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Alumni Stage Work by Emerging Theatre Artists

Posted by Cassie Hall '13, Brookings, South Dakota on Monday, Mar. 11, 2013


Two Morris alumni have been making a splash in the Twin Cities theatre scene with their script showcase, TEASE: The Easy Access Script Experience. Through this showcase, Erin Denman ’09 and Victoria Pyan ’07 provide up-and-coming Minnesotan playwrights a public venue for new work. The two first met through Morris’s student theatre group, Meiningens, and have been friends and collaborators since.

“Erin and I have spent a lot of time together over the years seeing shows around town [Minneapolis], talking about theatre, sharing information, scripts, and gripes,” says Pyan. “I couldn't ask for a better partner in crime.”

The product of their partnership, TEASE, was born when the two began going to the “tuesday group,” a writing group that offers new playwrights a chance to have their work read by actors and discussed.

“It's full of all these great playwrights who were underexposed,” says Denman. “We wanted to show theatre companies what they can do and get them interested in producing their work.”

According to Denman, after brainstorming and “working like madwomen to pull it off,” the first TEASE came to life in July 2012 at the nimbus theatre in northeast Minneapolis.

“We ended up with 10 pieces by 10 different playwrights, nine directors, 18 actors, one live musician, and one technician. We played to a sold-out house of around 75. After the show, we have a huge reception with food and drinks for the audience and participants to network and relax. It's an all-around good time.”

Since Denman and Pyan appreciate the experience they gained as Morris students and Meiningens co-chairs, they hope to offer current students, staff, and faculty a chance to showcase their work at upcoming TEASE productions. Last year’s performance featured several Morris alums: Abby Swafford ’09, Katie Sundquist Carlson ’09, Phillip Burgraff ’07, Mitchell Frazier ’86, Sara Herman ’07, and Elizabeth Karges ’10.

“We want to invite Morris staff and students to submit [scripts for TEASE],” says Pyan. “We want to provide an outlet for fellow UMMers...to explore their creativity.”

TEASE will be held again at nimbus theatre on Saturday, June 29, 2013. Both Pyan and Denman encourage Morris faculty, students, and alumni to submit material for 2014. For more information, contact Denman and Pyan online or at teasetwincities@gmail.com.

Photos of Denman, left, by Dani Werner and Pyan, right, by Matt Black.