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



Next To Normal

Music by Tom Kitt / Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

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




By Kate Fodor

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




By John Logan

June 19-21, 26-28, 2014




By Craig Wright

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



2014 Season Announcement

It’s that time of year again. Our eyes are bloodshot and our fingers are covered in paper-cuts, and we’ve finally finished narrowing down from dozens and dozens of plays to the 6 we love so much we had to make them part of our 2014 season! And now we’re ready to share our selections with you. We hope to see you at all of these shows in 2014. Shows that you’ll only find at Renegade Theater.

Read on …



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2013 Season Selection UPDATE!

So, here’s the thing…

We here at Renegade have a desire to bring Northland audiences bold new work. In fact, over 75% of the productions we’ve put on in the past 5 years have been Northland, Minnesota, regional or world premieres. The upside of that is we get to introduce you all to incredible new works and brilliant new voices. The downside of that is when something like what just happens, happens.

We regret to announce that the rights to VENUS IN FUR have been pulled, due to a larger equity production happening ‘near’ us. We know, we’re bummed too. It’s a great play, and we were excited to have it as a part of our 2013 season. But don’t worry, it’s on tap at Renegade, and we’ll be doing it just as soon as the rights become available again.

But here’s the good news. Losing the rights to this play made us seek out the rights to another play. Rights that we thought we’d NEVER have the good fortune to secure. But we did secure them. And once again we’re proud to announce we’ve got a Minnesota premiere on our hands here. What’s the show, you ask? Read on …

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It’s About Damn Time … Renegade’s 2013 Season Announcement

You guys are a patient bunch, that’s for sure. We took longer than ever before to pick our 2013 season, but that’s because we really wanted to get this one right. We re-introduced Renegade and our new mission to the community in 2008, and that makes this our 5-year anniversary. We’ll be checking the mailbox for gifts made out of wood from all of you. As for what we got you, it’s our 2013 season. A little bit of something for everyone – as long as ‘everyone’ likes their theater to have a little bit of teeth.

Read on to see our full season, and head to the run of GHOST LIGHT to be the first to get our 2013 season brochure, and the first to buy season tickets for what is sure to be an incredible year!


William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead

(A true and accurate account of the Elizabethan zombie plague)

By John Heimbuch

Northland Premiere

London, 1599. Shakespeare’s Henry V opens the Globe Playhouse, but while the actors strut and fret, an excess of bile plagues the populace outside. After the opening of his newest play, William Shakespeare must once again defend his work – fending off the embittered clown Will Kemp while trying to appease Francis Bacon, a wealthy lawyer who has come with an idea to pitch. But when the company’s costumer is bitten by a plague-ridden madman, and the Queen and her men arrive seeking safety, life in the playhouse takes a turn for the worse. As the affliction spreads through London, the Globe is placed in quarantine and the survivors within must fight for their lives. Can they escape? Is there a cure? Is artistic integrity ever worth dying for.

The best-attended show of the 2008 Minnesota Fringe Festival arrives in the Northland to kick off Renegade’s 2013 season with a bloody bang. Take equal parts farce, studied historical piece and comedic homage to George Romero, and blend with Renegade’s proven track record for pushing the theatrical envelope (to say nothing of our excellent blood recipe). The resulting mix is an entertaining feast for your eyes, ears and … braaaaain.

“Brilliant and hilarious … MUST SEE!” – St. Paul Pioneer Press

An Elizabethan production of bloody proportions, taking zombies into new and exciting terrain.” – Fangoria Magazine

February 21-23, 28-March 2 & 7-9, 2013 / All shows at 8 p.m.

Venus in Fur

By David Ives

Northland Premiere

Thomas, a beleaguered playwright/director, is desperate to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the classic sadomasochistic tale, Venus in Fur. Into his empty audition room walks a vulgar and equally desperate actress – oddly enough, named Vanda. Though utterly wrong for the sophisticated part, Vanda exhibits a strange command of the material, piquing Thomas’ interest with her seductive talents and secretive manner. As the two work through the script, they enter into an increasingly serious battle of submission and domination that only one of them can win.

This mysterious, funny, and erotic drama is an electrifying game of cat and mouse that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and sex. Renegade is proud to be the first company in the Northland to present the sexiest, funniest and most-acclaimed play of the 2011 Broadway season.

90 minutes of good, kinky fun.” – New York Times

March 28-30 & April 3-6, 2013 / All shows at 8 p.m.

