Posted in Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, Theater

Holy Guacamole Button! It’s Fringe TIME!!!

Wow. It’s happened. I don’t even know how, but the Fringe started yesterday and I have yet to make mention of it. Oh The HUMANITY.

My schedule has been filled – not completely as to allow for a few random acts to fill up my theatrical over indulgence – and yet I won’t begin Fringing until Sunday. That’s when YARRRH! opens. We’ve been so busy rehearsing and singing and costume swapping and puppeteering and sword fighting that I’m actually not certain even what day it is. We had a spectacular run last night and one final night of rehearsal tonight before the world is introduced to some lusty, busty pirates.

More on my Fringe obsession will come next week

In other crazy exciting news – those commercials I mentioned working on have begun paying off – BIG TIME. We’ve been purchased twice to the total tune of $17,500. It’s really exciting to be a part of a really smart, funny and successful team. I cannot wait to get to work on our next project.

Alright – it’s about that time to be off to the land of final rehearsals. Happy Fringing Everyone!

Posted in Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, The Frog Prince, Theater

I Passed Out

So the Fringe came and went. I was so excited for it, that I did end up passing out – but more in the sense that doing two separate shows in 10 days is rather exhausting – not to mention the day job on top of that. So mid-fringe, I find myself to be one sick robot. Having a runny nose while wearing silver stage makeup is not something I would recommend to the faint of heart.

I was afforded 3 weeks of ‘R&R’ and then began rehearsals for The Frog Prince at Stages Theatre Co. It’s a new adaptation of an old tale written by a local playwrite and it’s been loads of fun. One of the most exciting moments was receiving a text from my friend and former Prince Charming, Brent Teclaw stating that we would once again be reunited on stage. Though this time not as love interests. That role was given to one Michael Venske – a character that I had heard lots about through the Twitterverse and was excited to now be working with.

We are actually opening tomorrow night and I’m really excited about it. The process has been fantastic and it’s been really great getting a chance to work with the students that are in the cast. It’s interesting to see how things are different for high schoolers that are involved in the theatrical community in the Twin Cities and compare it to my days at EGHS.

In addition to The Frog Prince, I’ve been finding lots of fun film auditions to go to and just last weekend was afforded the opportunity to work with Knucklehead Films on a trailer for a TV pilot. I can’t go into many details about it, other than it was really great and that I hope to work with them again in the near future. On a film. I’m not sayin. I’m just sayin.

Posted in Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, Paul Bunyan, Robo-Homa

I’m So Excited, I Might Pass Out.

It’s that or I’m just plain old Exhausted.

Turns out this whole 2 Fringe show endeavor was just a bit more than I was prepared for. Big surprise there, I’m sure.

Not to be confused with "Robo-Homo"

However, I couldn’t be happier with both of my productions Robo-Homa  and Paul Bunyan. Though they have a few similarities – ie, I sing in both of them – the overall process differences and character prep for both couldn’t be more extreme. In Robo-Homa, I play a CowMan named Carnes, who’s biggest internal struggle is comprehending gender roles in a robotic society. His second biggest challenge is maintaining a secret robot walk – think along the lines of walking while trying to hide an extreme level of intoxication and you’re on your way.

That's me, On the far right.

Now with Paul Bunyan, Gladys is full of other crazy challenges. How to make her sound like an old lady from northern Minnesota as opposed to Miss Piggy pretending to have a Minnesotan accent would be the first obstacle that comes to mind. Also, the art of giving a puppet breath without some form of CPR has been quite the journey.

That all being said – in less than 60 hours, the 17th annual Minnesota Fringe Festival will open and I really can’t even handle it.

In final news, check out the trailers for my shows and feel free to vote until your heart’s content:


Paul Bunyan

There will be a few Fringe-tastic updates in the coming days – but most importantly – I want to wish you all Happy Fringing!

Posted in Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, Theater

Summer time in the Cities

As the trees blossom and the weather warms and people emerge from their hibernation, one thing becomes apparent to me – The Fringe is coming.

In order to keep things fresh and new, I have decided to undertake two productions at this year’s festival. Robo-Homa and Paul Bunyan’s Coming of Age are the productions to prepare yourself for. The best part about the two of these shows is that they are both performing at the Rarig’s proscenium theater.

This may not sound that exciting, but for the Fringers that know, Rarig is THE place to be. With four performance spaces, the entire building comes alive and exudes this fringtastic energy. People waiting in line for one show are talking about the show they just saw upstairs and the show they’re going to see later that day in the basement. Another great bonus about that space is if an audience member doesn’t make it into the show they wanted to see, there are three other immediate options for them.

Realistically, a person could show up at 1:00 on a Saturday and not leave untill 11:00pm. In those 10 hours, they could see 7 productions.  I realize that may sound like a terrible idea, but it’s the Fringe, where sometimes terrible ideas are incredibly successful.

