Stages Theatre Presents A Steam-Punk, Dance Inspired Retelling Of THE NIGHTINGALE

Stages Theatre Presents A Steam-Punk, Dance Inspired Retelling Of THE NIGHTINGALE

The Nightingale based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen; a steam-punk and dance inspired retelling of the classic story dances onto Stages Theatre Company's (STC) main stage this March.

Every year Mayor King holds a Festival of Progress to inspire the townspeople to invest in the quality of their town. Everyone is working on their entry, when Violet, the granddaughter of the town's watchmaker, escapes to the forest to listen to the song of the Nightingale. When the rest of the town learns of the bird's captivating song, Violet's grandfather is inspired to create a mechanical bird for the Festival of Progress. Soon, everyone wants their own mechanical Nightingale, but when the automated song is over-produced it proves to be less than inspiring and brings the townspeople to question the idea of progress. Before long, Mayor King becomes ill and it's his own memory of the real Nightingale's song that facilitates his recovery. A balance between technological progress and natural beauty is found as the townspeople appreciate the singular beauty of the Nightingale's talents.


The world premiere adaptation is told through original music and dance and is written by Jennifer Kirkeby and composed by Shirley Mier. It's our 6th collaboration with Escalate Dance. STC Artistic Director Sandy Boren-Barrett says, "We collaborate to provide new ways of telling stories; we focus on different styles of music and movement as we create our work. The Nightingale is a dance inspired musical, which means from the moment the show is in development with the writer and composer, through all design elements and casting 'dance' is at the focus. This adaptation challenges us all, from the youngest audience member to the adults that bring them, to find beauty in the simple things around us, while acknowledging and appreciating the role technology and progress play in all of our lives. The collaboration is always special and you won't want to miss it!" We hope it will ignite conversations around kitchen tables and in classrooms about balancing the exhilaration and tribulations of technology with human interaction and natural beauty.

The Cast: Ellen Anderson (Watson & Owl Duet), Halle Audette (Ives & Sprite), Faith Barrett (Celia & Young Nightingale), Anika Benz (Dash & Frog Duet), Rylie Benz (Marigold & Baby Frog Duet), Kenna Berends (Hildegard), Georgia Blando (Rose & Baby Owl Duet), Lily Blando (Lavinia & Sprite), Zoe Carter (Ruby), Faith Culbertson (Wolfgang), Michael Culbertson (Sterling), Athan Fischer (Bat), Jonathan Grommesh (Tour Guide & Council Member), Ian Handeland (Hugo), Emma Highfield (Jules & Sprite), Abby Horter (Laurel & Sprite), Clare Judge (Nemo & Lamb Duet), Allie Kiewatt (Nightingale), Kennedy Lucas (Bella & Sprite), Matt Ouren (Mayor King), Marie Peterson (Violet), Abby Reynolds (Clare & Sprite), Eva Ronshaugen (Aster & Baby Lamb Duet), Bruce Rowan (Edison), Jack Sullivan (Octavius & Doctor), Zachary Sullivan (Jeter & Young Mayor), Jozie Tamarkin (Mechanical Nightingale) and Julia Foster Warder (Lyra & Sprite).

The Creative Team: Artistic Director - Sandy Boren-Barrett, Artistic Director Escalate Dance Studio - Ann Marie Omeish, Choreographers - Katie Schlosser and Anna Esposito,
Stage Manager - Emilia Allen, Music Director - Sarah Hohenstein Burk, Lighting Designer - Barry Browning, Technical Director - Jim Hibbeler, Sound Designer - Gretchen Katt, Production Manager - Melanie Salmon-Peterson, Set Designer - Joe Stanley, Props Designer - Abbee Warmboe, Costume & Make Up Designer - Mary Woll.

The Nightingale opens Friday, March 9th and runs through Sunday, March 25th. It is recommended for all ages. Tickets are on sale now! Visit for specific performance dates and times, or call the Box Office at (952) 979-1111, option 4, Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults; $14 for seniors, ages 60+ and children.

The Nightingale publicity images and cast head shots available for download here.Press Release for The Nightigale

Accessibility is very important to us at STC because we know that live theatre can have a significant impact on our lives. So Stages Theatre Company strives to remove many of the barriers that may impede individuals from experiencing theatre. First, every production has one or two sensory-friendly performances. These performances are designed for young people and their families who are on the autism spectrum or have sensory sensitivities. For The Nightingale, they are Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 10:00am and Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 10:00am. We also have an American Sign Language interpreted and audio described performance on Friday, March 16, 2018 at 7:00pm. New, and supported by a grant from the Smith-McCarthy Funds for the Blind and Visually Impaired of the Minneapolis Foundation, we are offering a special way for our friends with vision impairments to experience our productions. Tactile Boxes (available at the Box Office) allow audience members with limited vision to explore costume fabric, props, and other components from the production, items labeled in Braille when possible. Visit our web site for more details. And STC always has a "Pay What You Can" performance for each production. For The Nightingale it's Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 2:00pm.

Here at Stages Theatre Company, it is through the hearts of the young people we serve that
we find the world we are inspired to live in. We want our young people to find a world where dreams become a reality, where thinking "outside the box" is not only encouraged, but rewarded and where doing the right thing for a friend reaps the benefits of lifelong love. We want to create a world where greatness is measured by the strength in spirit and by how much you give, not by how much you get. Through the stories we bring to life we are creating a world full of goodness, understanding, make-believe and comfort.

Stages Theatre Company

Stages Theatre Company was founded in 1984 and since then has grown to become one of the largest professional theatres for young audiences in the country. We engage young artists with themes relevant to their lives and involve them in creating magical works featuring young people in meaningful roles. Through theatrical productions, workshops, conservatory classes and other outreach programs, Stages Theatre Company annually serves more than 145,000 young people and their families.

Statement of Inclusivity: Stages Theatre Company is dedicated to creating a space where diverse opinions, courageous dialogue, and local, national, and international community engagement is not only valued, but vital to our shared artistic and educational success. We make this pledge in hope of curating a welcome home for all.

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