ONE WEEK TO LIVE w/ the cast and crew of “The Whale”

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Opening night of our regional premiere production of THE WHALE is just one week away! This big-hearted and fiercely funny new drama packs an emotional knockout, and is capped by incredible performances from some of the finest talent in our community. Here’s what it’s about:

On the outskirts of Mormon Country, Idaho, a 600-pound recluse hides away in his apartment and slowly eats himself to death. Given one week to live by his in-home nurse, and desperate to reconnect with his long-estranged daughter, he reaches out to her, only to find a viciously sharp-tongued and wildly unhappy teen. Are seven final days enough time to mend a broken family and heal a broken man?

Since it’s one week until The Whale goes live, we thought we’d spend those seven days introducing you to our cast and crew, by asking them what they’d do if they had only one week to live. First up, an actress last seen on the Renegade stage in THE BIRDS, Carrie Mohn!

bw-headshotIf you had one week to live, where would you go?

I would go to the beach. So, ideally, I would be dying in the summertime.

If you had one week to live, who would you spend it with?

My friends and family. Duh.

… And if James McAvoy wanted to join us, I wouldn’t say no.

 

If you had one week to live, what would you eat?

Truffles, lobster, steak, pie, Tiramisu, garlic mashed potatoes, champagne, bourbon, (okay, I added drinks, I know…) chocolate cake, Michelle’s apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, Chicken in a Biskit crackers, anything from a good Mexican restaurant, and mushrooms.

Yes, THAT kind of mushrooms.

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Who Were The ASSASSINS? – John Hinckley

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Renegade Theater Company’s production of ASSASSINS opens on Thursday, September 1st! This multiple Tony Award-winning theatrical tour-de-force combines intelligent, stunning lyrics and beautiful music with a sweeping, darkly comic, and timely tale of our nation’s culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it.

ASSASSINS takes a harrowing look at our nation’s culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it. Unflinching and daring, the show doesn’t aim to create sympathy. Instead, it asks audiences to dig deeper, to look beyond the one-dimensional monster to see the person inside in an effort to understand why some are compelled to kill.

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To prepare audiences for a musical experience unlike any other, we’re going to devote some blog time to introducing you to the Assassins, as well as to the members of the local community tackling the roles. Next up, John Hinckley as played by Matías Valero!

Born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, on May 29, 1955, John Hinckley and his family moved to Texas when he was just a few years old. From all reports, he was a good student and did well in sports. Things seemed to change for Hinckley in high school, however. He lost interest in sports and friends, choosing instead to play his guitar and listen to music alone in his room.

After graduating high school, Hinckley attended Texas Tech University in the mid-1970s. He quit college in 1976 and moved to California. Hinckley aspired to be a songwriter, but his career never really got off the ground. Later that year, he moved in with his parents at their Colorado home. Hinckley drifted around over the next few years, living in California and then in Texas. During this time, he became fascinated with the 1976 film Taxi Driver starring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster. The film is about a disfranchised cabbie who wants to save a young prostitute and stalks a presidential candidate. Hinckley saw Taxi Driver over a dozen times.

Hinckley’s interest in the film evolved into an obsession with actress Jodie Foster. In 1979, he bought his first gun and added to his collection over the coming years. He struggled psychologically during this time, and began taking antidepressants and sedatives.

In 1980, Hinckley moved back in with his parents in Colorado. He received some psychiatric treatment, but it didn’t help improve his mental state. Still enthralled with Jodie Foster, Hinckley made several attempts to contact the actress. He was able to get her on the phone twice, but she rebuffed his efforts to make a connection. To win her over, Hinckley came up with a strange scheme—killing a president. He first wanted to shoot President Jimmy Carter, but this plan foiled before he had a chance to get near the president. Hinckley later turned his attention to the next elected president of the United States.

On March 30, 1981, Hinckley made a final attempt to impress Foster. He shot President Ronald Reagan and three other men outside of the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Reagan was leaving the hotel after giving a speech to a gathering of union members when Hinckley fired several shots at the president and his entourage. Reagan’s press secretary James Brady was the most severely wounded—he was struck in the head. A police officer was hit in the back, and a Secret Service agent was shot in the abdomen. Another of Hinckley’s bullets pierced one of the president’s lungs, narrowly missing his heart.

