The History of Invulnerability

By David Bar Katz

Directed by Hayley Finn

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were teenagers living in Cleveland, Ohio when they created Superman. After a string of rejections, the mobster Lucky Luciano and his friend, smut publisher Harry Donenfeld, decided to start Action Comics and selected Superman for the lead feature. Embraced by both children and adults, Superman grew to iconic status amidst life of the depression and W.W.II. Based on true events, this intriguing new play tells the tumultuous story, intertwining the events of a world in strife, a place where even Superman has his limits.

Opening April 19, 2014
Closing May 11, 2014

Playing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 1 pm

There will be one Sunday evening performance on April 20 at 7 pm

Audio description on Sunday, April 27 at 1 pm 

All performances will be held at the Hillcrest Center Theater
1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116

To purchase tickets call 651-647-4315 or fill out the online order form

Click here for Doorways programs information

This project was made possible in part with the support of RIMON: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, an initiative of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

Website MRAC MSAB Arts Legacy.jpg

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Meet the Artists

The Cast

Jim Lichtscheidl** (Jerry) is an actor, director, choreographer and instructor based out of the Twin Cities. Recent credits include The Music Man at Ten Thousand Things Theater, Uncle Vanya, Clybourne Park, and Nice Fish at the Guthrie Theater, and Waiting for Godot at the Jungle Theater. Recent film credits include roles in Best Man Down, A Serious Man, and the upcoming feature The Public Domain. Jim received an Ivey award in 2006 for his original creation, KNOCK!


Dan Beckmann (Superman) is thrilled and honored to be appearing in his first show with MJTC, and to be helping to tell this beautiful story. He has previously worked on the stages of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Children's Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre and others. He is constantly moved and humbled by the level of passion and care for the arts in the Twin Cities -- thanks for supporting!

Alex Brightwell (Man 3) is thrilled to return to MJTC, after having previously appeared in Photograph 51.  Other credits include Walking Shadow Theatre Company (Gross Indecency), Public Theater of Minnesota (As You Like it), Theatre in the Round (Morning's at Seven, Lysistrata), The Strange Capers (The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night), and Guthrie Theater (A Christmas Carol).  He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program.

Joanna Harmon (Woman 1) makes her debut with MJTC. Recent credits include the title role in Charlotte's Web at Children’s Theatre Company, and performer/deviser of The Big Show with Theatre Forever. She serves as Executive Director of Live Action Set (LAS) and leads the company's pursuit to inspire creativity, speak to the soul, and explore live theater’s distinct potential. In 2011, LAS was recognized with an Ivey Award for Best Overall Performance. She’s a graduate of the University of MN/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program.


Charles Numrich (Man 4) is pleased to perform for the first time with MJTC. From 1981 to 2008, he directed Creative Theatre Unlimited, St. Paul, promoting community building through the arts. He has appeared with numerous local theaters including Park Square Theatre, Theatre in the Round, Chameleon Theatre Circle, nimbus theatre, Bloomington Civic Theatre, and Open Window Theatre. He co-hosted the 2011 Ivey Awards with his son Seth Numrich, acclaimed Broadway and London stage actor. They were also featured on the series MN Original.


Dustin Valenta (Man 5) is excited to be making his MJTC debut. He was most recently seen in Forgotten Goddess's production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Other Minneapolis credits include The Playwrights’ Center and BCT. Regional credits include Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Redmoon Theater, Lookingglass Theatre. TV credits include the upcoming Crisis on NBC. Dustin received his B.F.A. from The Theatre School at DePaul University and is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf in Chicago.

Maggie Bearmon Pistner (Woman 2) is delighted to return to the MJTC stage where she previously appeared in Our Class.  Most recently, she performed in the one-woman sold-out Fringe show, They Called Her Captain, telling her mother's story as a Captain in WWII. Maggie has worked at The Jungle, Park Square, Walking Shadow, Gremlin, Starting Gate, The Southern, Theatre Pro Rata, Theatre in the Round, Theatre Unbound, Pioneer Place, and L'Homme Dieu.  She is also a voice-over, commercial and film talent. Thanks to Mom and Paul for their support.


Production Artists

Hayley Finn* (Director) is Associate Artistic Director at the Playwrights’ Center. She directed Compulsion or the House Behind, The Last Word..., Handle With Care, and The Gospel According to Jerry at MJTC. Other theaters she has directed at include Cherry Lane Theatre, History Theatre, New Dramatists, the O’Neill, The Public, Vineyard Theatre, Walker Art Center, Workhaus Collective, and Nine Gates Festival-Prague. She has assistant directed Tony Award-winning productions, is a recipient of the Ruth Easton Fellowship, Drama League Fellowship, TCG New Generations Future Leader grant, and received her B.A. and M.A. from Brown University.

Eric Hugunin (Scenic Designer) is excited to be making his debut with MJTC and returning to theater. He relocated to the Twin Cities from Los Angeles where he was an art director-set designer working on feature films, television and theater projects such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man 2, and Green Hornet. He is currently designing for international touring museum exhibits, commercials, and corporate events. Eric thanks everyone for their warm welcome and great partnership.


Barb Portinga (Costume Designer) is pleased to again design for Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company.  She makes her home and living designing costumes in the Twin Cities. Her design work has been seen throughout the Midwest. She received her on-the-job training at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres where she is a cutter/draper for each main stage show. Barb is the proprietor of Portable Costumes. She is intensely grateful for Jadie, as she would not have been able to do this without her!

Michael Wangen (Lighting Design) has been a lighting designer in the area for over 35 years and has worked almost everywhere including Pillsbury House, Mixed Blood, History Theatre, Illusion, Children's Theatre Company, and the Guthrie.  He was resident designer at Penumbra from 1987-2000 and designed over 60 shows for them.  His recent design work includes Othello at the Guthrie and Ashland for Transatlantic Love Affair presented at Illusion Theater.

C Andrew Mayer (Sound Design) has been privileged to work with many of the finest Twin Cities theater companies. Previously for MJTC, he designed Photograph 51, The Last Word… and The Action Against Sol Schumann.  He was a McKnight Theatre Fellow and won an Audelco Award for his design for Carlyle Brown's Pure Confidence at 59E59 in New York City. In summer, he serves as Producing Director of the Acadia Repertory Theatre in Maine.

Sam Smith (Illustrations/Images) was a child raised on comic books. Sam began attending the University of MN with a decade of comic book knowledge under his belt and a subsequent aptitude for figure drawing and visual storytelling. Since graduating with a B.A. in Art in 2012, Sam has been working as a graphic designer at Replace, an award winning design boutique in Minneapolis. Sam designs posters, toys, album covers, and spends his time illustrating pet projects whenever he isn’t watching terrible sci fi movies.

Jonathan Gross (Projections Advisor) consulted on the projection design for MJTC’s recent productions of My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding and Photograph 51.  He has previously been a technical assistant to lighting and set designers for several productions at Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company including Moonlight and Magnolias, My Name is Asher Lev, and Our Class. Jon is a visual artist and photographer.  

Kelli Tucker (Stage Manager) previously stage managed The Last Five Years, A Strange and Separate People, Rachel Calof, Handle with Care, Compulsion or the House Behind, Photograph 51, My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, The Last Word… 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).

*Member, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union

**Member, Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract