ROLLER DERBY QUEEN
It's a wrap! November 10th through 26th, 2017
Due to her compulsive consumerism, Florence Alvine Turchin’s house has become, according to her eldest daughter, Ellen, hygienically uninhabitable and financially unsustainable. For Florence it will be her lucrative retirement fund once she gets “all these treasures up on that there EBay thing-a-ma-jigger”. Florence’s housemate and younger daughter, Mary Elizabeth, just wants to make everyone happy and maintain her personal status quo of work, Wheel of Fortune, Charleston Chews, Mallow Cups and Saturday dates with Abe. When Ellen realizes that her precarious financial situation no longer allows her to carry the cost of her mother’s house, she arrives ready to take charge and move Florence out to greener pastures. Florence doesn’t take too kindly to the intrusion of her bossy daughter and has no intention of abandoning her treasure trove of retirement goods, and is ready to go to battle to prove it.
Roller Derby Queen is a story of mothers, daughters, and that mutable bond that tests its strength as it travels with them throughout their lives.
Author Michele Lepsche says, “Once Florence rose from my unconscious, she badgered me daily to tell her story. I just wanted to make her happy so she would leave me alone.”
Michele started writing plays after she realized she hated writing fiction and didn’t want the money she spent on her MFA to go to waste. She has dabbled in nursing, psychology, studio arts, welding, filmmaking, furniture making, web design, graphic design, and theater--some of which she succeeded in, others in which she failed miserably. Her story telling heroes are Louie Anderson, Tom Barnard, Barbara Carlson, Bob Dylan, Garrison Keillor, T.D. Mischke, Prince, Patrick Reusse, Ron Rosenbaum, and Joe Soucheray. Her latest degree is an AFA in Theater from Normandale Community College. She spends her free time eaves dropping on other people’s conversations, complaining about her medical problems and tormenting her husband, Mitch. Roller Derby Queen is her first play.
RAYE BIRK* as SCOTTY G
Guthrie: 25 productions including The Crucible, Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Sunshine Boys, A Christmas Carol, A Delicate Balance, Faith Healer, Long Days Journey into Night, 1776. Theater: The Jungle Theater, Park Square, The Old Log, Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, Theatre Latte Da, American Conservatory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theater, The Alliance Theatre, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Films: A Serious Man, North Country, The Naked Gun, Doc Hollywood, Throw Momma From the Train. Television: The Wonder Years, Coach, X-Files, Cheers, The Golden Girls, Seinfeld, Babylon 5.
Teaching: Guthrie: Founder and lead teach for The Actors Workout; Teaching Artist at University of Southern California, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco; Southern Methodist University. Training: B.S., Northwestern University; M.F.A., University of Minnesota.
Awards: McKnight Fellow, U. of Minnesota; Fox Foundation Fellowship.
NANCY MARVY* as FLORENCE
Nancy's most recent appearance was as Lil in the premiere production of WE ARE THE LEVINSONS at Minnesota Jewish Theater.
Other theaters she has appeared at include: The Jungle, Chanhassen, Guthrie, Ordway, Old Log and numerous others. Film and television credits include: UNTAMED HEART, HAP AND ASHLEY, CURED, PITCHING MOTHER, and HAPPY DAYS.
"It's exciting to be in the premiere production of this new work! And that makes two in a row!"
SARA MARSH* as MARY ELIZABETH
Dark & Stormy Productions: Fool For Love, The Norwegians, And So It Goes, Sunshine, Extremities, The Hothouse, others; Artistry Theater: the one-woman show Bad Dates; Park Square Theater; History Theatre; Pillsbury House Theater; Old Log Theater; Jungle Theater; Gremlin Theater; Thirst Theater; Day In, Day Out Productions; Theatre L’Homme Dieu; others. Film/TV: Love Always, Santa (Hallmark; with Marguerite Moreau); Sugar & Spice (New Line Cinema/Warner Bros; Wendy Fireman & Greg Mooradian, producers; with Melissa George, James Marsden, Mena Suvari); The Public Domain; Best Man Down (Magnolia Pictures; with Shelley Long & Frances O’Connor); How to Kill a Mockingbird; “Theater People” Seasons 1 & 4 (web series); many others. Voiceover: Marsh has lent her voice to hundreds of radio, television, and internet spots. Accolades: Créme de la créme performance, Extremities, Lavender Magazine. Visit her at www.saramarsh.net.
