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Interact Theater’s company of actors with disabilities creates all original work, sustains rigorous professional standards, and explores ideas through the lens of the entire spectrum of disability labels. Our uncompromising vision of radical inclusion dissolves concepts of who “can” or “cannot,” blending the talents and viewpoints of artists with and without disabilities, and artists from mainstream and marginalized communities

Interact was founded in 1996 and since then, the vision has grown to include over forty talented artists creating some of the most innovative work you’ll find in the Twin Cities and beyond. The company continues to grow and work together with dozens of guest artists each year to leave an indelible mark on our community and the world. See the faces and learn about the individuals who make up the Interact ensemble below!

Anna Maria Ihekoronye

Company Member since 2015

Anna finds solace onstage and thinks of theater as a way to break free. “It’s a safe zone where I can be someone else. Theater is my place of escape.” Anna feels particularly connected to dancing and acting, finding artistic inspiration in pop music and public news. Anna enjoys the research aspects of theater and finds that her deep interest in NPR allows her to be an informed artist.

Becca Flint

Company Member since 2007

Becca’s first show at Interact, Between the Worlds, cemented her love of performing and helped her realize her natural talent onstage. “It’s a passion, I just got into it and I figured it’s a strength…and it kind of helps me—[acting] provides something to do every day. I get to express my emotions by acting out roles.” Besides performing, Becca takes a serious interest in theatrical research.

Beth Halvorson

Company Member since 1996

Beth, an actor for more than two decades, always finds something new to experience as an artist, while holding onto years of community building. “I love it [theater]—I can act, I can sing, be expressive. Interact has given me all of this experience, intelligence, and friends,” Beth says with jubilation. “I feel inspired, and imagine there’s clouds around me when I’m onstage.” Beth feels this elation with each role she plays, but finds challenging roles hold a special place in her heart, like the part of Fontina (a parody of Shakespeare’s Juliet) in What Fools These Mortals Be for line memorization and playing a Townsperson in Life is Sweet because of the specific and sharp choreography.

Chelsey Ellering

Company Member since 2018

Chelsey finds new ground in her first show at Interact, thinking that theater would be a new fun thing to try out. “…my friend told me about Interact and I thought it would be fun to try – to act, to inspire people and maybe make the world a better place.” J.K. Rowling, one of Chelsey’s biggest idols, inspires Chelsey because Rowling puts her voice out into the world. “I could change the world, so I better work hard to make that [change] happen,” Chelsey chuckles before preparing for rehearsal.

Daniel Mauck

Company Member since 2012

Daniel says that he was inspired to become an artist because of his parents’ love of music and attempting a multitude of musical instruments at a young age. “I was always encouraged to pursue my interests and music, dance, and acting have always been part of my interests. I have this creative side that just feels rhythm and music.” When Daniel performed a clarinet solo in Work of Heart, he felt elated and proud to perform alongside his fellow artists, cementing in his mind that Interact was the place he was meant to be. Daniel continues to challenge himself with learning new instruments and choreography to follow his artistic dreams. 

Dominic Zeman

Company Member since 2012

Dominic wears many hats—artist, farmer, researcher, and self-proclaimed “ham.” Besides gathering the best eggs in Minnesota, Dominic finds comfort on the stage. “I love the people, my characters, the audience, the physical work of it. You have to get the audience involved, if you don’t, they’ll walk out. I know the audience because I love the audience.” Dominic prepares for his roles with dignity, dedication, and always an edge for flair. He found his portrayal of Oberon in What Fools These Mortals Be to be one of his most rewarding and challenging roles. Dominic feels rejuvenated by any kind of Interact cabaret-style pieces. 

Doree Borgrow

Company Member since 2007

Doree says that she knew she wanted to do theater ever since she was four years old and saw the movie, The Little Mermaid. Before she joined Interact, Doree was a frequent player at Jerry’s Habima Theater, a Jewish theater company that often performs musicals. Now, a member of Interact for over ten years, Doree constantly challenges herself vocally and, acquires new information with each new show. “I’ve learned to do a lot of funny accents, I love working with accents—they’re fun and really hard, I like [the challenge] and it spreads my talent.” Doree has an amazing gift of eidetic memory, remembering practically every nuance of all the shows she has experienced. Interact’s Joy, Plotholes: A Fool’s Foibles, and What Fools These Mortals Be hold a special place in Doree’s heart because of the success of her friends and co-workers in their performances. 