Reagan managed to walk into the hospital after Hinckley’s attack. According to several reports, he explained to his wife Nancy Reagan that “Honey, I forgot to duck.” He underwent surgery to repair his injured lung. Reagan made a full recovery, but James Brady wasn’t as fortunate. He was left with permanent brain damage and confined to a wheelchair. Brady later became a well-known gun control advocate. When he died in 2014, Brady’s death was ruled a homicide.

As for the failed assassin himself, Hinckley was taken into custody at the scene. He later explained that the shooting was “unprecedented demonstration of love” and that he and Foster were like “Romeo and Juliet,” according to The New York Times. Hinckley was put on trial for his crimes the following year. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and then sent to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a psychiatry facility in Washington, D.C.

On August 5, 2016, after being treated at St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital for 35 years, Hinckley was released. He was almost immediately photographed eating at a Subway.

(Courtesy of Biography.com)

 

Who Were The ASSASSINS? – Sam Byck

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Renegade Theater Company’s production of ASSASSINS opens on Thursday, September 1st! This multiple Tony Award-winning theatrical tour-de-force combines intelligent, stunning lyrics and beautiful music with a sweeping, darkly comic, and timely tale of our nation’s culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it.

ASSASSINS takes a harrowing look at our nation’s culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it. Unflinching and daring, the show doesn’t aim to create sympathy. Instead, it asks audiences to dig deeper, to look beyond the one-dimensional monster to see the person inside in an effort to understand why some are compelled to kill.

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To prepare audiences for a musical experience unlike any other, we’re going to devote some blog time to introducing you to the Assassins, as well as to the members of the local community tackling the roles. Next up, Sam Byck as played by Matthew Smith!

Sam Byck, a high school dropout and ex-army soldier, had been down on his luck for some time when he decided to try to “take back the government” for the people, by assassinating the president. His wife had left him two years before, taking their kids as well. He also was having trouble keeping a job and recently had been rejected by the U.S. Small Business Administration for a loan to start his own business, something he was extremely bitter about.

As such, Byck decided a revolution was needed to fix the rampant corruption he perceived, with politicians being more concerned about keeping special interests happy, rather than helping actual American citizens. He also believed the government was conspiring with those special interests to keep people poor.

Luckily for the rest of the passengers on the plane, Nixon, and White House staffers, Byck’s plan was fairly poorly conceived in terms of its execution. Byck made a “bomb”, which was two Valvoline containers filled with gasoline placed inside a suitcase. Obviously this wouldn’t be the most effective incendiary device, especially since it didn’t actually include any means of detonating it.

The bomb wasn’t the only crowd control item he brought with him in his attempt; he also brought a gun. He stole a Smith and Wesson .22 caliber from a friend and pocketed around 40 rounds of ammunition to take with him in his assassination attempt.

On the morning of February 22, 1974, he made his way to the Baltimore / Washington International Airport. Once there, rather than attempt to get on the plane without drawing attention to himself, he encountered a Police Officer, George Neal Ramsburg, in the terminal and shot him in the back, killing him. Had Byck not done this, he may have managed to get on the plane without causing a scene and perhaps could have waited to hijack it until after it was in the air.

In any event, after killing Ramsburg, he ran to a Delta Airlines’ plane, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9. Byck chose this plane as it was about to depart, with passengers in the final stages of boarding.

Another police officer, responding to shots fired, grabbed the fallen Officer Ramsburg’s .357 Magnum and chased after Byck. He did not, however, get to Byck in time and when he first spotted Byck, he was already aboard the plane.

Once on the plane, Byck entered the cockpit and told the pilots he had a bomb and that he wanted them to take off. Before they had a chance to respond, he pointed his gun at the co-pilot, Fred Jones, and shot him in the head. At this point, the pilot, Reese Loftin, decided it would be a good idea to do what Byck told him to do, so he started the engines.

