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FISH IN A TREE – OCTOBER 5 – 28, 2018


OCTOBER 5 – 28, 2018   (AGES 7+)



Based on the book FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group LLC.

Adaptation written by Jeannine Coulombe

“Everybody is a genius . But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein.” Sixth-grader, Ally, has been clever in covering up her inability to read. She feels her problem is hopeless because how can you cure dumb? Her newest teacher, Mr. Daniels, however, sees the bright and creative kid she hides and helps Ally see that her dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. This emotionally-charged and uplifting story highlights that everyone is more than a label and great minds don’t always think alike. Our world premiere adaptation is brought to life in our JC Studio this fall.

RUN TIME: Approximately 90 MINUTES with no intermission.


In alphabetical order: Halima Bigirindavyi (Shay), Dominic Dunn (Albert), Gretchen Emo (Mom), Amy Horn (Ming Bao), Reilly McGannon (Jessica), Alison Mitchell (Ally), Matt Ouren (Mr Daniels), Natalie Richardson-Wymore (Miranda), Spencer Snyder (Max), Jonah Stelljes (Oliver), Jack Sullivan (Travis), Tiahna Wolfe-Shields (Keisha), and Victoria Zamorano (Maya)



Artistic Director: Sandy Boren-Barrett
Director: Matt Sciple
Stage Manager: Kenji Shoemaker
Production Manager: Melanie Salmon-Peterson
Props Designer: Kim Ford
Lighting Designer: Grant E. Merges
Sound Designer: Peter Morrow
Technical Director: Alan Pagel
Costume & Make Up Designer: Stacey Palmer
Set Designer: Erica Zaffarano


Friday, October 5 7 PM
Saturday, October 6 1 PM
Sunday, October 7 1 & 4 PM

Wednesday, October 10 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Thursday, October 11 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Friday, October 12 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Saturday, October 13 1 & 7 PM
Sunday, October 14 1 & 4 PM

Tuesday, October 16 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Wednesday, October 17 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Thursday, October 18 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Friday, October 19 7 PM
Saturday, October 20 1 & 7 PM
Sunday, October 21 1 & 4 PM

Tuesday, October 23 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Wednesday, October 24 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Thursday, October 25 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Friday, October 26 10 AM & 7 PM
Saturday, October 27 10 AM & 1 PM (10 AM Sensory Friendly)
Sunday, October 28 1 PM


Pay What You Can Performance: Sunday, October 7,1pm
Sensory Friendly Public Performance: Saturday, October 27, 10am


Make the Most of Your Experience at the Theatre!  Check back for updates.

In this section you will find:

  • SHOW BACKGROUND – See below




Set design for Fish in a Tree at Stages Theatre Company (2018). Set Designer: Erica Zaffarano

Set design for Fish in a Tree at Stages Theatre Company (2018). Set Designer: Erica Zaffarano


Based on the book FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group LLC.

Adaptation written by Jeannine Coulombe



Matt has worked as a theater artist and educator in the Twin Cities for over 25 years. Born in Baton Rouge, Matt earned an Acting BFA from S.M.U. in Dallas, then moved to Minneapolis, where, in addition to acting and writing , he has directed more than 75 plays at theaters across Minnesota and beyond, including: Ten Thousand Things: Waiting for Godot; MN Opera: The Emperor of Atlantis; Park Square Theater: Proof, Dead Man’s Cell PhoneExperiment with an Air Pump; Jon Hassler Theater:The Pillowman, Seascape; Theatre Pro Rata: Henry V, Loudmouth Collective: Waiting for Waiting for Godot; Hamline University: Rimers of Eldritch; Macalester College (where he has also taught acting): Romeo and Juliet;  and Gremlin Theater Orson’s Shadow (which won an IVEY for Best Ensemble in 2008.) Matt is currently writing the book and lyrics for All This Useless Beauty, working as a Teaching Artist with Upstream Arts (teaching social and communication skills thru the arts to adults and children with disabilities) and as an actor with ProCrisis (teaching de-escalation techniques to law enforcement professionals.)


Lynda Mullaly Hunt is the author of New York Times bestseller, Fish in a Tree, which is on thirty-three state award lists and One for the Murphys, which is on thirty-one state award lists. She’s a former teacher, and holds writers retreats for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, two children, impetuous beagle, and beagle-loathing cat.

Lynda is the youngest of five children and grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut where she loved skateboarding, climbing trees, playing baseball and seeing everything there was to see on her bike. She attended the University of Connecticut and graduated with two degrees in education. She was a third-grade teacher until after the birth of her daughter when she left teaching to stay home with her. After the birth of her son, she began writing books for children. Her debut novel, One for the Murphys, was published in 2012. Her second novel, Fish in a Tree was published in 2015.

Lynda says about her writing, “My books are about really decent kids who find themselves in unthinkable circumstances, but have the bravery and grit to walk themselves out of it.”

She hopes her readers will learn to approach others with compassion and for readers who have not been blessed in their circumstances—who have had a difficult time of it—will realize that they are not alone. She hopes readers will know that they can create any life they want for themselves no matter how their lives have started out. They just need to decide—and then they need to act.

Courtesy of and

Jeannine CoulombeJEANNINE COULOMBE (Playwright)

Jeannine Coulombe is a playwright and theatre artist based in Minnesota. 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 Crenshaw based on the book by Katherine Applegate. In her adaptation of Mary Casanova’s One Dog Canoe, Jeannine wrote the musical’s book and adapted lyrics using the music from the Okee Dokee Brother’s album Can You Canoe? She has teamed up twice with composer Michael Gruber in the adaptations of I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt and the folktale Stone Soup where she wrote the book and co-authored the lyrics. Jeannine’s 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.

Photos by Steve Fischer of Fischeye Films

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt is produced with the permission of the author.

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