In the Next Room, Or the Vibrator Play

By Sarah Ruhl

Northland Premiere

A comedy about marriage, intimacy, and electricity. In a seemingly perfect, well-to-do Victorian home, proper gentleman and scientist Dr. Givings has innocently invented an extraordinary new device for treating “hysteria” in women (and occasionally men): the vibrator. Adjacent to the doctor’s laboratory, his young and energetic wife tries to tend to their newborn daughter – and wonders exactly what is going on in the next room. When a new “hysterical” patient and her husband bring a wet nurse and their own complicated relationship into the doctor’s home, Dr. and Mrs. Givings must examine the nature of their own marriage, and what it truly means to love someone.

Set in the 1880s at the dawn of the age of electricity and based on the bizarre historical fact that doctors used vibrators to treat ‘hysterical’ patients, this funny, touching and insightful play debuted on Broadway to rave reviews and was nominated for 3 2010 Tony Awards. Now, for the first time, it comes to the Northland.

A sex comedy designed not for sniggering teenage boys — but for adults with open hearts and minds.” – New York Times

June 13-15, 20-22 & 27-29, 2013 / All shows at 8 p.m.

The Burnt Part Boys

Book by Mariana Elder
Music by Chris Miller
Lyrics by Nathan Tysen

1962. Pickaway, West Virginia. The town is still reeling from the 1952 mining collapse that killed five men, including the father of fourteen year-old Pete and his older brother Jake. Now, the mining company wants to re-open the mine that still holds these men’s bodies. So the brothers forge a plan and lead an eclectic band of friends on a life-altering journey to the coal mine that took their father’s life, to a shrine now known simply as The Burnt Part.

With its soaring, elegiac bluegrass and pop-inspired score, this inspirational new musical finds both the streaks of light and the heart of darkness within us all. And featuring fantastic roles for the talented kids in our community, it is the perfect way for Renegade to continue our mission to work closely with – and sharpen the skills of – the next generation of performers.

Gives hope that the American musical theatre is not dead yet.” – Associated Press

August 8-10, 15-17 & 22-24, 2013 / All shows at 8 p.m.

The Pillowman

By Martin McDonagh

5 Year Anniversary Production

Katurian is a writer of gruesome, unpublished short stories. So, when someone starts killing children in the same ways found in his stories, the police force in the unnamed totalitarian state where he lives have more than a few questions for him. What follows is a terrifying, electrifying and urgent work of theatrical brilliance and an unflinching examination of the very nature and purpose of art.

Five years ago, Renegade Theater introduced this play to the Northland, while at the same time re-introducing themselves and their new, bold and daring aesthetic to the community that has supported them for over two decades. It was a massive artistic and critical success, with the Duluth News Tribune calling it, “Breathtaking … deeply dark and superbly done.” The only problem? No one saw it. But now, five years and dozens of groundbreaking, boundary pushing shows later, we want another crack at this one. And we want to give you another chance to see it. Who says that in life there are no second chances?

“Energizing… a blindingly bright black comedy… unsettling and exhilarating.” – New York Times

“Thoroughly startling and genuinely intimidating.” – Chicago Tribune

September 19-21, 26-28 & October 3-5, 2013 / All shows at 8 p.m.

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Book by Alex Timbers
Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman

Northland Premiere

Come hear the true story of America’s first political maverick, but leave the textbooks and bring some black eyeliner. A.J. kicked British butt, shafted the Indians and smacked down the Spaniards all in the name of these United States – who cares if he didn’t have permission? An exhilarating and white-knuckled look at one of our nation’s founding rock stars, this hysterical musical recreates and reinvents the life of “Old Hickory,” from his humble beginnings on the Tennessee frontier to his days as Commander-in-Chief. It also asks the question; Is wanting to have a beer with someone reason enough to elect him? What if he’s really, really hot?

With a driving rock score and smart, funny scenes stuffed with satire, this show is a bombastic blast of energy and attitude and one of the most original musicals ever written. Renegade is thrilled to close our 2013 season with a show that combines just about everything we’ve discovered we love about theater in the past 5 years; politics, comedy, rock and roll, murder, blood and sex.

“Hot and cool in one breath … invigorating … devastatingly insightful … unconditionally of the moment.” – New York Times

Oct 31-Nov 2, 7-9, 14-16, 2013 / All shows at 8 p.m.

Renegade’s 2013 Season – Show #3!

