New Works Festival Starts Tonight!

The Northland’s theater scene is booming. Opportunities for local actors, directors and designers abound. But not for the playwright. Each year, dozens of productions are mounted in the region, but rarely are any of these new works by local authors.

Renegade hopes to change that.

Renegade Theater Company is pleased to announce that the following pieces have been selected for the 1st Annual New Works Festival at the Teatro Zuccone, October 13-15, 2011:

Concessions by Johnny Watkins, Directed by Lawrence Lee – October 13th at 8pm.

Pas De Deux by Lee Gundersheimer. Directed by Sabrina Zappa – October 14th at 8pm.

Lena Long Legs by Jessica Lind. Directed by Michelle Juntunen – October 15th at 8pm.

These fantastic world premiere pieces will be read during the New Works Festival, which is open to the public. A suggested donation of $5 is requested, and each reading will be followed by a Q&A session with the cast, director and writer where you will have a hand in shaping these wonderful new dramatic works.

Come out and show your support for original works in your community!

Is It The Weekend Yet?

We here at Renegade Theater Company love the weekend. It’s when all the fun stuff happens. Take this weekend for instance. On Thursday at 8pm we’re opening our production of Andrew Lippa’s THE WILD PARTY. After that, we’re celebrating in style with a an after-party brought to you by our friends at the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe.

And then, of course we’ve got Renegade Improv Friday and Saturday at 10:30, plus performances of THE WILD PARTY on Friday and Saturday at 8pm. And then on Sunday there’s a new episode of “Breaking Bad.” So, our weekend is all set.

See you there.

Wild Party Pics!

We’re less than a week away from the opening night of our final musical production of the season, Andrew Lippa’s THE WILD PARTY! While we put the finishing touches on this delightfully sinful party, we thought we’d share some promotional pics taken by Renegade’s fantastic staff photographer, Andy Miller.

What a lovely quartet. They look so innocent and happy. Maybe this show’s title is a little misleading. They don’t seem very wild or dangerous.

Oops, looks like things are getting a little bit naughty. But, not like evil. And not even THAT naughty, not if you went to college. Although, what’s Evan up to?

Oh, there we go, now the title makes more sense. Evan looks like he’s about to kill us. And that clown nose is his, too. That’s right he’s an evil clown. Pretty much the worst thing in the world. You ever seen “It?” Yeah, exactly.

Let’s quickly move past that last image before the little girls from “The Shining” show up and remind you all that ADAM SIPPOLA is playing a FREE improvisational music set tonight at 8pm in the Teatro Zuccone lobby, which will be followed at 10:30 pm by Renegade Improv on the mainstage for only $5. See you there … or Evan will find you.

Improv Free Preview Weekend!

Renegade Improv is previewing some of their brand-new styles. Come check out the 8pm shows for FREE and then stick around for the late-night shows at 10:30, which will only set you back $5.

The 8pm shows are rated PG and are fun for the whole family, the 10:30 shows … well, leave the kids at home.

Visit our new website: to see the styles we’ll be playing

Last Chance to See “Reasons!”

There’s only 3 performances left of Renegade Theater Company’s production of REASONS TO BE PRETTY. And, just in case you forgot, we’re offering the best theater deal in town for the final 3 performances (this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm).

When you either call the box office (218-336-1414) or show up to purchase tickets, use the codeword and get your tickets for ONLY $5! Yeah, you heard us right. This offer is good for ANY of the remaining performances. It doesn’t matter if there are 2 people in your party or 20, the tickets are $5 EACH. But only if you use the codeword.

What is the codeword? It’s the url of THIS WEBSITE.

And don’t forget about late night improv! This week, Long Story Short performs for FREE at 10:30 on Thursday, and The Main Event performs at 10:30 on Friday and Saturday. Tickets to The Main Event are only $5! ALWAYS.

See you at the Teatro!

One More Reason to see “Reasons!”

There’s only 5 performances left of Renegade Theater Company’s production of REASONS TO BE PRETTY. The show has been dubbed “A high-impact drama with a superb cast” by the Duluth News Tribune, “A must-see performance” by Oeuvre Magazine and “Better than a kick in the junk” by Jody Kujawa. That’s some serious high-praise, guys.

So if you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? That’s not rhetorical. Seriously, what the hell are you waiting for? There’s only five shows left! Well, how about if we give you one more reason to see it?

When you either call the box office (218-336-1414) or show up to purchase tickets, use the codeword and get your tickets for ONLY $5!   Yeah, you heard us right. This offer is good for ANY of the remaining performances. It doesn’t matter if there are 2 people in your party or 20, the tickets are $5 EACH. But only if you use the codeword.

What is the codeword? It’s the url of THIS WEBSITE.

See, reading this blog pays off on occasion, doesn’t it?

Reasons To See “Reasons”

Tonight we open the next production of our 2011 season, REASONS TO BE PRETTY. The show starts at 8pm and the fun continues till around midnight. And just in case you weren’t already planning on coming, here’s the top 10 reasons to see “Reasons.”

