A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Director Leah Adcock-Starr
Assistant Director Taylor Norton
Stage Manager Carey Morrison
Assistant Stage Manager Brian O’Neal
Costume Design Lisa Conley
Props Design Leah Adcock-Starr
Sets and Lighting Design Mother Earth

Leah Adcock Starr (Director) : Leah Adcock-Starr is a company member of Upright Egg, and a freelance theatre educator and director for theatre companies throughout the Twin Cities. In addition to directing and teaching, Leah works as Children’s Theatre Company’s Teen Programs Coordinator. Later this summer Leah will direct a production of Charlotte’s Web for Stages Theatre Company and will direct Helen, a contemporary adaptation of a Helen of Troy myth, for 20% Theatre Company this winter. Leah has been dreaming of this play for over two years and counts herself unbelievably blessed to be working with such an inspiring family of artists to bring this dream to life. Love to my mom and dad who read me Shakespeare alongside Dr. Seuss, to my sister for bringing magic into my life, and to Kieran, my husband and my rock, my favorite actor in the world and the man of my dreams.

Taylor Norton (Assistant Director) :  Taylor Norton is a recent graduate from the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. She began directing in her sophomore year of high school when she volunteered to direct John Pielmeier’s Agnes of God. Since then, she has worked as either an actor or director with Youth Performance Company, The Children’s Theatre Company, The Guthrie, Double Edge Theatre Company, the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, the British American Drama Academy, and Upright Egg Theatre Company, but this is her first time working in a park! Next year, Taylor will be enrolled in the directing program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She would like to thank Leah for this invaluable opportunity, and her family for their endless support.

Carey Morrison (Stage Manager) : Carey grew up in that most vast of entertainment capitols, North Dakota. Primarily a performer and a dramaturg, Carey holds BAs in Theater and History from Bethel University and an MA with Distinction in Drama Research from the University of Exeter, UK. She is thrilled to be working with the amazing artists at Upright Egg once again after performing with them in The Love Project in 2007. Other theatrical credits include Pangea World Theater, 20% Theater Company, and Heritage Theater Company. Carey is also a founding member of Theater Terra Firma. Many thanks to the company and crew of Midsummer; you have inspired me every day!

Lisa Conley (Costume Designer) : Lisa Conley is giddy to design for the Egg and work with a number of her Hamline University classmates again. Since undergrad she obtained her MFA in design from the University of Georgia and spent time studying traditional Commedia Dell’Arte mask making in Italy. She is now the Exhibit Props Specialist at the Minnesota Children’s Museum and designs locally. Past credits include: The Baltimore Waltz; Emerald and the Love Song of the Dead Fishermen; Medea: A Noh Cycle; Panache; The Changeling; At the Beginning…; The Duchess of Malfi; and a variety of shows for Camp Snoopy (for which she also built mascot costumes).


Egeus Bob Hammel
Philostrate Joel Thingvall
Theseus John Egan
Hippolyta Lindsey Cacich
Demetrius Avi Aharoni
Hermia Kendall Kent
Lysander Nate Cameron
Helena Renee Roden
Robin Starveling Anika Taylor
Nick Bottom Bryan Grosso
Snug Josh Vogen
Tom Snout Kelsey Cramer
Peter Quince Mandy Morgan
Frances Flute Tim Daly
Oberon Corby Kelly
Titania Rachel Weber
The Changeling Child Sierrah DiCosimo
Cellist Collin Trude
Birch Charlotte Hughes
Chickweed Connor Thomas
Foxglove Danielle Socha
Rowan Emily Chang
Hyacinth Heather Burmeister
Tansy Katy Perkins
Willow Kevin Fehlen
Peaseblossom Kieran Adcock-Starr
Puck Larissa Shea
Thistle Lexi Duffy
Moth Loren O’Brien
Cobweb Matt Riggs
Cereus Michael Phommasak
Syringa Michelle Lutz
Thorne Nikki Akingbasote
Mustardseed Paul Rutledge
Bonsai Tony Williams

Anika Taylor (Robin Starveling) : After graduating Macalester College with a B.A. in Theatre, Anika Taylor has been wandering in and around various projects and companies in the Twin Cities theatre world. While this is her first Eggventure, she has performed and directed for a number of companies, including 3AM Productions, 20% Theatre Company, CLIMB Theatre, and Omega Wolf Productions. When not in production, Anika can be found exploring the world of educational theatre and SCIENCE at the Bakken Museum. Anika would like to thank the team.

