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CRENSHAW at Stages Theatre Company


April 27 – May 19, 2018




Based on the book by Katherine Applegate. Originally published by Macmillan Children’s Publishing. Written by Jeannine Coulombe. Directed by Jon Ferguson.

This magically engaging story, proving that family, friendship and resilience are found in the heart of the imagination, will grace our Hopkins Jaycees Studio in April & May. Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and…he’s imaginary. This unforgettable creature comes into 10 year old Jackson’s life to help him and his family as they fall on hard times and may have to live in their minivan…again. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything? This world premiere adaptation, based on the touching book by the Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan, confirms that friends matter—whether real or imaginary.


RUN TIME: Approximately 85 minutes with no intermission.


In alphabetical order – Max Aasen (Jackson), Emily Anose (Marisol), Benjamin Boudewyns (Flashback Jackson), Ronan Guevara (Ensemble), Anna Hickey (Mom), Aymara Johnson (Robin), Joshua Larson (Dad), Alyra Nicholson (Ensemble), Gavin Nienaber (Ensemble), Roy Richardson (Crenshaw), Natalie Richardson-Wymore (Ensemble) and Madeline Sundheim (Ensemble)


Artistic Director – Sandy Boren-Barrett
Director – Jon Ferguson
Assistant Director – Cody R Braudt
Stage Manager – Emily Sullivan
Set Designer – Sarah Brandner
Tech Director – Gretchen Katt
Resident Costumer – Lisa Mangone
Lighting Designer – Grant E. Merges
Costume & Make-Up Designer – Lori Opsal
Sound Designer – Matt Ouren
Production Manager – Melanie Salmon-Peterson
Props Designer – Megan Teynor



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In this section you will find:





Katherine ApplegateKATHERINE APPLEGATE (AUTHOR) – Katherine Applegate was born in Michigan, a fact which allows her to pretend she is a hearty Midwesterner, even though she hates the cold. Katherine’s parents, a tolerant sort, allowed her to have many pets growing up, and she worked for a veterinarian in high school. She lived in Michigan, Illinois and Texas before graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Aimlessness and a minor in Indecision.

Katherine worked as a plant waterer (killed them) and a cocktail waitress (spilled them) before realizing the world would be a safer place if she’d write books instead. Since then, she’s written over 150 books for children and young adults, many in collaboration with her husband, Michael Grant. Animorphs, their long-running series, sold over 35 million copies worldwide. They don’t collaborate much anymore, because they would like to remain married.

Katherine’s recent work includes a picture book, The Buffalo Storm; an early chapter series, Roscoe Riley Rules; YA thriller Eve & Adam, which she wrote with her husband, and Home of the Brave, which won the SCBWI 2008 Golden Kite Award for Best Fiction, the Bank Street 2008 Josette Frank Award, and was a SLJ Best Book of the Year.

In 2013, Katherine won the Newbery Medal for The One and Only Ivan which she was inspired to write after reading about the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, the Shopping Mall Gorilla. The real Ivan lived alone in a tiny cage for twenty-seven years at a shopping mall before being moved to Zoo Atlanta, where he was a beloved celebrity. The One and Only Ivan has gone on to win numerous additional accolades including the Christopher Medal, an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, a nomination for the E.B. White Read Aloud Award as well as appearing in the coveted #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

Katherine is currently working on a non-fiction picture book about the real life Ivan as well as various middle grade projects. She lives near San Francisco with her husband, two children, and an array of neurotic pets.(Taken from

