When you go to school in a cultural hotbed like the Twin Cities, the world of theater and dance opens up to you.

Macalester students greatly benefit from being part of a college located in a vibrant arts community. Mac’s Theatre and Dance Department students regularly attend plays and dance performances and get to meet and work with actors, playwrights, dancers, choreographers, and other Twin Cities performing arts professionals. Here’s what a few of those lucky students have to say about the opportunities they’ve had:

Zoe Michael '13 in the "Inland Sea"“I’ve worked with at least nine visiting actors, directors, and theater artists that the Theatre and Dance Department has invited to various classes, productions, and workshops I’ve been a part of. I have continued to keep up with their work, use them as job resources, and even befriend them through the years. It’s invaluable to have these artistic connections to the Twin Cities. These people have been my bridge into our local artistic scene, and have grounded my education in enthusiasm and reality. I’ve also seen more than 15 productions in the Twin Cities with the department. They have introduced me to many venues and artists that I’ve grown to love, respect, and work with.
—Zoe Michael ’13 (Santa Fe, N.M.)
Theater major, music minor

Will French '13 performing in "The Inland Sea."“I continue to be amazed at the strong connections the Macalester Theatre and Dance Department has with the local arts community. Through their connections, I’ve had so many opportunities to see all kinds of different, exciting work. I get to meet incredible artists and have frank conversations with them about the challenging yet inspiring work that they do. And I love that the large, diverse arts scene has such a tight-knit community.
—Will French ’13 (Paradise Valley, Ariz.)
Theatre and English double major

Josie Ahrens“It’s easy to become involved in the dance community outside Macalester. I’ve seen dance shows at companies ranging in styles from contemporary to traditional Indian, taken master classes with renowned dancers and choreographers, and have performed in pieces choreographed by professional dancers. The Twin Cities is a hub in the American dance world, and as a Macalester student I’ve able to become part of that special community.”
—Josie Ahrens ’14 (Los Angeles)
Geography major, American studies minor


What are those theaters and who are those arts professionals that Mac students get to meet? Following is a list, by no means comprehensive, of some of the guest speakers and performances that have enriched our students’ educations.

Guest lecturers/instructors

    Zenon Dance Company

    Zenon Dance Company

  • Olive Bierenga, co-director, BodyCartography
  • Ranee Ramaswamy, artistic director, Ragamala Dance
  • Megan Flood, dancer and massage therapist working with cancer patients, Regions Hospital
  • Zenon Dance Company
  • Joshua Tobiessen, playwright, University of California-San Diego
  • Kurt Schweickhardt, actor/director, Meisner instructor, and theater director, Normandale Community College
  • Heidi Ricks, actor and occupational therapist
  • Bob Rosen

    Bob Rosen

  • Bob Rosen, founder of Theatre de la Jeune Lune
  • Shawn McConneloug and Bob Rosen, Studio 206, performance art incubator
  • Playwright Naomi Wallace, author of The Inland Sea, performed at Macalester in 2011
  • Michael Croswell, composer and musician, sound design, The Inland Sea
  • Lucinda Holshue, Guthrie Theatre dialect coach
  • Maria McNamara, professional properties designer
  • Annie Enneking, choreographer and certified fight artist
  • Renu Cappelli ’9, PhD in Performance Studies from UC–Berkeley and a Stanford Visiting Humanities Scholar
  • Isabel Nelson, artistic director and cofounder, Transatlantic Love Affair theatre company
  • Vladimir Rovinsky, cofounder, Theatre Novi Most
  • Sonja Kuftinec, professor of theatre and dance, University of Minnesota
  • Leif Jurgensen, Neighborhood BRIDGES Program, Minnesota Children’s Theatre
  • Aditi Kapil '94

    Aditi Kapil '94

  • Amanda Friou ’03, assistant director of The Birds, Guthrie Theatre
  • Andrea Heilman ’02, professional scenic and lighting designer
  • Aditi Kapil ’94, playwright and director
  • Melissa Hart and David Anthony Brinkley, actors in the Guthrie Theatre production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • Gulgun Kayim, Minneapolis director of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy


    Ragamala Dance

    Ragamala Dance

  • Ragamala Dance, Sacred Earth, The Cowles Center
  • Story/Time, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Walker Art Center
  • One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show, staged reading of a play by Aditi Kapil ’94, The Playwrights’ Center
  • Flesh and the Desert, The Playwrights’ Center
  • Crashing the Party, Mixed Blood Theatre Company
  • The Pride, Pillsbury House Theatre
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Guthrie Theatre
  • Hamlet, Jungle Theater
  • Neighbors, Mixed Blood Theatre
  • Two Trains Running, Penumbra Theater
  • Walker Art Center

    Walker Art Center

  • Burial at Thebes, Guthrie Theater
  • Ajax in Iraq, Frank Theater, The Playwrights’ Center
  • Cunningham/Rauschenberg Exhibit, Walker Art Center
  • Three Artists, The Soap Factory
  • Art, Politics and Censorship Discussion, The Soap Factory
  • The Dvorak Project, Czech Cultural Center
  • Pedro Reyes: Baby Marx, Walker Art Center

May 8 2012

Back to top