Avi Aharoni (Demetrius) : Avi Aharoni is super ecstatic to make his Upright Egg debut doing a show filled to the brim with laughter, alongside one of the most talented casts he has ever worked with (Is that enough sucking up?). But seriously folks, let’s be serious here, what an amazing experience! Aharoni has also worked with Children’s Theater Co., Theater Or, Theater Latte Da, Stages Theater Co., Center Playhouse, and 3am Productions. What else is there to say? How about… “I’m sick of following my dreams man. I’m just gonna ask where they’re going, and hook up with ‘em later.” -Mitch Hedberg

Bob Hammel (Egeus) : Robert C. Hammel is an actor, designer, director, and film maker. Trained as a theatrical designer, he spent a decade performing and designing at regional theaters such as: the Barter Theater in Virginia, Academy Theater in Atlanta, and the Area Stage in Washington DC. As actor he has performed locally with: Hard Cover Theatre, Gremlin Theater, Nimbus, Theater in the Round, Crabapple, Park Square Theater, ETC, Youth Performance Company, No Refunds Theater, and the Illusion Theater, among others. He has worked as a commercial film director and editor, founding his own production company, Perimeter Productions in 1992. He is currently in post production for a documentary on dance: “Solo” and a short Dance-Film “The Path is Hidden” featuring Ranee Ramaswamy, Artistic Director of Ragamala Dance Theater. This summer marks his feature film debut with the lead role in the independent film “In Clamatore”.

Bryan Grosso (Nick Bottom) : (Upright Egg Company Member) Bryan is tickled pink to be playing Nick Bottom with UE this summer! He has worked with companies such as 20% Theatre Company, Savage Umbrella, and The National Theatre for Children. Bryan directed The Magnitude of a Freckle for Upright Egg last year as part of Quickies 2009, and hopes to bring it back in the near future. Bryan enjoys playing in the rain, G-chatting and lying in the grass.

Charlotte Hughes (Birch) : Charlotte Hughes, 14, is playing the role of a Faerie in our play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream! She has just graduated from eighth grade at Lake Country School and is excited about going into ninth at Saint Paul Academy. An enthusiastic actress, she has participated in every school play since she can remember, and was in the community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof with Morris Park Players. Her favorite role in a play so far has been Rosalind in As You Like It just this last January. New to the Upright Egg Theater Company, Charlotte met Leah, Midsummer’s wonderful director, while taking her class at the Children’s Theater, then through Leah, was introduced to a whole different world. Of faeries, love, plays, and magic, Midsummer has unfolded.

Collin Trude (Cellist): Collin recently graduated from Hamline University with a B.A. in psychology. In case you’re wondering, he’s been playing the violoncello for 11 years. At Hamline, he played in both the orchestra and cello ensemble. Before working on Midsummer, he wrote the score for Mari Troshynski’s short film “Masks” and select music for a production of the children’s play Fool of the World. In the future, he hopes to go to graduate school to pursue a degree in clinical psychology.

Connor Thomas (Chickweed): Connor is very excited to do Midsummer. It’s his first real Shakespeare show. He has done little scenes from Shakespeare but never an actual show. He is so glad that his first time is with such a magical cast and a wonderful director and crew. A little fun fact, Connor has been a Fairy for his whole life and now he can really express himself as he really is.

Corby Kelly (Oberon) : Corby comes most recently from the San Francisco Bay area, where he took classes at the American Conservatory Theater and trained with Jeffrey Bihr. Since moving to Minneapolis he’s worked with Starting Gate, Theater in the Round, Bedlam Theater, and the Soap Factory. He’s currently studying with Raye Birk as part of the Actor’s Workout at the Guthrie. Later this summer he’ll be acting in his first feature film  Souvenirs, starring James Cromwell. He’s currently employed teaching ancient Greek and Latin at the University of St. Thomas. This is his first crack at performing Shakespeare (and hopefully not his last!).

Danielle Socha (Foxglove) : Danielle Socha, age 13, has just completed eighth grade at Nova Classical Academy. She has appeared in many productions, including Baseball Saved Us (Stages Theatre and Mu Performing Arts), Walleye Kid (Theatre Mu), and Heartbeat of the Drum (SteppingStone Theatre). She is a member of the conservatory acting program at Stages Theatre and has previously performed with the Children’s Theatre Junior Company. She sings with the Giovani Choir of Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera and is a piano student of Galina Ikhareva. Danielle enjoys fishing, canoeing and camping. She plays soccer with the St. Paul Blackhawks and swims with the YWCA’s Piranhas.