Jeannine CoulombeJEANNINE COULOMBE (PLAYWRIGHT) – Jeannine Coulombe is a Minnesota native, playwright and theatre artist. Her original full-length plays include Homegrown, The Mill, Hummingbirds, The Vacant Lot, Planting Shelly Anne, The Road to Santiago and Broken Peaces. She has also written numerous shorter works, including Special Talents, Picture.Cigarette. Rose Beds, Mike and Ned, With a Baby Carriage, and Fish. Her adaptations of children’s literature include Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky (both based on books by Grace Lin), Zen Shorts and Zen Ties (based on books by Jon J. Muth) and One Dog Canoe and I Love You, Stinky Face, both musical adaptations in which she wrote both the book and lyrics. Last season she teamed up with composer, Michael Gruber for Stages Theatre Company’s musical adaptation of the folktale Stone Soup. Her plays have been seen at Upright Citizens Brigade, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Manhattan Repertory, Producer’s Theatre, Stage Left, History Theatre, Stages Theatre Company, Synchronicity Theatre, Wheelock Family Theatre, Harwich Junior Theatre, Workhaus Collective, Theatre Unbound, Thirst Theatre, Minnesota Fringe, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota-Duluth, and A Theatre Group. Her work has been published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus, and Heinemann. Ms. Coulombe won the University of Iowa’s IRAM Award for Best New Play (Hummingbirds), the Maebaum Award (The Mill) and the National AIDS Fund CFDA-Vogue Initiative Award from the Kennedy Center (The Vacant Lot.) Ms. Coulombe received her MFA from the University of Iowa’s Playwrights Workshop and her BFA in Theatre and BA in History from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In addition to playwriting, Ms. Coulombe produced theatre in the Twin Cities for over twenty years. She was a founding member of the Workhaus Playwrights Collective, an ensemble of nationally known Minneapolis-based playwrights who produced innovative and highly theatrical work for a decade as the company-in-residence at the Playwrights’ Center. She was also a founding member of Theatre Unbound, a company in the Twin Cities that has been producing challenging female-centered work since 1998. Currently, Jeannine is the Manager of New Play Development and the Conservatory Director at Stages Theatre Company. In addition to playwriting, she works as a director and dramaturg.

JON FERGUSON (DIRECTOR) is from Durham in the Northeast of England. He trained at Middlesex University in London with leading physical theatre practitioner John Wright. He has worked with some of the leading theater companies and practitioners in the UK and US including Hoipolloi (UK), The John Wright Company, Told by an Idiot, Mary Zimmerman, Mark Rylance and The Guthrie Theater. He is currently based in Minneapolis, MN. Jon was named “2005 City Pages Artist of the Year”, and his production Please Don’t Blow Up Mr. Boban, with Live Action Set, was chosen by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as the “Outstanding Experimental Theater Production of 2005” and named “Best Stage Production” by the Minneapolis City Pages – Best of the Twin Cities 2006. Other awards include Sunday Times (UK) Ensemble Award, Time Out London Critic’s Choice and Victoria Fringe Festival “Best Comedy” Award. Jon has taught play, physical theater, clowning, mask and collaborative play creation throughout the UK and US, including teaching extensively for The Theatre Royal Bath, The Bristol Old Vic, The Guthrie Theater and The University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program, as well as teaching countless independent workshops. Jon is the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Forever & WLDRNSS for which he has directed and co-created all of their work since 2012 including; A Bun For a Door Handle (Forage Modern Workshop), The Brutes (The Machine Shop), Muy Very Authentic (Open Eye Figure Theater), The Big Show (Southern Theater), The Nature Crown (Guthrie Theater), Good Job Horses (Southern Theater) and The Venetian Twins (Southern Theater), When I Nod My Head You Hit it with The Hammer (Southern Theater). Selected previous work includes; Please Don’t Blow up Mr. Boban (The Soap Factory and Loring Theater), We Are Ugly But We Have the Music (Bryant Lake Bowl), Ligustrum Vulgare (Bryant Lake Bowl), Or The White Whale (Southern Theater), You’re my Favorite Kind of Pretty (Southern Theater), Animal Farm (Southern Theater), Super Monkey (Guthrie Theater), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Red Eye Theater), Ubu Roi (CSB/SJU), Cymbeline (St. Olaf College), Rhinoceros (Concordia University).

Copyright © 2015 by Katherine Applegate. Used with permission of Pippin Properties, inc.

2017/2018 Season Sponsor: Jerry's Foods and Media Partner: Twin Cities Live
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