Spring, 2007

..."floating above the ostensible story of twin sisters who take opposite paths in life is an allegory of the last half century of our crazed and splintering socio-politics, while deep down are hints of a buried prototype one of those '50s teen chick-exploitation flicks contrasting a "good" and a "bad" girl Vogel succeeds in creating an event that's at once frothily light and almost bewilderingly dense one liners are dropped casually in and left to detonate, key bits of narrative are elliptically jumped over. Between trying to catch the jokes as they whiz by and filling in the data blanks, you get an effect like that of anti-intellectually provocative video game: The effort it takes is repaid by the fun you have keeping up with it." (Village Voice)

Director’s Note: Part of the pleasure of directing this very smart play is the opportunity to study the author, Paula Vogel’s text in great detail. At first glance, the story appears to be a hilarious exploration of twins, social opposites who continue to betray each other through the course of their lives, but the play quickly unfolds into a scathing polemic about ideological opposites and gender norms through the past fifty years. The Mineola Twins is also a cautionary tale about what happens when people are willing to push their political philosophy to a violent extreme: Myra joins a political organization reminiscent of the SDS and robs a bank; Myrna blows up the abortion clinic where Myra works. As the play jumps from 1955 to 1969 to 1989, we see how the consequences of their actions shape the women they become. The author plays with language the way a musician composes a score, bringing back the same phrases again and again in order to mine different meaning from them. Listen for lines like, "He/she scares me", "Just like old times", "We are never going to give this country back" and " I hope my next decade is better than this one." In Casey Craig’s book, Women Pulitzer Playwrights, Paula Vogel comments: "Democrats and Republicans alike, despite pretensions of civility, are not talking to each other... We do not progress. We regress. So we might as well laugh about it." Maybe now, more than ever, as this country stares down the grim immediate future, people from both sides of the political fence need to put aside their team loyalty in order to talk to each other. For all of our sakes, I hope the next decade is better than this one.

Mineola & Manhattan
1955, 1969, 1989

Myrna/Myra........Michelle Weissgerber
Jim........Patrick Garone
Ben/Kenny........Alexander Hashioka Oatfield
Sarah........Linnea Carrera
FBI/Asylum Assistant........Jeff Roll
FBI/Asylum Assistant........Jeff Shapiro
Ensemble........Bridget Romb
Ensemble........Stephanie Wyatt
Ensemble........Terra Schultz

Producer...Anna Antaramian
Director...Ellen O’Keefe
Stage Manager...Sara Moss
Scenic Designer/Co-Technical Director...Lizz Otto-Cramer
Lighting Designer/Co-Technical Director...John Rodriguez
Costume Designer...Jana Anderson
Sound Designer...Leroyd Manuel
Master Electrician...Elias Morales
Assistant Electrician...Beth Turkin
House Manager...Kimberly Crawford
Box Office Manager...Lauren Carter
Bookkeeper...Becca Raven Uminowicz
Light Board Operator...Leroyd Manuel
Sound Operator...James Mallory
Props...Sara Moss
Quick Changes...Michelle Barnard
Wardrobe...Sarah Sherron
Running Crew...Beth Turkin, Micah Roberson, Clyde McLeod
Public Relations...Lauren Carter
Playbill Designer...David Ropinski
Set Crew...Theatre Practicum class

Profiles - Cast

Michelle Weissgerber (Myrna/Myra) has been acting in Chicago for four years. She moved here from Pittsburgh, PA, where she got her BA in musical theater from Point Park College. Her first experience with NEIU was The Actor’s Nightmare. She had a blast! Her favorite roles include; Billy Dawn from Born Yesterday, the Baker’s Wife from Into the Woods, the lover from 140, Sally from The Jazz Singer: A Musical, and Shulie from School House Rock Live! Currently, you can find her teaching musical theater with the Lake Forest Children’s Theater Company and singing and dancing on the school tour of School House Rock Live! The Mineola Twins has been a wonderful, challenging, gut holding experience and she sends kisses and hugs to all of the people who put this hilarity together! God I love you guys! She sends special love to her husband Eddie Spaghetti and her big stupid dog Teller Boy!

Patrick Garone (Jim) is a senior and C.M.T. major. He has appeared in numerous productions at the Stage Center Theatre such as The Birthday Party, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Boy Gets Girl and Life is a Dream. He was also the director of Was He Anyone? and Backwardly Mobile here at NEIU and The Fanta Menace at Meztli Gallery in Pilsen. He is currently serving as the Artistic Director of ¡Salsation! Theatre Company and is appearing in their improv show Can’t Have Nuthin’ Nice at Spot 6.

Alexander Hashioka Oatfield (Ben/Kenny) after many years of floating and waffling, Alex decided to go full bore after the arts, this vague, abiding passion. First, he tried dance, all types of dance. But after thousands of dollars and lots of vague advice, he got frustrated and gradually transitioned into theater. After getting tired of all of the talking and thinking, he overspecialized in stage combat and violence design. Subsequently, the tight pants and Renaissance dialect got restrictive, and he decided to go after stunts and film as a career. And why Ellen is now tapping him for theater, a stage and a half back in his history, is beyond him. Alex would like to thank Ellen for believing he still had the chops, his parents for their support (and their money) his castmates for their unending patience and support, and to that special someone, for helping him wrap his little stunt man brain around the idea of acting again.

