Little Lifeboats
Parhelion Parhelion Gallery

November 14-23, 2014

Northwind Warehouse Lofts

Ingrid celebrates Halloween the way that most people celebrate Christmas -good friends, lots of booze, and a thinly veiled sense that she's falling off the ledge. With her high school girlfriends, Chantal and Hannah, finally all back together in the tiny northwoods town of Bedabun, Ingrid believes this Halloween will top every other year. That is, until her long-time friendships begin to feel strained.


Playwright: Abby Swafford
Director: Victoria Pyan
Stage Manager: Clara Costello
Graphic Artist: Stacey Kanarski
Fight Choreographer: Zac Delventhal
Ingrid: Cristina Castro
Chantal: Joy Dolo
Hannah: Erin Denman
Mark: Matt Wall

What the Critics Say:

"Parhelion isn’t full of big moments. Parhelion has the guts to be full of small moments, and to trust that those small moments are enough—that inside those small moments are the real day to day truth of who we are, why we’re ridiculous, and how we survive."
-Matthew Everett, Twin Cities Daily Planet

"The script takes its gloves off and comes at you swinging with unflinching honesty dipped in dark humor."
-Chris Garza, HowlRound

Tubman Tubman Gallery

September 4-19, 2014

Bryant Lake Bowl

Harriet Tubman and Clara Barton meet as wartime heroines on the field of battle.
Two women meet in an Indiana public swimming pool.
A black pilgrim-
Raise Your Voice (Suzanne Cross): That F---ing Harriet Tubman Play, a dark comedy about representation, self-preservation, and the most vile of any of the art forms -acting.


Playwright: Abby Swafford
Director: Chris Garza
Stage Manager: Jennifer Walker
Graphic Artist: Stacy Kanarski
Costumes/Props: Erin Denman
Actor 1: Suzanne Victoria Cross
Actor 2: Victoria Pyan
Actor 3: Alsa Bruno
Actor 4: Aaron Konigsmark
The Voice: Comfort Dolo

What the Critics Say:

"Frequently it seems that a play is either insightful and poorly staged, or else fluffy and well staged. Time after time do I get the impression that it’s an either..or.. deal: either you get a thought-provoking script that raises important questions, or you get a well-acted, well-directed performance. It was with delight, then, that I left the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theatre after seeing Raise Your Voice (Suzanne Cross): That F—ing Harriet Tubman Play; this was one of those rare plays that was insightful and entertaining and well done."
-Liz Byron, Aisle Say Twin Cities

"Plays that follow me out of the theater are rare. Plays that get me to think and rethink not just about the notion of theater as a means of conversation, but also think about something as knotty as race in America, are rarer still. Plays that won’t provide easy answers and yet don’t allow me to throw up my hands and give up, but keep me thinking about how I can help solve a problem, are perhaps the rarest of all. Raise Your Voice (Suzanne Cross): That F***ing Harriet Tubman Play is one of those rarities."
-Matthew Everett, Twin Cities Daily Planet


Minnesota Fringe 2015

Theatre in the Round

On the planet Ceres, a Cow, and a Queen are trying to escape the wrath of the Princess Kay Chorus. Butter means life or death –okay, mostly death, in this comedy full eccentric characters and dairy art.


Playwright: Abby Swafford
Director: Chris Garza
Cow: Hector Chevarria
Queen Kay: Erin Denman
Princess: Madelyne Riley
Princess: Alana Horton
Princess: Briana Patnode

What the Critics Say:

"This is outer space as anarchy, a bizarre realm where terrestrial rules don’t apply. Lactose intolerance is less forgivable than murder, offhand comments cue up ‘90s pop hits from beyond the stars, and a flamboyant, sexually ambiguous cow (Hector Edwardo Chavarria in a rather delightful performance) can become the most important person in the universe. Director Chris Garza makes fine use of the Theatre in the Round, keeping the action rolling in a steady whirlwind of ungainly movements."
Ira Brooker, Minnesota Playlist

"Director Chris Garza and his cast embrace the weirdness of the script and create this strange little world of butter princess revolution. The final transformation of the princesses into butter was a delightfully creepy bit of costuming magic from producer Victoria Pyan."
-Matthew Everett, Twin Cities Daily Planet

December 4-19, 2015

Phoenix Theater

A Part of the Phoenix Theater's Up Your Chimney Alternative Holiday Festival!
90 minutes. 40 pieces. Will we make it? Join us as we celebrate the joy and misery of the holiday season with short plays, songs, improv, games and even a little dance.
Not appropriate for children under 16. Production photos by Scott Pakudaitis.