Emily Chang (Rowan) : Emily Chang is fifteen years old and is a professional piano accompanist. She is an experimental photographer, writer, and actress and has won a Gold Key award for poetry and a Silver Key award for photography. Her first theatre production was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at her high school. Her second theatre production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Upright Egg Theatre Company. Emily recommends putting soda in water bottles to make it look like water, even though it isn’t.

Heather Burmeister (Hyacinth) : Heather Burmeister is currently a student at Hamline University and is in the process of receiving a BA in Theatre Arts and Psychology. Heather has performed in many mainstage shows at Hamline’s Anne Simley Theatre including Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Urinetown (Hope Cladwell), The Marvelous Misadventures of Baba Yaga (Katya), and most recently The Ash Girl (Lust). This is her first time working with the Upright Egg Theater Company, and feels extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing cast of people.

Joel Thingvall (Philostrate) : Joel spent two summers in the late ’60s and three summers in the late ’70s performing outdoor Shakespeare. He once was Iggy the Iguana for the Saturday Science Museum Clubhouse and performed magic shows as Merlin the Magician for Burger King. An original member of The Playwrights Lab, he returns to performance after an absence of nearly 30 years spent in the realm of journalistic writing.

John Egan (Theseus) : This is John’s first show with Upright Egg and he’s enjoyed every part of it. He wishes to thank the cast and creative team for making this a wonderful process through and through. This is also his first Shakespeare play in a park. “What a treat to be able to say you’re working while you sit in the grass and see the most beautiful words ever written acted out in front of you, as the sun sets behind a city skyline.” John has been a working actor and educator in MN for one year and can also be seen this summer in MISMATCHED an interactive kids play at the Fringe Festival or this fall at Park Square Theater in THE LAST SEDER.

Josh Vogen (Snug) : Josh has been acting in the Twin Cities since graduating from St. Olaf in 2007. He has been lucky enough to work with some wonderful groups including Swandive Theatre Company, 20% Theatre Company, Workhouse Theatre, Kaleidoscope Theatre Company and Cromulent Shakespeare Company and is very proud and excited to add Upright Egg to the list!

Katy Perkins (Tansy) : Katy (better known in the fairy world as Tansy) was born in between the two biggest oaks of the forest, and grew up largely among the ladybugs and aphids; as she was only the size of an acorn, they made good friends. She spends most of her days running and jumping from bower to bower and messing with various humans who wander into her territory. With her cohorts Cereus and Syringa, she pretty much rules the lower west part of the forest. In the name of Oberon and Titania, of course.

Kelsey Cramer (Tom Snout) : Kelsey Cramer thinks playing a mechanical is a great way to start one’s summer. She’s been having a joyful time playing with this boisterous Midsummer family, and would like to thank Upright Egg for being such a wonderful, welcoming, and inspiring introduction to Twin Cities theatre. Since graduating from St. Olaf College, Kelsey has worked with Upright Egg, Jungle Theater, Guthrie Theater, 20% Theatre Company, and the Perpich Center for Arts Education, where she currently works as a teaching assistant.

Kendall Kent (Hermia) : Kendall is thrilled to be spending her summer working and playing with Shakespeare’s beautiful words in the park! Recently she was seen in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ at Stages Theatre Co. and ‘columbinus’ at CTC. You can catch her next in ‘A Christmas Story’ this fall, also at CTC. “Thank you to my family for their endless support, my cast for taking pains to be perfect and our audience for letting us share our world with you. ENJOY!”

Kevin Fehlen (Willow) : Kevin Fehlen has always dreamed of being in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and couldn’t be more happy about making his Upright Egg debut in what he believes to be one of the greatest plays of all time. He is also thrilled to be working under the direction of the lovely Leah Adcock-Starr once again, as well as working with many of his friends and favorite people. Having grown up on a farm in the outstretches of Wisconsin, Kevin has always been very connected to the Earth, and being able to do this show is well worth the two hour commute he puts in every rehearsal.