Byck left the cockpit temporarily and then came back and again to shoot the co-pilot a second time, even though he was already dead. He then shot Loftin in the back, at which point the pilot told Byck the doors needed to be closed in order for them to take off, which got rid of Byck temporarily and allowed the pilot to call for help from air traffic control.

This is the point when the officer chasing after Byck spotted him in the plane, with two stewardesses attempting to shut the door at the time. Before they were able to, the officer fired a pair of shots at Byck before the door swung shut, none of which connected. Upon returning to the cockpit after having the doors closed, Byck proceeded to shoot the dead co-pilot a third time and the pilot two more times.

Lucky for the pilot, who ultimately survived, Byck did not get the opportunity to shoot him a fourth time. The officer that had been shooting at Byck managed to hit him at fairly close range through the aircraft door when he saw Byck stand in front of a porthole. After being shot, Byck staggered back and the officer emptied his clip through the door.

Three days later, a letter arrived at the Miami News desk, written by Byck, stating his reasons for the assassination attempt:

It has become evident to me that this government that I love, dearly, will not respond to the needs of the majority of the American citizens.

The majority of the people in government, so called “Public Servants”, are financed by special interest groups and if they are servants, they are servants to these groups.

Now is the time! Independent-minded citizens must take back the government before their government takes complete control of them all.

I, for one, will not live in a controlled society and I would rather die as a free-man than live like a sheep.

Power to the People,

Sam Byck

(Courtesy of TodayIFoundOut.com)

Who Were The Assassins? – Leon Czolgosz

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Renegade Theater Company’s production of ASSASSINS opens on Thursday, September 1st! This multiple Tony Award-winning theatrical tour-de-force combines intelligent, stunning lyrics and beautiful music with a sweeping, darkly comic, and timely tale of our nation’s culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it.

ASSASSINS takes a harrowing look at our nation’s culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it. Unflinching and daring, the show doesn’t aim to create sympathy. Instead, it asks audiences to dig deeper, to look beyond the one-dimensional monster to see the person inside in an effort to understand why some are compelled to kill.

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To prepare audiences for a musical experience unlike any other, we’re going to devote some blog time to introducing you to the Assassins, as well as to the members of the local community tackling the roles. Next up, Leon Czolgosz as played by Joe Cramer!

Born in 1873 in Detroit, Michigan, Leon Czolgosz grew up poor as one of seven children born to immigrant parents. Czolgosz started working at the age of 10. A short time later, he lost his mother when she died in childbirth.

In Cleveland, Ohio, Czolgosz worked in the wire mills. He was known as a good employee and even received a merit-based pay raise. But Czolgosz eventually lost that job as the wire mill owners sought to cut workers’ wages. During the 1880s and 1890s, tensions ran high between workers and business owners over fair pay and working conditions. Czolgosz witnessed several violent strikes at large factories where he and his brothers worked. He also observed the disparity between the rich and the poor, which deeply angered him, and thus turned to socialist and anarchist teachings.

Czolgosz reportedly tried to join several anarchist groups, but wasn’t accepted by any of them. He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1898. Czolgosz then continued to pursue his interest in radical politics on his own. He found inspiration for his future crime in the newspaper. On July 29, 1900, King Umberto I of Italy was assassinated by anarchist Gaetano Bresci.

When did Czolgosz decide to reenact Bresci’s crime on American soil? That remains unclear. What is known is that he went to Buffalo, New York, in August 1901. Sometime before making this journey, Czolgosz attended a lecture by leading anarchist Emma Goldman. He was already in Buffalo when it was announced that President William McKinley would visit the Pan-American Exposition being held there.

On September 6, 1901, Czolgosz waited for hours to meet President William McKinley. He stood in line with countless others as McKinley greeted his constituents in the Temple of Music at the exposition. As soon as it was his turn with McKinley, Czolgosz pulled out a concealed revolver and shot the president twice. Members of the crowd quickly pounced on Czolgosz. According to American History magazine, the injured president asked for mercy for his assassin.

When he was taken into custody, Czolgosz wrote the following statement: “I killed President McKinley because I done my duty. I didn’t believe one man should have so much service and another man should have none.”

McKinley eventually succumbed to his injuries, dying from gangrene on September 14. Czolgosz was soon arraigned on charges for the murder. Others, such as Emma Goldman, were thought to have been involved in the assassination plot. But it was later determined that Czolgosz acted alone.

On the morning of October 29, 1901, Leon Frank Czolgosz met his end in the electric chair. He was buried in the prison’s cemetery.

(Courtesy of Biography.com)

Dinner and a Show with ASSASSINS!

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Make your night at ASSASSINS unforgettable by taking advantage of our DINNER AND A SHOW PACKAGE! For just $55, you’ll get a ticket to see ASSASSINS plus a three-course, pre-show themed dinner at the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe.

ALREADY HAVE YOUR TICKETS? NO PROBLEM! Upgrade to the dinner and a show package for just $35 more per ticket and enjoy the same great meal before the same great show.

Executive Chef Matthew Lyons and Sous Chef Chris Bakke have been hard at work creating a custom menu soaked in Americana and we’re thrilled to share it with you:

1st course: Fried Chicken
Fried Amish chicken leg stuffed with a charred roma tomato chutney

2nd course: Baby Back Ribs
Half rack of barbecue baby back ribs with smashed fingerling potatoes, house made cream corn and corn bread.

3rd course: Apple pie
Homemade apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream.

*You must purchase or upgrade to the “Dinner and a Show Package” no less than 48 hours prior to your showtime, to ensure cafe staff have time to prepare your meal. 
Contact MacKenzie at 218-336-1417 to purchase your package and to set your reservation time. Your reservation must be set for no later than 6:15 to ensure you have time to enjoy your meal and make it to the production before the 8pm curtain.

 

“Eating Cake” w/ MARIE ANTOINETTE: The Greg Anderson Edition!

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Renegade Theater Company’s regional premiere of MARIE ANTOINETTE is less than a month away! Opening night features a post-show party with $2 Bent Paddle Beers, delicious food from the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, a pop-up shop from Art In The Alley, the exclusive announcement of our 2017 Mainstage Season, and a chance to meet and mingle with cast and crew. Thanks to season sponsor Bent Paddle, production sponsor maurices, and opening night sponsor Art In The Alley for the party and good times!

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To get you ready for this hilarious, high-fashion, on-fleek masterpiece, we’re spending a little blog time introducing you to our stellar cast and crew, and giving you a peek into what makes them tick in terms of the three most crucial aspects of a person’s personality: Celebrity worship, social media habits, and pastry preferences.

Next up is the crazy talented Greg Anderson!

10399866_518280875663_2905728_nWho’s your favorite celebrity?

Phil “Crazy Sinus Cavity” McAllister

Who’s your least favorite celebrity? 

Who are the kids hating on these days?  I think I’ll hate those celebs’ parents.

What’s your favorite celebrity rumor?

TMZ, Inside Edition, and Mario Lopez are having each others’ babies.

What’s your favorite pastry or dessert?

Humble pie, but only if someone else is eating it.  Otherwise, cheesecake.

How many times do you check Facebook in a day?

MY SOCIAL ACTIVITY IS NOBODY ELSE’S BUSINESS, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

How many tweets have you posted in your lifetime?

Surprisingly, a number higher than my age.

How many Instagram photos have you posted in your lifetime?

0.  I don’t dine out very much.

How many Facebook friends do you have?

Currently, 531.

What percentage of those are ACTUAL friends?

There’s no way I like more than 5% of those people.

“Breaking Spines” w/ SEMINAR: The Lawrence Lee Edition!

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Renegade Theater Company’s regional premiere of SEMINAR is just 4 days away! Opening night features a post-show party with $2 Bent Paddle Beers, delicious food from the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe and a chance to meet and mingle with cast and crew (thanks to season sponsor Bent Paddle, opening night sponsor Duluth Barrel Works and show sponsor Whole Foods Co-op for the party and good times)!

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To get you ready for this funny, fierce and sexy dive into the cut-throat, violent and vulgar world of fiction writers, we’re spending a little blog time introducing you to our stellar cast and crew, and giving you a peek into what makes them tick, literature-wise.

If you missed our other installments catch up HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. Next up the director of SEMINAR, Lawrence Lee!

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What was your favorite book as a child?