Hey Blog Readers:

It’s time to announce the third show of our 2013 season, which will join the previously announced BLOODY BLOOD ANDREW JACKSON and WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S LAND OF THE DEAD. It’s a fantastic and powerful new musical that we are proud to present as a Northland premiere:


Book by  Mariana Elder
Music by  Chris Miller  / Lyrics by  Nathan Tysen

Directed by Peter Froehlingsdorf

An unforgettable coming of age story, THE BURNT PART BOYS follows the adventures of a group of teenagers deep in West Virginia’s coal country in 1962. The musical is a life-transforming odyssey that Variety calls “a rich theatrical experience.”

Fourteen year-old Pete’s fighting to claim his past. His older brother Jake’s hoping to forge a future. With an eclectic band of friends teetering on the brink of adulthood, they’ve embarked on a life-altering journey to the coal mine that took their father’s life. With its soaring, elegiac bluegrass and pop-inspired score, this inspirational new musical finds both the streaks of light and the heart of darkness within us all.

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.

2013 Season Selection Survey

The first show of our 2012 season, SPRING AWAKENING is in the books. And thanks to you, it was a massive success in all the ways we can think of to measure success. And, since 2012 isn’t even 1/4 finished yet, it seems like the perfect time to look ahead to 2013, doesn’t it?

We think so, too.

We’ve begun the season selection process for our 2013 season, and we want your input! If you have a show you’d like the Renegade season selection committee to read and consider producing, DOWNLOAD THIS FORM and send it, along with a copy of the play, to:

Renegade Theater Company
ATTN: Season Selection
222 E. Superior St.
Duluth, MN 55802

If you don’t have a show in mind, we really hope you’ll take a few minutes and fill out our 2013 Season Selection Survey, below. We really value your input. You are the reason we are in business. You are the ones we want to entertain, inspire and move. So let us know what you want to see. We will take what you say to heart. Unless you suggest we do “Oklahoma.”

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

The Most Popular Musical In Town

We’re not sure if you’ve heard, but the show “Next To Normal” is available. And, not surprisingly, the Duluth Playhouse and Renegade Theater Company are both very excited and eager to be the first to produce it. But, only one of us will get the chance to claim the Northland premiere of this Pulitzer Prize-winning show.

Or then again … maybe not.

See, the arts community in this town is just that – a community. And a collaborative spirit is one of the most crucial parts of a strong and thriving arts scene. So we couldn’t be more thrilled to announce a first for both companies.

“Next To Normal” will be produced during the 2012 – 2013 theater season as a joint production by the Duluth Playhouse AND Renegade Theater Company. The talents of both organizations will combine to bring this powerful, moving show to the Northland for the very first time.

We sat down today over coffee and quickly realized that we have the same goal – to give incredible opportunities to area artists and amazing performances to local audiences. And we can’t think of a better way to ensure the Northland premiere of “Next To Normal” is something this community will never forget, than to join forces. By working together, this inspiring show will be given bold, new artistic life. And we’re certain it will also usher in a stronger and more collaborative relationship between our theaters, and the arts community as a whole. We really can’t tell you how excited we are.

Stay tuned for much more information!

Christine Seitz & Katy Helbacka

2012 Season Announcement!

You have been very patient. We know we’re the last to announce every year. We know we take our sweet time. But we take our season selection very seriously, and we want to make sure that the six shows we offer each year are cutting-edge, top-notch pieces of theater that are well worth your hard-earned entertainment dollars.

This year, we read dozens and dozens of shows. We asked you what you’d like to see more of and less of, and what shows you’re dying to see produced locally. And some of them made the list. Because, at the end of the day, what matters most is that the shows inspire and excite us creatively. All of us. Those of us on stage and those of us in the audience. Together all of us make up the Renegade Theater Company, and we hope you’re happy with what we have in store for next season.

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Announcing our 2012 Season!

After many long nights reading and many intense meetings where we all fought for our favorite shows, we’re happy to announce our 2012 mainstage season:

  • Oklahoma!
  • Harvey (an all-new, all-mime adaptation)
  • The Penis Apologies (world-premiere response to “The Vagina Monologues” by Andy Bernard)
  • Oklahoma!
  • Kids Praise – Psalty the Singing Songbook’s Funtastic Camping Adventure
  • Dink Tank Tells Your Favorite Bible Stories
  • Oklahoma!

Get your season tickets NOW by calling … okay, we’re kidding. This isn’t our season. But, if you want to make sure we keep selecting bold, cutting-edge works, we need your help.

Take the survey below and tell us what you want to see us do in our 2012 season. This is your company too, and we want to make sure we’re providing you with the kind of theater you want to see.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.