Kieran Adcock-Starr (Peaseblossom) : Kieran is a restaurant manager by day and fearsome fairy of theatrical ferocity by night. His flights of fancy have found him frolicking throughout the Cities with Theatre in the Round Players, Commedia Beauregard, Glasshouse Theatre, Teatro del Pueblo, and Starting Gate Theatre. This is not his first time performing in Midsummer, but it is his first in fey form. Thanks to the Egg for the fun, to Midas for the fur, and to Leah for the future.

Larissa Shea (Puck) : (Upright Egg Company Member) Oh Hi! Larissa Shea was first introduced to Upright Egg and director Leah Adcock-Starr several summers ago while also portraying a naughty fairy (Tempest/Chameleon Theatre Circle). You could say she has come full fairy-circle. Larissa has been playing with UE ever since, having just completed her first year as a full-fledged company member. Her inaugural year has been busy with performances in several UE productions including Weight of the World (snake/bird/ocean), Magnitude of a Freckle (mom), and Present Project: A Holiday CaberEGG (rag doll). Larissa’s other Twin Cities’ credits include Red Letter Theatre’s Phaedra’s Love (Strophe) and Nimbus’ Henry IV (Frida). Watch for Larissa next in VENUS, a story about pancakes and volcanoes produced by Upright Egg and NYC-based Superhero Clubhouse.

Lexi Duffy (Thistle) : Lexi Duffy is thrilled to be a part of Upright Egg’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Some of Lexi’s previous roles include: Perfect in CTC’s production of columbinus, Susan in The Heidi Chronicles, Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Lola in Damn Yankees!, and Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. She has also choreographed an Opera show in association with the Minnesota Opera, and taken on the supporting role of Rosalia in the same production. Lexi is also in the rehearsal process of The Who’s: Tommy!, set to open with CTC this August!

Lindsey Cacich (Hippolyta) : Lindsey Cacich is a local director, actor, and educator. As an actor she has performed with The Children’s Theatre Company, Piccolo Theatre, Plasticene, Center for Hmong Arts and Talent, and the Bedlam Theatre. Lindsey made her directing debut this past winter with Pedestrian Casualty: Bronx, USA for 20% Theatre Company. For 2 years, she was mentored in directing by Marion McClinton, assisting him on productions throughout the Twin Cities at Pillsbury House Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company, Mixed Blood, and Ten Thousand Things; as well as theaters in Kansas City and New York. As a teacher, Lindsey focuses primarily on social justice theater and the creation of original plays by youth, which she has done with Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul Central High School, and Pillsbury House Theatre. Lindsey holds a B.A. in theater from Loyola University Chicago.

Loren O’Brien (Moth) : This is Loren O’Brien’s first show with Upright Egg. He has previously performed with Leah Adcock-Star in “Alice in Wonderland” with Stages Theatre Company, along with several other shows at Stages. He also enjoys playing and writing music in his free time. Thank you to my wonderful friends who are all so supportive and my awesome parents for driving me to rehearsals. “I do believe in faeries.”

Mandy Morgan (Peter Quince) : (Upright Egg Company Member)

(A sonnet.)

Shall I recap my history with this art?

Well, theatre was an early love of mine-

At eight I played a boy, and thus my start,

Followed by witches, queens, maids, even canine.*

At college I cantered to and fro, from

Social work to anthropology and

Yet somehow I just knew the day would come

When I to my first love would fin’lly land.

Although our love was great, it was wayward

And danced we in and out of this jumble

Then one day, whilst together, it occurred

That upon an Egg did we stumble.

Inside was family, magic and true love

See for yourself, this world become part of.

*Feminine ending, for although my first role at the ripe age of 8 was one of a young boy; I am in fact a girl. Just to clarify.

Matt Riggs (Cobweb) - (Upright Egg Company Member) Matt Riggs is a founding member of Upright Egg Theatre Company. Past Project work the company includes The After Life Project (Director), The Love Project (Director), The Chuck Mee Project (Creative Collaborator/Set Design), The Eight (Director/Actor), Dreaming Project (Ensemble Member/Puppet Design), The Hope Moment (Ensemble Member/Puppet Design), Uranus (Actor), A Dastardly Tale of Skullduggery and Shenanigans (Playwright/Ensemble Member, The Hit and Run (Director), reCollect (Director/Co-Playwright), Venus: The Workshop (Ensemble Member), Magnitude of a Freckle (Ensemble Member), The Weight of The World (Ensemble Member), and A Holiday Cabar-Egg (Ensemble Member). Outside acting credits include Live Action Set, MN Jewish Theatre, Lone Wolf Tribe (New York), and Youth Performance Company (Puppet/Mask Design). Matthew is a graduate of Hamline University and the O’Neil National Theatre Institute. In addition to his theatre work, Matthew is also a teaching artist working with students in grades K-12 all over the twin cities metro area and beyond.