Linnea Carrera (Sarah) is currently a student at Northeastern Illinois University, where she is majoring in Communication, Media and Theatre. She was most recently seen in the Stage Center Theatre production Proof as Claire, and in The Three Cuckolds as Franceschina. She is currently working with ¡Salsation! Theatre Company, and can be seen doing improve with them from time to time around the city of Chicago. When not at school or working she likes to geek out over Jane Austen and Harry Potter. And when she’s not doing that, she’s working on her music, piano and vocal, even occasional composition. She is excited for the production and wants to thank the cast, crew and the Director for making this such a wonderful experience. She would like to send a huge shout out to all her friends and family for their support and love.

Jeff Roll (FBI/Asylum Assistant) For Jeff, this will be his 3rd role at the Stage Center Theatre. He has also been in two Studio Series plays, the most recent being The Actor’s Nightmare. Jeff is also a student at NEIU and hopes to one day graduate with some sort of a degree in a field that will be of great interest to him. In his free time Jeff likes to play Wii, Sudoku, and Defcon. He would like to both thank, and dedicate his performance to almost everyone around him, as well as Life, The Universe, and Everything.

Jeffrey Shapiro (FBI/Asylum Assistant) This is Jeffrey’s first play at Northeastern Illinois University at the Stage Center Theatre. His former credits include On Golden Pond and Enter a Free Man with Shortbridge Theater Troupe. He is graduating with a Communication, Media and Theatre degree in ‘08. He’d also like to thank his entire family and friends.

Bridget Romb (Ensemble) has performed in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a fairy and understudy to Titania, and as a bar girl and a street tramp in Oliver Twist. She has starred in an original script A Moment in Time, as well as playing Glinda in The Wizard of Oz. Bridget is happily making her debut at the Stage Center Theater in the ensemble for The Mineola Twins.

Stephanie Wyatt (Ensemble) moved to Chicago in June. Since her move she has been in various shows including Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Birthday Party, Over the Tavern, The Actor’s Nightmare, and several films. She is happy to be a part of the The Mineola Twins production.

Terra Schultz (Ensemble) is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay’s Theatre Program. Since arriving in Chicago, she has stage managed The Side Project’s Crave and performed in Support Structure Chicago’s Tennessee’s Quarter, Lincoln Square Theatre’s Night Caps, and NEIU’s Stage Center Theatre’s Much Ado About Nothing. Terra would like to thank her family, Chad and Cheryl for supporting her acting endeavors and you for supporting live theatre.

Pictures by David Ropinski

Profiles (Artistic Staff)

Ellen O’Keefe
(Director). The last time Ellen O’Keefe launched a project at the Stage Center Theatre, she staged two one-act plays in the Spring of `06, Simply Maria or the American Dream and The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa in the Garden. Now she is very pleased to make her directorial return with such a talented cast and crew. She has directed over sixteen productions, most recently, an original adaptation of Aimee Bender’s The Girl in the Flammable Skirt for Paleo Productions. She is a founding member of Michael Montenegro’s mask and puppet ensemble, LAMP, which performed their latest work, The Sublime Beauty of Hands at the Winterroot Festival. Some of her favorite directing projects include: original adaptations of Goblin Market and School for Scandal, The Adding Machine, Biederman and the Firebugs, Archangels Don’t Play Pinball and a staged reading of her play, Ubu Planet, with The Woman’s Theatre Alliance. She is a member of the NEIU faculty and when not building puppets, teaching, or performing, she likes to relax with her remarkable family, Richard, Eve and Adrian, who make all things possible.

John Rodriguez (Lighting Design, Co-Technical Director) joined the theatre faculty at Northeastern three years ago and has been teaching courses in technical theatre as well as working as a designer on Stage Center Theatre productions. John shares responsibilities of Technical Director along with Lizz Otto-Cramer. John most recently designed the set and lighting for Dracula and the lighting for Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

Lizz Otto-Cramer (Co-Technical Director, Set Desiger) is pleased to be a new faculty member here at Northeastern. Lizz earned her Master of Fine Arts at the School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has been working professionally since graduation and has designed and painted in Milwaukee WI, North Carolina, and Washington D.C. Her credits include Dracula, Fiddler on the Roof, A Christmas Story, and Cole among others.

Jana Anderson (Costume Design) after working on Dracula in the fall, is delighted to be working with The Stage Center Theatre again. Her work has been featured by numerous theater groups including Redmoon Theater, Light Opera Works, Irish Repertory Theatre, Rivendell, Experimental Theatre and Collaboraction. Prior to coming to the United States, Jana created elaborate costumes for classical opera productions at the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. She also attended the University of Art in Bratislava, where her interest in working on period pieces originated. Since moving to Chicago in 1997 her focus has been to create costumes for theatres. However, her costume designs have also been featured in fashion photo shoots and advertising campaigns. When she is not preparing costumes for theatrical productions, Jana is busy designing and creating unique haute-couture fashions for individual clients in the United States and Europe.

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

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