Kevin Bowen: (Producer/Story, Music & Lyrics) Kevin's bio is longer than his acting career. He was a triple threat, playing Organ Morgan, Nogood Boyo and Mr. Pritchard (in the parlor with a pick-axe?) in a Cricket Theater charity performance of Under Milk Wood; and years later played John, the brother of James (or was it James, the brother of John?) in back-to-back River Hills' Church productions of The Last Supper (where a comedic Judas tried to steal the show). Kevin's eclectic love of music, theater and all things Irish runs deep, and was cultivated over a lifetime. He is thrilled with this cast and crew and amazed we might actually pull this off! During the past four years, Kevin has written a number of shows, and all of them were The Red Tureen. If he ever writes another show, this one will be his first.
Notes from Kevin: In the fall of 2005, Jim and I were having dinner at my house. I played him some of the music I had recently written, and told him I had started writing a musical about two Irish brothers during the Irish Potato Famine. Without missing a beat, he said “It should have a wedding…” As if it were preordained we were off and running and we never looked back. During a conversation which lasted four years, we ironed out every detail of this intricate story — then divided the work load with Jim focusing primarily on the Book, and me focusing primarily on the Music and Lyrics, so that today, we finally have our show. Originally we dreamed of seeing it on a stage someday - any stage... but we have far exceeded those simple expectations with this amazing team: Director Vienna Folliard, our talented Cast & Crew and the wonderful folks at The Minnesota Fringe Festival. Today, we proudly present to you The Red Tureen, which is essentially a creative-mind-meld-love-child conceived by two very dear lifelong friends (Irish twins from separate mothers?). Jim and I simply adore this wee little story, and hope you will too! — Kevin Bowen
James Lundy: (Producer/Story & Book) James appeared in Street Scene, Orpheus Descending, Corral Show 1977, Moonchildren, Ceasefire, Northern Lights, Under Milk Wood, and several cable-access and industrial films. He reprised the role of "Hydrogeologist" in numerous productions by Minnesota state government, including It's Fun to Work at the M-P-C-A, and Just for the Health of It. Except for an aborted early effort (Annie, Get Your Hydrolab; And Bring a Bailer Too), The Red Tureen is his first play to be produced, and this is as scary as hell.
Notes From Jim: I've known Kevin thirty years, long enough to hear many crazy ideas, and participate in a few. One day he raised the bar: "I’m doing research, and writing a musical about it. Will you help?" In a moment of enthusiastic naiveté, I said, "Of course". Now it’s several years since my failure to run for the nearest exit, but his scrap of family history still grabs me. Like innumerable immigrant stories, we know the real life Bones brothers only as a broad arc: departing Famine Ireland as young farmers, they married, came to New York City, farmed in Wisconsin and Minnesota, fought the American Civil War as forty-somethings, lived to see the turn of the century, and now lay buried overlooking the Minnesota River.
The arc is incomplete: perhaps there exists no Bones family archive of it because they "had no words for tellin'". The script and music of The Red Tureen give the Bones brothers and all the mythical Kilkieran Valley folk the voice they need to solve the substantial problems they face: How do we keep our homes when the food we grow is used against us? How can we be sure we are good people? How long dare we stand fast? Should we take a radical new approach, and what form should it take? We hope you enjoy The Red Tureen. - Jim Lundy
THE 2009 SHOW WAS DIRECTED BY:
Vienna Folliard: (Director) Vienna most recently directed J.M Synge's Playboy of the Western World at the Frank Rog Ampitheatre. She has been directing high school theater for 7 years and is excited to get her first crack at directing for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. She is thankful to Jim and Kevin for giving her an opportunity to work with them and direct their show.