Posted in FoolProof, Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, Theater, Top 10

Don’t Miss These Shows at the MN Fringe!!!

I am happy to report that our opening weekend went exceptionally well! I have to fringe-logo_pagethank my mom, my aunts, my grandma, my coworkers, Grace, Sam, Ashley, Emily, Briana, Chris, Kathi, Ashleigh, and everyone else that was able to make it on Saturday – I really appreciated having you all there! We have a show tonight at 5:30 and I’m rather excited for it.

As I had mentioned in my last post, I wanted to provide a list of my own personal top 10  must sees of the Fringe Festival. I will blatantly admit, there’s a ton of bias within my choices. Many of these shows are being done by my friends and I want to support them because I know first hand how talented they really are. So in no particular order- 10 shows you MUST see at the Fringe Festival:


1. Foolproof  Of course this is going to be on my list. It’s my show. You should really see it because it’s really good.

2. Hogg and the Humors @ Intermedia Arts. This was  a REALLY fun and refreshing Fringe show. It was set up as sort of a late night Fringe Talk show, hosted by the adorably British Jimmy Hogg. They have guest Fringe stars and they interview them and throw in some improv and the worst script reading you’ve ever heard. It’s fantastic. Top it off with an 11 second dance party and you’ve got a definite winner with this.

3. Sideways Stories from Wayside School @ Rarig Thrust. Oh geez. The guys from Four Humors did it again. This is really clean, crisp, solid characters and great fun for the whole family. Go see it.

4. The Return of LICK! @ The Southern. Well, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for cute guys dancing in tight pants and shiny shirts. And by dancing, I really mean thrusting their pelvises. Pelvi? Either way – go see them. I actually laughed so hard I cried.

5. An Intimate Evening with Mike Fotis Part III @ Mixed Blood. Two words here: Talent Crush. I’m not ashamed to share it with the world, Only because I know the world also has a huge Talent Crush on him as well. This is a great way to end any day of Fringing.

6. The William Willams Effect @ The Southern. I adore Brian Columbus. I also know that this cast is incredibly talented. I am very much looking forward to seeing it this weekend.

7. Oops @ The Theater Garage. Jasmine and Colin were classmates of mine at the U of M. They are extraordinarily hard working and talented actors. They are also really funny people. I’m excited to see this on Thursday night.

8. Two Short Operas…. @ the Playwright’s Center. Stephen Houtz is a riot. I will see this show because he wrote it and I know how talented he is. That’s all I need. Also, He once loaned me a very special cookie cutter.  If you ask me, I might tell you about it.

9. Blue Ribbon Burlesque @ Rarig Proscenium. I missed this show last year and had heard so many amazing things about it that I’m really looking forward to seeing it on Saturday afternoon. As I have never seen a show of this nature, I’m excited to lose my Burlesque virginity.

10. The Finkles’ Theater Show @ Rarig Experimental Theater. I had the please of being introduced to these characters a while back at a Four Humors function. They’re fabulous. And Funny.  Please check out their trailer. It’s pretty great.


Well, That’s that. Let me know if you make it to any of these and let me know if I’ve missed your show – I’m going to try to get to as many as i can in the next 6 days. If you’re curious about other shows, Check out Fringe Famous – they review the Hell out of the Fringe.

Happy Fringing Everyone!!!

Posted in FoolProof, Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, News Clip, Theater

Our Preview Got Reviewed…

As you may recall from my previous post, last Monday we  performed a preview at the Minnesota Fringe For All at the Ritz theater. It turned out that local playwright and Blogger extraordinaire Matthew Everett was in attendance and taking notes. He graciously wrote up reviews/synopsis of each performance for the Twin Cities Daily Planet.  Our review went to the internet press yesterday and it delighted us to no end. We do want to reassure everyone – regarding what Matthew said “I have to admit I’m curious. Which I suppose is the point of the marketing strategy.” We left you hanging for a very good reason, and believe me, it’s definitely worth checking us out at the Fringe.

Without futher adieu, our review:

1113“You eat the dinner your husband made you. It tastes like tree bark. You tell him it’s delicious.”

Giant Toddler Productions


by: Matthew Everett and found here on the tc Daily Planet site


Jake and Zelda, young newlyweds, hope moving into a new house ends the tension between them. But when Jake confides in his friend Martin how he plans to fix his marriage, the truth of their lives is revealed.

One of my favorite hosting moments of the evening was when Robin Gillette read the above description and injected after “Jake and Zelda, young newlyweds, hope moving into a new house ends the tension between them…”

“‘Cause that always works.”

Because of two of the actors – Lisa Bol and Mark Benzel, I really want this one to work out well. They’ve been very supportive of new work, most directly impacting me and my writing friends by helping out now and then with reading for our writing group. It’s immeasurably helpful to have actors reading the lines aloud as the script begins to take shape, and have an actor’s perspective on where the questions lie, what things might be missing, what things are confusing.