Writer: Eric Aufderhar
Performer: Alsa Bruno
Performer: Erin Denman
Performer: Joy Dolo
Tech: Connor Duffy
Writer: Eli Effinger-Weintraub
Writer: Matthew A. Everett
Performer: Starla Larson
Performer: Victoria Pyan
Writer: Abby Swafford
Performer: Duck Washington

What the Critics Say:

Shows like this require a strong ensemble to work, and show runners Erin Denman and Victoria Pyan did an amazing job assembling this one. Eric Aufderhar, Alsa Bruno, Joy Dolo, Connor Duffy, Eli Effinger-Weintraub, Matthew A. Everett, Starla Larson, Abby Swafford and Duck Washington fill out the cast and writing team. They don’t all perform in the piece, but they plays are all well-prepared, and that sense of community that makes or breaks a show like this is ever present. The actors are incredibly strong, particularly in the improv pieces which can be some of the more challenging. More important to a show like I Never Eat December Snowflakes is how well they play off of each other, and this is one of the best things to watch in the show. You can tell this show was so fun to put together, and a true bonding experience among performers which made the audience feel really engaged and invested in return."
-Cassandra Snow, The Column

Trippingly on the Tongue Trippingly on the Tongue:Romeo & Juliet Gallery

September 20, 2016

Sisyphus Brewing

Shakespeare: Drunk
Trippingly on the Tongue explores the notion of play with the help of a little social lubricant. Warming our hearts and livers with excellent Sisyphus Brew, our actors will perform deeds full of nimble, fiery and excellent wit.
Two of our players will be randomly selected to get soused before they squabble, swagger and swear through the beautiful poetry of Romeo and Juliet. Whether you follow the rules of the game with the rest of our crew or only drink the words, everyone will leave a winner.


Juliet: Cristina Castro
Nurse: Hector Chavarria
Tybalt: Erin Denman
Benvolio: Comfort Dolo
Sampson: Derek Ewing
Capulet: Brian Hesser
Romeo: Antonio Jordan
Friar Lawrence: Alana LaBissoniere
Prince: Christof Mitchell
Mercutio: Victoria Pyan
Lady Capulet: Gina Sauer
Paris: David Schlosser
Photos: Jonah Berndt

Sing to Me Now Sing to Me Now Gallery

October 6-22, 2017

Crane LGM Studio

The Greek muse of epic poetry breaks down and hires a human girl as an intern when she gets overwhelmed with her workload. In a modern mythological world, where dreams and ideas are tangible things, both gods and humans have to learn their own limitations and explore the place of the artist in a chaotic world.
What happens when the worlds muse runs out of inspiration? Under the guiding hand of director Victoria Pyan, Sing to Me Now tells a human tale of celestial proportions. The last living muse, Calliope, struggles to find the will to carry on in the face an impossible workload, caring for an aging parent, and unspeakable loss. With equal wit and heart, Sing to Me Now explores the balance between a woman's work, art and the value of her relationships.


Playwright: Iris Dauterman
Director: Victoria Pyan
Stage Manager: Jada Beulah
Graphic Artist: Stacey Kawa
Costume Design: Lisa Conley
Set Design: Meagan Kedrowski
Producer: Clara Costello
Calliope: Dana Thompson
Yankee: Cate Jackson
Mnemosyne: Rachel Flynn
Morpheus: Stephanie Johnson
Hades: Robb Krueger

What the Critics Say:

"Sing To Me Now has a lot of heart across the whole story and cast of characters and everyone involved really digs in and delivers this, none more so than Thompson."
-Matthew Everett, Single White Fringe Geek