CAROLYN POOL* as ELLEN
Carolyn Pool has appeared at almost every theatre in the Twin Cities, as well as regional theaters across the country. Carolyn is the co-creator (with Shanan Custer) of the 2013 Ivey award winning show 2 Sugars, Room for Cream which most recently ran at the Andy Boss Stage at Park Square Theatre, and Sometimes There’s Wine which premiered to sold out houses at the 2016 Minnesota Fringe Festival. Other notable work includes the world premier of James Still’s Miranda (Miranda) at Illusion Theatre. At the Illusion she has also appeared in Three Viewings (Mac), Bill W. and Dr. Bob (Lois Wilson) and Mercy of a Storm (Zan) in a co-production between Illusion Theatre and Florida Stage. Other recent roles include Death of a Salesman (Miss Francis) at Yellowtree Theater, The Hippodrome Theatre’s premier of Women in Jeopardy (Jo), and at Park Square Theatre, Calendar Girls (Celia), August; Osage County (Ivy), and Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Jean). Carolyn is also the recipient of a 2008 Ivey Award (outstanding ensemble for Orson’s Shadow in which she played Vivien Leigh), and in 2011 won “Best Actress” at the SoCal Film Festival for her work in the short film Rotations of the Earth. Carolyn is also a performer for Penumbra Theatre’s RACE workshops, and Pillsbury House Theater, where she is an actor/mentor for The Chicago Ave. Project.
SOS THEATER COMPANY
ANDY ROCCO KRAFT as ABE
Andy currently splits his time between Minneapolis and Los Angeles where he is an Actor, Writer and Puppeteer. This past year locally he appeared in “Lady and the Trump” at the Brave New Workshop Mainstage and “Don Quixote” at the Guthrie Dowling Studio with Four Humors Theater. He also co-wrote and performed in “The Wright Stuff “ and “Couple Fight: Weddings!” in the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival. He is currently a writer for the Walt Disney Television Animation show, Pickle and Peanut, which airs every Monday night on Disney XD.
RACHAEL RHOADES* STAGE MANAGER
Rachael Rhoades is a local stage and production manager, and is thrilled to be working with such a talented team on Roller Derby Queen. Rachael holds a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa, and is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association. She has stage managed for many companies in the Twin Cities, including nimbus Theatre, 20% Theatre Company, TigerLion Arts, Illusion Theatre, The Mystery Cafe Inc, CLIMB Theatre, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Park Square Theatre, and Hennepin Theatre Trust. Rachael returns every holiday season to stage manage Triple Espresso: A Highly Caffeinated Comedy, a long-running comedy in the Twin Cities, and spent the 2016 - 2017 holiday season on tour with the show in Iowa. She recently served as a rehearsal stage manager for Frank Theatre's Revolt. She said. Revolt again, and ran a TEDx event at the Cowles Center entitled, Why Not?. She also recently became the Production Manager for CLIMB Theatre, a touring theatre company specializing in educational outreach programming for children. Rachael sends all her sunbeams to Sarah, Katie, Grëte, Jacob, and Anton -- without your support and love, I would be lost. "Let's live our best life."
KATIE PHILLIPS SET DESIGNER
Katie Phillips is a Minneapolis scenic designer, painter, and props designer. She has worked across the Twin Cities including Dark & Stormy Productions, Artistry, Stages Theatre Company, and Bucket Brigade. Katie is the Resident Scenic Designer and adjunct faculty member at Inver Hills Community College. She holds her BFA in Theatre Design/Technology from Minnesota State University, Mankato. In her spare time, Katie designs and paints escape rooms.
COURTNEY SCHMITZ* LIGHTING DESIGNER
Courtney Schmitz (Lighting Designer) earned her MFA in lighting design from the University of Iowa in 2009. Since relocating to Minneapolis in 2012, she has designed locally with 20% Theatre Company, Workhaus Collective, DalekoArts, Theatre Unbound, Six Elements Theatre, Yellow Tree Theatre, Open Window Theatre, Bucket Brigade Theatre, Savage Umbrella, Lyric Arts, nimbus theatre, crash.dance productions, SPARK dance + theatre, Artistry, and Freshwater Theatre. Courtney also teaches at Inver Hills Community College, and has been a MN Fringe Festival technician for the last five years.
C ANDREW MAYER SOUND DESIGNER
C Andrew Mayer has been privileged to work with many fine theatre companies in the Twin Cities and elsewhere, including the Jungle, the History Theatre, the Guthrie, Minnesota Opera, Mixed Blood, Children's Theatre Company, and Park Square, among numerous others, as well as ACT in San Francisco, SeaGlass Theatre in Los Angeles, Philadelphia Opera, and Arkansas Rep in Little Rock. He was a McKnight Theatre Artist Fellow, and won an Audelco Award for his design for Carlyle Brown's Pure Confidence at 59E59 (New York). In the summer he serves as the producing director of the Acadia Repertory Theatre on Mount Desert Island in Maine.