“A measure of TRP’s influence on Twin Cities’ theatre can be seen in the names of the professionals who got their start there…Children’s Theatre Co. Jon Cranney, former Cricket Theatre and Chanhassen Dinner Theatre artistic director Howard Dallin, former Chanhassen director Gary Gisselman and Penumbra artistic director Lou Bellamy did some of the early directing at TRP. Young actors who worked there include Linda Kelsey, Sally Wingert, Carl Lumbly, and Abdul El Razzac, who have all made full-time careers in acting here or on the coasts.” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1988
LOCAL — PERFORMING ARTS
Allen Hamilton, actor in several feature films (e.g., The Fugitive) and in the recent Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Death of a Salesman, directed two shows, most recently Suddenly Last Summer (2017).
Former head of the Univ. of Minneota Theatre Dept. and Broadway/film actor Charles Nolte directed 13 shows (‘64-79). TRP produced nine of his shows.
Stephen Kanee (the Guthrie, University of MN) credits TRP with getting him the initial work to launch his directing career. “I directed Old Times in 1972 and Michael Langham (then Guthrie artistic director) made a rare visit to another theater and saw it. It was strictly because of his impression of that production that I made a career in directing.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1988
Curt Wollan, director of Plymouth Playhouse and Troupe America, directed two shows, most recently Sylvia (‘99).
Professional local actress Shirley Venard: “I was working fulltime but at night I was doing real theater at TRP. I will be forever grateful for that theatre.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1983
Michael Brindisi, director of the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, directed Once in a Lifetime (‘84).
Director/choreographer Joe Chvala directed a one-act as part of the Director’s Showcase in 1987.
Bill Semans, director/writer of the feature film Herman, U.S.A., and founder of Cricket Theatre, performed in three shows (‘67-71).
The original “Puke and Snot”, a popular comedy act at Renaissance Festivals throughout the country, were Joe Kudla, who directed four shows (‘79-83) and acted in seven, and Mark Sieve, who acted in nine shows (‘71-81).
Playwright John Fenn directed two shows in 1971 and 1972.
Bill Partlan, former artistic director of the Cricket Theatre, directed The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie in 1975.
Jack Reuler, director of Mixed Blood Theatre, acted in Steambath (‘77).
Allan Lotsberg, TV show host and local producer (Old Fogey Follies), was in three shows (‘59-61).
Stephen Barberio, former director of Stages Theater in Hopkins, acted in three shows.
Faye Price, director of Pillsbury House/ actor/dramaturg, acted in Getting Out (‘84).
Santa Claus (Dick Holmberg, who was consistently written up as the best Santa in the Twin Cities) got his start at TRP (‘77-87)
LOCAL — COMMUNITY
John Beardsley, former partner of Padilla Speer Beardsley PR firm, acted in The Price (‘90).
Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former president of Carlson Companies, appeared in Goodbye My Fancy (‘56).
Dolly Fiterman, philanthropist/gallery owner, was one of the founding members of TRP, performed in eight shows, was costume designer and worked on five other shows (‘52-60).
The late TV newscaster Dave Moore acted in Yanks 3 Detroit 0 (‘79) and worked on many benefits for the theatre. His wife Shirley was president of the Board (‘82); son Peter Moore directed 7 shows in the arena and was combat choreographer for Hamlet (‘86) and others.
District Court Judge for the State of Minnesota, Kathryn Quaintance acted in three productions (‘90-99).
Hennepin County Judge Myron (Mickey) Greenberg acted in two productions (‘96-00).
Ed Felien, publisher/editor of Southside Pride and The Pulse, acted in three shows (‘54-58).
Marcia Fluer, former TV personality/Univ. of MN PR director, appeared in The Heiress (‘89).
Nationally-renowned director Marion McClinton performed in three shows: “I often wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn’t gotten cast in The River Niger at Theatre in the Round back in 1976…it was my first show and I have to believe it saved my life.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1998
Comedian turned Senator Al Franken acted in Invitation to a March (‘62); his father and mother performed in 37 productions and were active backstage.
Broadway and film actor/director/producer Claude Woolman directed two shows in 1964 and 1970.
Ernie Hudson, film/TV actor (Ghostbusters) was the lead in The Great White Hope (‘75).
Richard Dean Anderson, star of TV’s MacGuyver and producer/star of the series Stargate, performed in Scuba Duba (‘71).
Emily Mann, artistic director at Princeton University, directed three shows (‘75-79).
TV series writer (Hill Street Blues) Mark Frost acted in two shows and directed one (‘78). His father Warren Frost wrote and directed The Unknown Soldier, which won first-place at a national festival in 1973 and represented the United States at an international festival in Monaco.
TV and film actor Granville Van Dusen performed in six productions (‘66-73).
Dorothy Lyman, TV actor/director, acted in Take Her She’s Mine (‘64).
TV actress Linda Gehringer was the lead in A Moon for the Misbegotten (‘76).
Richard Hoover, winner of a Tony Award for his scenic design of Not a Nightingale on Broadway, designed sets for The Iceman Cometh (‘72).
TV actor Peter Krause (Sports Night, Six Feet Under) was in the cast of Light Up The Sky (‘86).
Bill Corbett, writer and the voice of the robot Crow in the TV series Mystery Science Theatre 3000, appeared in Wild Honey (‘90).
Playwright Steven Dietz directed The Philanthropist in 1985.
David Ira Goldstein, artistic director of Arizona Theatre, acted in five shows, directed The Dresser (‘84), and served on the Board of Directors.
TV actress Linda Kelsey (Lou Grant) performed in The Member of the Wedding (‘64).
TV/film actor Doug Hutchison (The Green Mile, X-Files episodes) was the lead in Equus (‘79) and acted in The Little Foxes (‘84).
Steve Thayer, author of the Saint Mudd detective series, was in the cast of Julius Caesar (‘91).
Andrea Beutner, who acted in three shows (‘89-’91), was the voice of the motorcycle in the TV series Team Knightrider and does voices for characters on the cartoon series Men in Black.
John Orlock, former chair of theatre at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, directed two shows and taught classes for years. He chose TRP for the world premiere of his Work of Water in 1998.
Michael Arndt, chair of theatre for California Lutheran University, directed five shows.
TV/film actor Ron Perlman (Beauty and the Beast, Name of the Rose) was in the cast of The Iceman Cometh (‘72).
Broadway/TV actor T. R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) performed in Gemini (‘92).
Steve Lewis has acted in numerous full-length and short films, more than nine television series, and has been a familiar face on many national television commercials since appearing here in the cast of I Hate Hamlet (‘00)
Joel Sass, who has won national awards for his work in directing/design with major theatres in the Twin Cities and throughout the country, directed Marat/Sade, Dark of the Moon, M. Butterfly in the arena (1998-2000)