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April 20 – May 20, 2018




Book by Mem Fox. Illustrated by Leslie Staub. Script by Jeannine Coulombe. Music and lyrics by Aaron Gabriel. Music arranged and mixed by Eric Warner. Script compiled in part with writing from students in the St Paul Public Schools of Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented, JJ Hill Montessori and Mississippi Creative Arts and the Robbinsdale District School of FAIR School Pilgrim Lane/Crystal. Directed by  Melanie Salmon-Peterson

This spring we bring to life the poignantly inspiring story-poem by the popular, best-selling children’s author, Mem Fox. Every day, everywhere, all over the world, “Joys are the same, and love is the same, pain is the same, and blood is the same. Smiles are the same, and hearts are just the same.” Come with us as we soar to the heart of imagination with a world-premiere musical adaptation that weaves across cultures and generations to celebrate the bond that unites us all.

RUN TIME: Approximately 1 hour with no intermission. Seating begins 30 minutes prior to show time.

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox is produced with permission of the author.


In alphabetical order:  Simone Alexa (Sam), Alexandra Arrell (Nool), Dasha Berezhanskiy (Mar), Celia Birgy (Shiloh), Tristan A Brown (Cloud Cowboy), Michael Culbertson (Reenie), Lucy Daniels (Ray), Mia Dougherty (Jo), Edric Duffy (Alex), Hailey  Felt (Shi), Jasmine Garry (Mol), Soren Miller (Cari), Elycia Morales (Lan), Sylvie Hooker Reese (Lu), Israh H Ugas (Neenee) and Annarose Woelm (Cici)


Artistic Director – Sandy Boren-Barrett
Director – Melanie Salmon-Peterson
Stage Manager – Bridget Gustafson
Set Designer – Tiffany Fier
Technical Director – Jim Hibbeler
Lighting Designer – Mike Kittel
Music Director – James Lekatz
Resident Costumer – Lisa Mangone
Props Designer – Kenji Shoemaker
Choreographer – Nikki Swoboda
Assistant Director – Katie Tuminelly
Costume & Make Up Designer – Mary Woll



Selections from Mem Fox WHOEVER YOU ARE  © 2017-2018 Stages Theatre Company • All Rights Reserved. Music and lyrics by Aaron Gabriel. Music arranged and mixed by Eric Warner

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

In this section you will find:





  • FUN FACT: Did you know the script for WHOEVER YOU ARE was compiled in part with writing from students in the St Paul Public Schools of Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented, JJ Hill Montessori and Mississippi Creative Arts and the Robbinsdale District School of FAIR School Pilgrim Lane/Crystal?


MEM FOX (AUTHOR) – Mem Fox is a retired Associate Professor of Literacy Studies (Flinders University, South Australia), and also Australia’s most highly regarded picture-book author.

Her first publication, Possum Magic, is the best-selling children’s book in Australia. It is thirty four years old this year and is still available in hard-back. She has written many other internationally best-selling books for children including Time for Bed, Where Is The Green Sheep? and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, a copy of which was Australia’s official gift to Prince George, the new royal baby.

Mem has also written several non-fiction books for adults, including her renowned book for parents: Reading Magic. Her books have been translated into nineteen languages. She has received many civic honors and awards, and three honorary doctorates. She lives in Adelaide, South Australia, but leaps around a bit as an advocate for literacy and literature. VISIT:

Jeannine CoulombeJEANNINE COULOMBE (PLAYWRIGHT) – Jeannine is a theatre artist, playwright and educator. She has directed over twenty theatre productions in the Twin Cities and in past seasons for Stages Theatre Company, she has directed The Diary of Anne FrankLilly’s Purple Plastic PurseZen Ties(Co-Directed), The Miraculous Journey of Edward TulaneNumber the Stars, and Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. As a playwright, she has authored more than a dozen full-length original plays and numerous shorter works. Her plays have been seen in the Twin Cities, New York, Chicago, California, Atlanta, Colorado, and Iowa. She wrote the adaptations of Stages Theatre Company’s productions of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Starry River of the Sky, Zen Shorts and Zen Ties She was the book writer and lyricist for Stages’ adaptation of One Dog Canoe, I Love You, Stinky Face and Stone Soup. Her work has been published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus, and Heinemann. Jeannine received her BFA in Acting and her BA in History from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and her MFA from the Playwrights’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. She was a founding member of the Twin Cities’ company, Theatre Unbound and a member of the Workhaus Playwrights Collective for 10 years. Jeannine has been a teaching artist for almost two decades and has been on the education staff at Stages Theatre Company since 2008 and became the Conservatory Director in 2011. In 2014, she became Stages’ Manager of New Play Development.

MELANIE SALMON-PETERSON (DIRECTOR) – AT STC: “Wow – I have done a lot of jobs here; teaching, house management; volunteer coordination, stage management, props design, production management, directing, touring.  I’ve been the production manager for well over 100 shows, many more in our partnership with FAIR School.  In the past few years, I’ve directed Stone Soup, Swimmy, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Bear Snores On, and at FAIR School Crystal James & the Giant Peach Jr & Lion King Jr.” Favorite Play or Musical at STC: Favorite I cannot pick, but several are special to me for a variety of reasons – Stone Soup for its dedication to community service and the wonderful opportunity to perform a the Ivey Awards.  Swimmy-stunning design work and a wonderful ensemble with which to create,  Dandelion Seed as our first TFVY, working with Jim & Nate & Abbee to create it; Zen Shorts for its zen-like process, so peaceful and beautiful to work on; Edward Tulane for its visual beauty;  How I Became a Pirate – both here and on the tour to Bath, England; You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, beautiful, entertaining and so much talent. Wow, I better stop now.  I could go on.


AARON GABRIEL (COMPOSER) – Aaron Gabriel most recently composed the scores for Mixed Blood/Footprints Collective’s Vet’s Play Project, Interact Theater’s Madame Josette’s Naughty and Nice and Sugar and Spice, By the Seat of Our Pants, Work of Heart, Hot Jazz at da Funky Butt, and Madame Majesta’s Miracle Medicine Show (for which he won a 2010 Ivey Award.) Aaron has composed for the Stages Theater Company’s productions of Number the Stars, Starry River of the Sky, Owl Moon and Princess Academy. Aaron has worked with theaters throughout the Twin Cities including Theater Latte Da, Guthrie Theater, Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Illusion Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Minnesota Opera, Nautilus Music Theater and Chicago Avenue Project. His new album LISTEN is available on ITunes and VISIT:


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