Notes From the Director: After the years of historical research and script/score development that Jim and Kevin did to create The Red Tureen, it has been an honor to work with and learn from them and to bring my own experience and insight to this production. Working with both of them to fine-tune the show for its first run has shown me the extent of their passion for the project and their impressive knowledge of a complex period in Ireland’s history. This cast has worked very hard to bring their individual talents to this original work. The great dynamics that make them work so well together are evident in their ensemble performance. Though I was born and lived in Ireland, I had a lot to learn about this period of history and had many questions for Jim and Kevin about the interesting historical pieces they intertwined in their show. Here are a few notes on things that came up: The Irish Poor Law Extension Act of 1847 was one step the British Parliament took for Irish Famine relief. This Act put all the responsibility of feeding the Irish on the shoulders of their landlords, many of whom were deeply in debt and knew it was cheaper to pay for a ticket to America than to continue feeding the starving tenants. The American maize provisions and the Soup Kitchen Act were only temporary solutions, so when they ended, the Irish people were suddenly without food in a country with little industrial opportunities and with a drastically reduced crop. “Cow tapping” was one unpleasant solution to starvation, where they would draw just enough blood from a cow that the animal would survive, and they could mix it with a small amount of food to fortify a meal with some iron and protein.
Go raibh maith agat — Vienna Folliard
THE 2009 CAST FEATURED:
• Andrew D. Umphrey as Father Padraig Bones
• Jaclyn Johnson as Maeb McCullen
• CJ Lewis as William Bones
• Therese Walth as Cinnie McMonigal
• Mark Taintor as "Old Robert" McCullen
• Emily Thorkildson as Sinead McKenzie
• David Beukema as Major Trevor Hawkins
• Melissa Dahle as Fiona Duffy
• Mark Knutson as Land Agent Roland Starkey
• Madison Karpan as Rosheen Duffy
• Christian DeMarais as Publican Lonan McMonigal
• Joshua Hinck as Lieutenant Dobbs & Aidan Duffy
• Alex Carlson as Lieutenant Wiggins & Seth McPhee
• David Gottfried as Lieutenant Browne-Brown & Sean Duffy
• John Wiehe as Seamus "Moose" Callahan
Andrew D. Umphrey: (Father Padraig Bones) Andrew is a recent graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato with his M.F.A. in Acting. A native to Minnesota, this performance marks his debut to the Minnesota Fringe Festival and the Twin Cities theatre community. A few of his favorite roles are Chris in Miss Saigon, Munkustrap in Cats, Trevor Graydon in Thouroughly Modern Millie, Laertes in Hamlet, Frederick in Pirates of Penzance, and Harold Hill in The Music Man (but can't wait to play the role when he is more age appropriate). Andrew would like to thank Kevin and Jim for this great opportunity! He also thanks his family, friends and mentors, and most importantly his wife, Leslee, for their guidance and support.
Jaclyn June Johnson: (Maeb McCullen) Jaclyn is proud to be joining the Minneapolis Fringe Festival and the company of The Red Tureen for this summer's premiere production. Last summer Jaclyn appeared in Riverside Theatre's Shakespeare Festival productions of A Comedy of Errors and A Winter's Tale in Iowa City and is happy to be performing in the Twin Cities again after a spell of out-of-state projects. Jaclyn's favorite past productions include Death of a Salesman, Arsenic and Old Lace, Pygmalion and Urinetown. She holds a BA from Cornell College. Jaclyn would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to her family for their continuing support.
CJ Lewis: (William Bones) CJ is a performer, director, musician, and recent transplant to the Twin Cities area from the east coast. He most recently spent 2008 as a company member at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth, NH. (Little Shop of Horrors, Around the World in 80 Days, 12th Night, Wait Until Dark, Pajama Game, Rocky Horror LIVE!). While there, he was also a guest artist at the University of NH on two occasions- directing the Amy Beach chamber opera Cabildo, and composing an original score for a new adaptation of Ubu Roi. CJ is also a proud former member of the Peterborough Players Second Company. In addition, he has toured as a performer with the National Theatre for Arts and Education, and will be heading to England, Ireland, and Scotland this winter to debut two new music/performance pieces with the Lighthouse Theatre Co.Font size
Therese Walth: (Cinnie McMonigal) Therese completed her Bachelor of Science in Music Education with a Musical Theatre Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She was an active member in the Universities Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Concert Choir. As a classical performer she was invited to sing in the Universities Music Department’s Honor’s Recital for five years. She was a Wisconsin NATS finalist in 2002. Therese was also heavily involved in UW-L’s Department of Theatre Arts where she was seen as Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show, Mary Magdalen in Jesus Christ Superstar, Martha in The Secret Garden, and Eva Peron in the 2006 production of Evita. Currently, Ms. Walth is performing in Twin Cities areas as both an actor and singer.