  1. Lift up your couch cushion. Grab the random change under there. Okay, that’s how much your ticket costs for tonight’s performance.
  2. This place is providing free food after the show. And we’ve been told there will be mac ‘n’ cheese on the menu.
  3. Nick Violante sports some pretty funny shirts in this show. And he plays a douche a little too well.
  4. After the production, Mae Martin will perform some of her lovely music for you in the Zeitgeist atrium.
  5. Sarah Diener rips Andy Bennett’s ego apart in this play. And come on, you know you want to see that turd get knocked down a peg or two.
  6. Your ticket to the show also gets you free admission to the 10:30 Improv set by the newly formed “Long Story Short” team of Renegade Improv.
  7. Teran Ferguson plays a figure of authority. Stop laughing. We’re serious.
  8. It’s the area premiere of this 2009 Tony nominated play.
  9. Set designer Evan Kelly has hidden the backwards Renegade “R” somewhere on stage. First person to find it and post the location on our facebook page wins a pair of free tickets to THE WILD PARTY.
  10. Because your 3 Day Weekend starts tonight.

New Renegade Improv! – and it’s FREE!

In less than one week Renegade Theater Company will open the next show of our 2011 season, REASONS TO BE PRETTY. Come out on Thursday, June 2nd at 8pm and see the opening night of Neil LaBute’s biting and brilliant latest work, which was nominated for 3 2009 Tony Awards including Best Play.

Oh, and did we mention that opening night is PAY WHAT YOU CAN? Cause it is. We’ll even take a penny. Seriously. Pay whatever you can, just get down here on Thursday because it’s going to be a great night.

Immediately following the show, join us in the Zeitgeist atrium for free food from the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, music by the wonderful Mae Martin, and meet the cast and crew. And then stick around for a FREE improv set from our newly formed long-form Improv team, LONG STORY SHORT. They go on at 10:30.

So, just to re-cap. That’s a ticket to a great play, food and live music and a ticket to some hilarious Improv all in the same night. And the best part? YOU decide how much you want to pay.

And, if you’re wondering just what exactly long form Improv is, we can help with that. First of all, the team you’ll see consists of Renegade regulars Cory Anderson, Andy Bennett, Jordan Curtis, Katy Helbacka, and Jody Kujawa. And I could explain to you what we’ll be doing, but it’s more fun to just show you an example of much more famous people playing the style we’ll be showing off on Thursday.

Pay What You Can!

Opening night of REASONS TO BE PRETTY is Thursday, June 2nd at 8pm. Stick around after the show for the after party in the Zeitgeist lobby featuring food from the Zeitgeist Cafe and music by Mae Martin. Then, stick around for a FREE Long Form Improv set from the newly formed Long Form Team of Renegade Improv.

And if all that wasn’t enough, opening night is PAY WHAT YOU CAN! Only have $1? That’s fine! Feel like the show is worth $100? We will totally accept!

But come out and celebrate with us. Whatever you decide to pony up to see REASONS TO BE PRETTY also gets you free food and music, plus a free late-night Improv set. Because we think you are all awesome and we like hanging out with you.

The Guest Director Speaks!

Today we turn over our blog to Nikki Swoboda, the wonderful guest director of Reasons to be Pretty. Don’t forget, opening night is Thursday, June 2nd! And it’s going to be a night full of fun surprises!

Oooo, fancy! Guest blogging as the Guest Director! I would say it was wonderful being a guest with Renegade, but they jumped right into treating me like family, thereby ruining that whole concept … so instead I’ll say, life is good with the Renegade crew!

And life is good in rehearsal these days too, which is all any gypsy director can ask for. The cast is digging into Neil LaBute’s world of conflicting friends, careless insults, smart humor and his God-forsaken-interrupted-near-unmemorizable text. The cast is headed by Renegade favorite, Andy Bennett, who plays Greg, a good guy who has been existing in an apathetic life until he ignorantly says the wrong thing about his girlfriend and all hell breaks loose. Enter Sarah Diener, or “Didi,” as I call her (Let’s make it a thing!) as Steph, the wronged girlfriend of four years with her explosive anger and open heart. Teran Ferguson, a Northland favorite song-and-dance girl, plays Carly, the very pretty Queen Bee wife of Greg’s best friend, Kent, a REAL love-to-hate, alpha dog, type of dude, played by Renegade newbie Nick Violante. There’s cursing and hitting and deflecting and laughing and humping and hurting and healing and and growing and wrestling and break-dancing! (Er, maybe not the last one.)

But it’s real. It’s real life. I mean, I think every major fight I’ve ever gotten into with my boyfriend has come down to basic misunderstandings that happen because I’m a woman and he’s a man. So we’re different! You know, that “I know that’s what I said, but what I meant was … ” fight? Yeah, that’s what this play is about. It’s about life as our generation knows it–love as we try to live it, find it and keep it.

My last three shows have taken place in a barn. The last six have all been set between 1933 and 1954. The last fourteen have been musicals. I haven’t done a contemporary play since 2007, which was something like thirty shows ago. Now, don’t get me wrong … I love and adore a good “Let’s put a show on in a barn, put a leg up on a hay bale, fall in love at first sight and spontaneously know the same choreography as everyone else as I exit” kind of show! I really do! Ask around!

But damn, directing Reasons to be Pretty with THIS insanely talented cast at THIS wonderfully inclusive theatre feels like a gift to a jazz-hand-lady like myself. I like telling a story of today, of people living in our present circumstances with the immediate concerns that effect all of us. And we’re doing a bang-up job of it too, if I do say so myself.

So hey, what’s your reason to be pretty? Mine’s opening night. See you in two weeks!