thing I had ever seen someone I know do. It might still be. I auditioned for the next show I could find, and got in the chorus for “Meet Me in St. Louis.” I promise that I’ve done better shows since then.

 

What drew you to this show?

 

I was really excited for the opportunity to sing in a small group again. I grew up as a choir nerd all through grade school, and got the chance sing in a lot of quartets, quintets, etc. I love the challenges that come with singing in a small group. It’s a lot easier to hide your mistakes in a large group with a lot going on, but you don’t get that with a quartet. When you’re not on, everybody knows it. But when you’re on, nothing sounds better.

 

Our director lined up one heck of a group of guys to play the Fathers. I’ve been having a blast singing with them. And it doesn’t hurt that the music for this show is absolutely incredible.

 

Anything you’d like our readers to know?

 

The cast of this show is incredible. From little Kier Zimmerman and Jace LeGarde (who get to sing my favorite songs in the show) to big kids Jef Crosby and Dereck Williams, there’s not a weak spot in the cast. The music is a blast, the script is great, and the crew is top notch! Young, old, or anywhere in-between, prepare for a pretty amazing show.