Mark Taintor: ("Old Robert" McCullen) Mark is thrilled to be making his Fringe debut with such a talented cast and director. Mark is a graduate of St. Olaf College where he sang with the St. Olaf Choir. In addition, he sang for a number of years with the Dale Warland Singers. He’s appeared in shows with the Minnesota Opera, Bloomington Civic Theatre, and the Chaska Valley Family Theater. Favorite past roles include Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, and Daddy Warbucks in Annie. A special thanks goes to his wife, Julie, for supporting his love for theater (or is it theatre?). Mark is the proud father of three great kids - Ryan, David, and Katie.
Emily Thorkildson: (Sinnead McKenzie) Emily is a recent graduate from the University of MN with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and appeared in productions of The Crucible (Susanna Walcott) and The Phantom Tollbooth (Earl of Essence). She made her professional debut last winter in a national tour of A Christmas Carol (Fred‚s Wife, Mrs. Cratchitt u/s) with Troupe America. Other favorite productions include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Peter Pan, Julius Caesar and The Nutty Nutcracker (special guest dancer with the Minnesota Ballet). Many thanks to family and friends!
David Beukema: (Major Trevor Hawkins) David is pleased to make his Fringe debut in The Red Tureen. A native Minneapolitan, David recently moved back to the area after 8 years out east, where he performed in Ohio, New Hampshire, and New York City. Since returning to the Twin Cities, David has worked with Cromulent Shakespeare, Theatre In the Round, and the Science Museum of Minnesota. Many thanks to Kevin, Jim, and Vienna for trusting him with originating a role in a musical!
Melissa Dahle: (Fiona Duffy) Melissa is thrilled to be debuting within the Twin Cities theatre scene and at the Minnesota Fringe Festival with The Red Tureen. As a recent grad, Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Drama and Speech and a music minor from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. Some favorite productions include: Playboy of the Western World (Pageen) which she received an Irene Ryan Acting Award, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania), The Curse of an Aching Heart (Melody), What I did Last Summer (Bonnie), School House Rock Live! (Cast), Frog and Toad (Cast). Professional theatre (as an Equity Member Candidate) with the Barn Theatre credits include: Hair, The Graduate, Rocky Horror Show, Fiddler on the Roof, The Fully Monty, and Lil' Abner.
Mark Knutson: (Land Agent Roland Starkey) Mark is a theatre major from St. Johns University. Mr. Knutson’s SJU credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom), Death and the Maiden (Dr. Miranda), and All in the Timing (Trotsky). He has worked with CLIMB theatre here in the twin cities. After hiking much of Ireland in 2008, Mr. Knutson is looking forward to returning to this beautiful place as an 1840’s land agent.
Madison Karpan: (Rosheen Duffy) Madison is looking forward to participating in the Minnesota Fringe Festival with such a fabulous cast. Her previous productions include, The Elephant Man at Concordia College in Moorhead MN, Cinderella in Alexandria MN, and The Shape of Things with the Out of the Black Box Theater Company. She recently moved to Northeast Minneapolis from Fargo, ND. Hope you enjoy The Red Tureen!