Michael Phommasak (Cereus): Born from an old birch tree stump that was in the middle of the forest. Friends with Tansy and Syringa who met on a whim one day when he was counting how much grass was in the forest. A lover of tall grasses, theater, fire (from a distance), his left leg, and singing.

Michelle Lutz (Syringa) : Michelle will be a senior theatre arts major and communications minor at Hamline University this fall. Acting credits include Until Someone Wakes Up, Trojan Women, Fool of the World, and Romeo and Juliet. She also stage managed Urinetown: The Musical and will be directing Until Someone Wakes Up, a play that educates students about sexual violence, in the fall. This is her first show with Upright Egg and she is incredibly excited to share Midsummer with the world.

Nate Cameron (Lysander) : Nate is delighted to be in his first production with Upright Egg Theater Company, taking on the role of Lysander. You may have seen him in Children’s Theater’s columbinus, Cinderella, or The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Maybe you saw him in all 3, like his mother did! (She has always wanted to be mentioned in one of Nate’s bios.) He is a senior at Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Artists where he is studying theater and hopes to pursue it as a career in the future. He hopes to attend college for a BFA in theater, but going to college, period, would be good enough for him. He would like to thank everyone that is/has made his summer. You know who you are. ;)

Nikki Akingbasote (Thorne) : Nikki is very ecstatic to be performing in Midsummer with Upright Egg Theater Company! She has met many wonderful people in this process, and adores them all. She would specifically like to thank Carey for being a rockstar SM, Leah and Taylor for their beautiful ideas, her twinner, Lexi Duffy, and her magical cast. Adieu (adieu….adieu)!

Paul Rutledge (Mustardseed) : Paul Rutledge is so excited to make his debut with Upright Egg as Mustardseed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Having recently come off a two year tour of Papua New Guinea with his unicycle ventriloquism act, Paul’s recent exploits have included sword swallowing, fire eating, and playing the title role in Annie. After failing out of barber college and clown college, Paul attended Hamline University. Thanks to the cast and crew!

Rachel Weber (Titania) : This is Rachel’s debut with Upright Egg Theatre Company! She is thrilled to be performing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a play that has long held a spot on her Dream Show List! Thank you to Leah and the team for this opportunity and unlimited creativity, to the audience for bringing the magic full circle, and to her ridiculously talented cast mates for truly being her faerie family. So much love!

Renee Roden (Helena) :  The sole essential fact you need to know regarding Renee is that she possesses the recipe for limitless and euphoric bliss, namely: cookie dough brownies. Renee is thrilled beyond all comprehension to have the opportunity and privilege of working on this Dream of a project! It’s truly been a blessing and a joy. Many, many thanks to all the beautiful people who made this play come to life!

Sierrah DiCosimo (The Changeling Child) : Sierrah is 6. She has taken 6 months of acting school through ACT and 4 years of dance including jazz, tap and ballet. She is currently represented by Talent Poole agency. She has a little brother, Caleb, and loves to sing, act, and dance around. She has just completed kindergarten in Centerville, MN.

Tim Daly (Francis Flute) : (Upright Egg Company Member) This is Tim’s Umpteenth Production with the Egg. When not doing theatre, Tim bites the buttons off the backs of taxi cab seats, and is a studied pointillist artist. He designed the original FedEx logo, a cowboy hat with wings that has since been replaced. He has no hard feelings. Next up for Tim is a production of Thundercats the Movie the musical the game. He’s designing the repeating landscape backgrounds.

Tony Williams (Bonsai) : Tony Williams is 17 years old and is a Junior at Southwest High School in Minneapolis. He loves acting, signing, and rapping. You can check out his music at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Abyss/369581845856?ref=ts. You may have seen him in many roles in the Metro area, most recently as Bert in Prufrock Theatre Company’s “”Landscape of the Body””. Tony is thrilled to be involved in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and to be working with such a talented cast and directing team. He would like to thank his parents, for all the support they’ve given his acting and crazier endeavors over the years.”