Theatre Pro Rata's LOVERS & EXECUTIONERS Plays the Gremlin Theatre, Now thru 10/14

Tonight, September 29th, 2012 Theatre Pro Rata will open its 12th season with Lovers & Executioners at the Gremlin Theatre in St. Paul, MN.

Lovers & Executioners is an adaptation of a 17th century commedia dell'arte-inspired comedy originally written by Antoine Jacob de Montfleury. It follows the exploits of Julie, left on a desert island three years previously by her husband, Bernard. She escapes death and returns, disguised as a man, to seek revenge on Bernard and to learn why he betrayed her.

Director Carin Bratlie says of the script, "I was particularly struck by how modern the language is while still playing in rhyming couplets. It's very accessible, and very fun. Lots of clever wordplay and hysterical characters."

Costume designer and Pro Rata company member Mandi Johnson is basing her designs on 18th century dress but with contemporary elements included as well. She said, "I've always wanted to do a project where I got to utilize a lot of the oodles of scrap fabric that I have left over from other shows. I was inspired by the collage artwork of Katie Chen, and will be using elements of that style in the costumes."

Lovers & Executioners features the talents of Twin Cities theater (and Pro Rata) veterans Noë Tallen, Jesse Corder, and Katie Willer along with Pro Rata company members Andy Chambers, Amber Bjork, Grant Henderson, and Ben Tallen.

Originally written by Montfleury as La Femme Juge et Partie (The Wife, Judge and Accuser) in 1669, the play was performed during the same period as Molière's Tartuffe and considered a script of equal worth by their contemporaries. John Strand has taken this script and modernized the language while keeping the rhyming couplet format of the original.

Since 2001 Pro Rata, Latin for "in proportion," has been producing intimate, captivating theater in the Twin Cities. Focusing on the text of the play, it offers performers and audiences the chance to explore the characters, themes and language more completely. Ranging from classic dramas to modern black comedies, Theatre Pro Rata produces scripts that engender this exploration while still bringing visceral, engaging stories to the stage. Recent accolades for Pro Rata include three year end mentions for Waiting for Godot (2011, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, and City Pages), Julie Ann Nevill’s cross-gender performance in The Life of Galileo (2009, Lavender Magazine), and overall production for Metamorphoses (2008, Lavender Magazine). Theatre Pro Rata utilizes a unique sliding scale for ticketing, allowing patrons to name their own price from $14 to $41.

The show runs according to the following schedule: Tonight, September 29 @ 7:30 (opening night); Sunday, September 30 @ 3:00 (ASL/Audio Description/Pay What You Can performance); Monday, October 1 @ 7:30 (Pay What You Can performance); Friday, October 5 @ 7:30; Saturday, October 6 @ 7:30; Sunday, October 7 @ 3:00; Friday, October 12 @ 7:30; Saturday, October 13 @ 7:30; and Sunday, October 14 @ 3:00.

All performances take place at the Gremlin Theatre, 2400 University Avenue West, St. Paul, MN. General admission tickets on a sliding scale from $14 to $41 at the door.

For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit the website, For reservations or other questions, call (612) 234-7135 or email

Pictured: Noë Tallen (left) and Amber Bjork. Photo credit: Charlie Gorrill.

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