Christian DeMarais: (Publican Lonan McMonigal) Christian is a rising Junior working toward his B.A. in both Business Management and Theatre at Gustavus Adolphus College. Recent credits include Ordway Center: Singin’ in the Rain (Policeman, Assistant Director, Ensemble), Yankee Doodle! (Reporter #1, Ensemble); St. Croix Festival Theatre: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Linus); Gustavus Adolphus College: The Impresario from Smyrna (Carluccio), The Other Shore (Man), Topsy Turvy Mouse (Kenny Haney), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Miles Gloriousus), columbinus (LONER/Dylan Klebold). After college, Christian hopes to pursue a career in film acting, law or business. Lastly, Christian would like to thank Kevin and Jim for this amazing opportunity, his friends, and his family for their unrivaled love and support, especially Mom.
Joshua Hinck: (Lieutenant Dobbs, & Aidan Duffy) Joshua is a Sophomore Vocal Performance/Theatre (double) major with a dance minor at Concordia University St. Paul. This summer he is choreographor for the MayerCast production of State Fair and the Music Director for YAI's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Recently he has appeared onstage with Heritage Theatre Company in their production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Schroeder), Concordia shows include Amadeus, Chekhov's The Bear, and Dames at Sea. He also appeared onstage with the Old Log Theatre as a stand in for Keith in the production of Alone Together. Shout out to his supportive friends and family.
Alex Carlson: (Lieutenant Wiggins/Seth McPhee) Alex has a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Economics with Honors from the University of Minnesota, Morris. His past productions include playing The Cat in the Hat in Seussical, Frankie in A Lie of the Mind, Truffaldino in A Servant of Two Masters and Barnette Lloyd in Crimes of the Heart. He has been nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship four times. Alex recently moved back to St. Paul and is making a living by selling plasma. He appears on the local improv scene and one day dreams of being on the Amazing Race.
David Gottfried: (Lt. Browne-Brown & Sean Duffy) David is slightly intimidated and very excited to be performing with such a talented cast. This is his first show for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Having just completed his sophomore year at Roseville Area High School, David has had the privilege to perform as Mr. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, Jack in Into the Woods, Mayors in both Seussical and The Visit, and his latest role as Christy Mahon in Playboy of the Western World. He wishes to thank Kevin and Jim for this great opportunity!
John Wiehe: (Seamus "Moose" Callahan) John is 16 and this is his first Fringe Festival show. He is very excited to be part of such a great show with such great people. John attends Roseville Area High School where he has been in shows such as Chicago (Ensemble), The Pirates of Penzance (Ensemble), Noises Off (Selsdon), Suessical (Ensemble) and The Playboy of the Western World (Old Mahon). Thanks to David for driving me to rehearsal, thanks to my parents for giving me so much support and thanks to Jim and Kevin for the opportunity. Enjoy the show!
THE 2009 CREW FEATURED:
Rose Lundy: (Costumes) Rose is a tenth-grader at Roseville Area High School. The Red Tureen is her first Minnesota Fringe Festival production.
Hannah Soule: (Stage Manager) Hannah is a student at Augsburg College, where she is majoring in theater and education.
Sally Robertson: (Sets) Sally is a student at Beloit College where she works in the scene shop. She is excited to be a part of the Fringe Festival.
SPECIAL THANKS, 2009:
We would like to thank the following people and organizations who helped make this show a reality: Our talented Director, Vienna Folliard, our excellent Stage Manager Hannah Soule and our wonderful Cast, Robin Gillette/ Matthew Foster & Everyone at Minnesota Fringe Festival, our wives Allyn Bowen and Sherryl Livingston, our children (Erinn and Christopher, Sean and Rose), Megan Bones, Rob Gardner, Renee Anker, Monica Collins, Julie Taintor, Chanhassen Dance & Performing Arts, Roseville Area High School, Macalester-Plymouth Church, Jim Johnson, Shane Lines Photography, Sheena Janson, CLIMB theatre, Springboard For The Arts, Graham & Mary Waltz, Glenn & Karen Bowen, Kieran Folliard, Kieran's Irish Pub, Nick Coleman, Maria Flynn Conway, Celtic Journeys, Mike Casey, Irish Fair of Minnesota, Irish On Grand, Kirk Livingston, William Randall Beard, Buon Giorno Restaurant, Pat O'Reilly, Rhymezone.com and Bowen Design.