Compulsion or the House Behind
By Rinne Groff
Hayley Finn, Director
Individual Tickets On Sale February 1, 2013
"riveting drama…a compelling foray along a thin line between idealism and fanaticism.” — San Francisco Chronicle
In 1951, a Jewish writer in America is deeply moved by Anne Frank’s diary and is earnestly determined to share her story honestly and truthfully. When he embarks on a journey rife with publishers and producers, his keen interest quickly turns to an obsession and he becomes embroiled in litigious battles that straddle a fine line between idealism and fanaticism. Compulsion or the House Behind is a rich mix of history, entertainment gossip, and one man's obsession over a young girl’s work of art that doesn't really belong to him.
An Area Premiere Production
*audio described performance
Call 651-647-4315 to inquire about ASL performance
Note: Wednesday passbook tickets will apply Sunday evenings, and Thursday passbook tickets will apply Sunday matinees and evenings.
Meet the Marionettes
In Compulsion or the House Behind, Anne Frank and her family live vividly in the writer's mind and visit him as marionettes. Although visibly small, these puppets loom large in guiding his fate. They haunt his desire to do good, yet he becomes entangled within the strings of his own insecurity and struggles to find faith in humanity, something that was at the core of Anne's existence. As time goes on, he looks increasingly to his vision of Anne as a source of inspiration. — Hayley Finn, Director
Behind the Scenes
For a glimpse of preparations for the production:
NOTE: You don’t have to have a facebook account to see these pictures.
Meet the Artists
Mark Benninghofen has been seen at the Guthrie Theater in Great Expectations, St. Joan, Cyrano, Pravda, The Wild Duck, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Time Stands Still and the world premieres of The Intelligent Homosexuals’ Guide and Appomattox. Off Broadway credits include Asian Shade and Fresh Horses at the WPA Theater, and Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center. Other credits include Riches at the Court Theatre (LA Circle Critics’ Award) Tyrone and Ralph at the History Theatre (Ivey Award), and, TV and film, Movie Stars, Frasier, Drew Carey, Larry Sanders, Chicago Hope, La Stanza Accanto.
Bethany Ford was previously seen at MJTC this past fall in Photograph 51 and in Women’s Minyan (2010). Other Twin Cities credits include work with Red Eye Theater (Hunter Gatherers), Walking Shadow Theatre Company (The Crowd You’re In With), Park Square Theatre (Rock-n-Roll), Pioneer Place Theater (The Seagull), The Directors, Urban Samurai, Theatre in the Round, Prufrock Theatre, Nimbus Theatre, Cromulent Shakespeare Company, and Starting Gate Productions.
Matt Rein was previously seen at MJTC in My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding and in The Triangle Factory Fire Project (2008). Other credits include Theater Latté Da (Company, All is Calm, Song of Extinction), Children’s Theatre Company (Five Fingers of Funk, Romeo and Juliet), Gremlin Theatre (Orson’s Shadow, The Water Engine), Park Square Theatre, Illusion Theater, Mu Performing Arts, Walking Shadow, The Tennessee Williams Festival Provincetown, MA and The Court Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Janaki Ranpura is a playwright, performer, and public artist developing the interaction between the human body and the spaces that surround it. She unites technology with the traditional tricks of puppet theater. She has led parades in Taiwan and South Korea, is a Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights' Center, and has exhibited at the Walker Art Center with Pedro Reyes. She has been a fellow and grant recipient with the public art groups Forecast and Northern Lights.mn. She trained at École Lecoq and at Yale University.
Hayley Finn (Director) is Associate Producer at the Playwrights’ Center. Twin Cities credits include The Last Word…, The Gospel According to Jerry (MJTC) as well as History Theatre, Pangea World Theater, Workhaus Collective, and Walker Art Center. Other credits: Public Theater, Cherry Lane, New Georges, New Dramatists, Vineyard Theatre, and the premiere of Why We Laugh in Terezin, Prague. She’s an alumna of Drama League Director’s Program, recipient of Ruth Easton Fellowship and TCG New Generations Future Leader grant, and has a B.A. and M.A. from Brown University.
Dean Holzman (Scenic Design) has designed for the theater for over 25 years, and is an artistic associate with the Illusion Theater. He’s been awarded a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Theater, and a CUE Award from the City of Minneapolis for significant achievement in design and aesthetic excellence. He’s an accomplished furniture designer/craftsman and sculptor. He has received numerous commissions to consult and create public art including a memorial at the Rochester Bio Business Center and the sculpture TIME PIECE for Edina, MN. He previously designed Boychik, Miklat, and Lovers and Traitors: The Killing of the Rosenbergs for MJTC.
Lisa Conley (Costume Design) previously designed Photograph 51, My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Our Class, and The Gospel According to Jerry at MJTC. Other credits include Swandive Theatre (Crumble: Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake, The Baltimore Waltz), Theatre Unbound (Medea: A Noh Cycle, Murderess), Nimbus Theater (The Balcony), Z Puppets Rosenschnoz (Monkey Mind Pirates). She holds her BA from Hamline University and MFA in Design from University of Georgia.
Michael Wangen (Lighting Design) designed lights for Nautilus’ productions of Joan of Arc, The View from Here, Sister Stories and The Last Five Years, re-mounted at the Jon Hassler Theater. He has worked for numerous other companies, including Trinity Rep (Yellowman), Pillsbury House (Bullrusher, No Child), Illusion Theatre (Three Viewings, Always and Forever), and Pangea World Theatre (The House of Bernarda Alba, Conference of the Birds). He was resident lighting director at Penumbra Theatre from 1987 through 2000, and is currently lighting director for the Fitzgerald Theater, where he served as Stage Lighting Supervisor for Robert Altman’s film A Prairie Home Companion.
Benji Inniger (Sound Design) is thrilled to be making his debut at MJTC. Other regional credits include The Cincinnati Playhouse (Leveling Up), Guthrie Theater (Play What’s Not There), Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center (The Tall Girls, Orange Julius, Two Lakes, Two Rivers, Provenance, Leveling Up), Trinity Rep (The Merchant of Venice), and The Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Program (The Threepenny Opera, Vieux Carré, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Benji also works as a professor at Bethany College in Mankato, MN. hearbenji.com
Chris Lutter-Gardella (Puppet Design) has been making masks, puppets, costumes, sets, floats, and various theatrical accoutrements out of waste materials for over ten years. He was a recipient of the 2006 (Archibald) Bush Foundation (3M) Fellowship Grant. He has served on the staff of the Heart of the Beast’s “May Day Festival” in Minneapolis, and serves as artistic director of Puppet Farm Arts (puppetfarm.org).
Mathew Foster (Properties Design) is making his debut at MJTC. Most recently he did the set design for Dracula (Lyric Arts) and the set and properties design for Romeo and Juliet (The Public Theater of MN). Previous designs include Slasher (Urban Samurai), Light up the Sky (Starting Gate Productions), and two of his favorites Rabbit Hole and Talley’s Folly (Workhouse Theatre). He is a full time props master based in his lifelong home of Minneapolis.
Kelli Tucker (Stage Manager) previously stage managed Photograph 51, My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, The Last Word…, Our Class, Goats and others at MJTC. Other stage management credits include Theatre in the Round (The Melville Boys) and Alexandria Area Arts Association (Totally RED!). Kelli is also a freelance director with credits including The Phipps Center (Scheherazade, The Adventures of Peter Rabbit and His Friends, Lyle the Crocodile).