“Are You My Mother?” by P. D. Eastman

 

What’s your favorite book as an adult?

“Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” by Douglas Adams

 

What book are you reading at this moment (be honest)?

“Locally Laid” by Lucie B. Amundsen

 

What book did you love that most people hate?

“Dune” by Frank Herbert (seems like I’m alone in my friend group in loving it)

 

What’s the last book you started but didn’t finish?

I don’t remember, but I struggled to finish “Foucault’s Pendulum.”

 

Who is your favorite character in literature? Why?

Alice, because I like a little absurdism with my logic.

 

Who is your favorite author? Why?

Douglas Adams, because he wrote “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way bricks don’t,” which I believe to be one of the best sentences ever produced in the English language.

“Breaking Spines” w/SEMINAR: The Tim Komatsu Edition!

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Renegade Theater Company’s regional premiere of SEMINAR is just one week away! Opening night features a post-show party with $2 Bent Paddle Beers, delicious food from the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe and a chance to meet and mingle with cast and crew (thanks to season sponsor Bent Paddle, opening night sponsor Duluth Barrel Works and show sponsor Whole Foods Co-op for the party and good times)!

buy-tickets

To get you ready for this funny, fierce and sexy dive into the cut-throat, violent and vulgar world of fiction writers, we’re spending a little blog time introducing you to our stellar cast and crew, and giving you a peek into what makes them tick, literature-wise.

If you missed our other installments featuring Mary Fox and Zach Stofer, catch up HERE and HERE. Next up is a very talented actor making his Renegade debut, Tim Komatsu!

Komatsu, Tim copyWhat was your favorite book as a child?

It was probably either Tom Sawyer or Treasure Island. Typical “boys going on adventure” stories.

What’s your favorite book as an adult?

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.

What book are you reading at this moment (be honest)?

I have a bad habit of reading multiple books at once, which inevitably means that they take longer than they should. Currently I’m reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Star Wars and Philosophy, Ulysses by James Joyce, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

What book did you hate that most people love?

It’s not necessarily an unpopular opinion, but I do have a problem with The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Which I suppose is indicative that I’m a phony.

What’s the last book you started but didn’t finish?

Confessions by St. Augustine.

Who is your favorite character in literature?

Either Captain Ahab from Moby Dick or the Monster from Frankenstein. Ahab’s knowledge of the absurdity of his chase and his inability to stop it is so beautiful and heartbreakingly relatable. My affection for the Monster is probably a holdover from my ‘no one understands me’ mentality of my teenage years. But also, he can scale mountains and quote Milton. That’s pretty cool.

Who is your favorite author?

This is really hard.

I love how Tolkein built a world so vast that you can read for years and still not grasp it all.

I have probably read more of Murakami’s work than any other individual writer–he’s a perfect beach read.

I fully believe that Milton and Dante went on fact finding missions to Heaven and Hell; there’s no way to explain their work otherwise.

Twain and Steinbeck just seem like people that would be great to go travelling with.

I also really like Dave Barry.

 

Renegade 2016 Season Pass On Sale Now!

Just in time for the kick-off to the holiday shopping season, The Renegade Season Pass is back! Giving you a ticket to each show in our 2016 season, as well as first choice seat selection and the flexibility to change your performance date or seat selection without fees, it’s an incredible deal.

The Renegade Season Pass costs just $80 for adults or $68 for students, seniors and artists of all types and stripes. That’s like getting one show for FREE. But, if you’re reading this, or if you’re a current subscriber, you can get your Renegade Season Pass right now for just $75 for adults and $60 for students, seniors and artists. Call 218-336-1414 and get your passes now!

But that’s not all!

New this year, take advantage of everything Zeitgeist Arts has to offer with the ZA Season Pass! This incredible new offering includes:

The ZA Season Pass is just $250 per person and availability is limited so act fast. Call 218-336-1414 and get yours now!

CALL 218-336-1414 AND LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR COLLEEN WITH YOUR NAME, PHONE NUMBER, AND HOW MANY PASSES YOU WOULD LIKE. SHE’LL CALL YOU BACK ASAP TO FINALIZE YOUR ORDER!