Mark and Lisa are teaming up with this production’s writer/actor Anthony Rydberg, and its director Nathan Wagner, to found a new theater company (I know, I know, another one, but c’mon, that’s part of what Fringe is for, too – a launching pad.)

“Aspect Lab Theatre is a company of artists dedicated to producing quality theatre in its most intimate form. It is Aspect Lab Theatre’s goal to provide a place where writers, directors, designers, and actors will drive each other to grow as artists. Most of all, the company strives to create an ensemble that engages in selfless dialogue with our audiences and our collaborators.”

As for their first outing, Foolproof, it’s hard to tell. The production clings so tightly to the big “secret” that lurks at the center of this story that it almost leaves too much room for speculation.

“Don’t tell my wife what I’m going to do.”

OK, I’ll bite.

It better not involve something as benign as a new addition to the house, or a balloon animal, or a new car, or a puppy.

But on the other hand, I’m sort of dreading anything dire like a whole “Crimes & Misdemeanors” spin on it (my mistress is inconvenient, let’s have her killed), or “I’ve had myself neutered,” or going the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” route and just getting the former fling erased from his memory banks.

It can’t be any of those things. So what could it be, so that the audience doesn’t just feel like it’s had its chain yanked by some shaggy dog story?

They concluded just as the light was turning yellow. But I found myself wanting just a little more.

I have to admit I’m curious. Which I suppose is the point of the marketing strategy.

Only one way to find out…

Posted in Corpsing, FoolProof, Fringe Festival, Making Out, Minneapolis, Theater

Corpsing in the Basement

Mark has his Back to the camera - he's playing Martin. Tony is on the right. He is "Acting Real Hard" in this picture.

I realize that sounds morbidly dirty, but really, it was quite hilarious. Last night we attempted to do a full run of Foolproof and for a show that is supposed to have a run time of 55min, we definitely broke the bank. Granted, we reworked a few scenes and ran a couple multiple times, but the major speed bump in last night’s rehearsal process was corpsing. By Wikipedia’s definition, Corpsing is: a British theatrical slang term used to describe when an actor breaks character during a scene by laughing or causing another cast member to laugh.  It was an absolute gigggle fest. All and all it was  a pretty decent rehearsal.

And the corpsing continues...
And the corpsing continues...

 Making out Is Funny.

It turns out that making out for the first time with a friend, while in character, in front of people is not only moderately awkward, but also incredibly funny. It definitely had the feeling of a Junior High game of spin-the bottle.

I am really excited for people to see this show. Coming soon: Our trailer!
Posted in FoolProof, Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, Theater, Uncategorized

The Fringe Site is L-I-V-E!!!!!!

myfringe_boxheadNever did I imagine that I would be SO excited for a website to update… Until last week, when I wanted to check out my fringe show at www.fringefestival.orgonly to find that it wouldn’t be updated and “Alive” until July 1st. And Holy Moly – somehow we’ve reached July. Not sure how it happened, but I’m just going to go with it.

Anyway – to see our page on the site, check this out. I’ve been having a lot of fun at rehearsals, I just wish our director wasn’t such a *Jerk* all the time. Just kidding Mr. Director! If he was such a Jerk, we definitely would not be having some of the best rehearsals I’ve been to in quite some time. We do a lot of work with the characters outside of the text of the script and I really love that. That’s usually the work I have to do on my own when trying to find my character, but by being able to work with the other characters at the same time, it’s bringing a sense of unity. It also helps me feel less crazy, as now I’m not the only one pretending to be someone else… 

Besides the Fringe site, We also have a page for The Aspect Lab. There, hopefully in the coming weeks you will be able to see a trailer for the show. I’ll also see if everyone’s ok with me doing some documentation of rehearsals so that I can share them here.

Finally – I know the biggest question on your mind is- “OMG – When and Where Can I see your show???” Please, stress no more:


by Anthony Rydbergmapdata
Directed by Nathan Wagner
Featuring Mark Benzel, Lisa Bol,
and Anthony Rydberg
Image Design by Danielle Siver
Minneapolis Theatre Garage
711 Franklin Ave.
Saturday, Aug. 1, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 2, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug 4, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug 7, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Aug 8, 8:30 p.m.
Posted in Fashion, Fringe Festival, Minneapolis, News Clip

Someone from Vita.MN Thought I Was Fashionable!


Fashion: Fringe wearThe Avon Dress

Fortunately no one wore any actual fringe at the Fringe Festival closing party at First Avenue.

Lisa Bol 24, project manager, actress 

What are you wearing? A New York & Company headband, Avon handkerchief dress, Liz Claiborne purse, Target shoes.

Describe your personal style: I like clothes that “work” for and with me.

Best Fringe show you saw: I would have to say “War of the Worlds: The Musical” (as I was in it) and “Mortem Capiendum.”

What adds drama to your outfits? Usually my personality. Also, great shoes and accessories.