Henry Brown

Company Member since 2014

Henry began performing in high school and early on made the decision that he wanted to perform for the rest of his life. Henry has also been deeply involved with competing in the Special Olympics and workshopped with Upstream Arts (mostly acting and scene-work). He says, “Now I’m living my dreams, it’s a dream come true working at Interact.” Henry continues to live this dream at Interact by playing a number of characters ranging from a mischievous imp in Plotholes: A Fool’s Foibles  to the benevolent King Bonafacious in Feast of Fools. 

Ian Dischinger

Company Member since 2015

Ian is a surprising individual, mixing a quiet disposition with a rock ‘n’ roll soul. In a short amount of time, Ian has played some notable ensemble roles, the standout Romano in 2016’s What Fools These Mortals Be (a character parody of Shakespeare’s Romeo), and a Gargoyle in 2017’s Feast of Fools. While Ian reminisced this experience, he mused, “When I was onstage, I closed my eyes and imagined me—the me that hit the stage—that he and I am not shy.” Ian continues to push himself as an artist, inspired by music and the support of his family.

Jacob Merrill

Company Member since 2017

Jacob performed in his first Interact show, Feast of Fools followed by playing a member of the Smart Set Band in 2018’s Hot Funky Butt Jazz, both which he found to be positive and fun experiences.  Jacob finds inspiration from watching others, which he uses as he continues to develop his own theatrical voice. “I like acting, doing dance, and singing,” he says with a smile on his face. Jacob holds music in high regards. He is a frequent concert-goer, which he hopes to bring into his work at Interact. 

Jake Walinski

Company Member Since 2010

Jake is not the typical theater artist. He possesses a solid build and a deep voice that says “linebacker” over “actor,” his exterior hides tenderness and his passion for his work at Interact. “Theater is really good place. I’ve learned that the stuff onstage is good stuff because my fellow performers challenge me to be better…I carry the torch.” Jake carries the torch—a gift given from a late mentor, Eric Wheeler—with care and notes the importance of the shows What Fools These Mortals Be, Edgar Allan Poe’s Nutcracker (the unballet), and Ship of Fools as theatrical capstones for his continuing work at Interact.

Jeffrey Haas

Company Member since 2009

Interact is lucky enough to call Jeffrey the resident Shakespeare expert, dramaturgist, and performer extraordinaire. Jeffrey started his theatrical career as a child, he explains, “And now it’s my mission in life—to create works of performing art.” Jeffrey creates with gumption, spirit, and gentle strength in regards to his work at Interact and local/educational theater companies (Theater Latte Da, Theatre in the Round, and Lakewood Community College to name a few). “I do theater because it’s my passion, it’s what I love to do, I love enlightening myself and the audience. [Life] would be boring and I’d fall into a pit of despair if I wasn’t doing theater.”

Jesse Minor

Returning Company Member since 2016

Jesse, a thoughtful individual, attributes his passion for the arts to his family and why he has identified as an artist for his entire life. “I remember when I was little, I would create dialogue, my own performing arts and then [as I got older] art was an outlet and therapeutic. It let my anger out and I was sharing my story with people, seeing how they react. Now I have a feeling I’ll be doing this for a long time, if not for my whole life.” Jesse feels that certain roles have allowed him this artistic therapy—playing himself in the Ivey Award-winning Broken Brain Summit, a Dictator in Future Perfect released more volatile energy, while the “play” of Falstaff in What Fools These Mortals Be and a Monk in Feast of Fools appeals to Jesse’s current artistic voice, which is constantly changing, constantly maturing.

Joe Blegen

Company Member since 2014

Joe’s first show at Interact was 2014’s production of Ship of Fools. When asked about what theatrical work he now enjoys since the birth of his career, he responded, “Playing jesters, funny roles, bodywork, mask work.” Joe, the consummate funny-man has developed his various roles with an air of play, helped by his natural comedic timing—Louie the Jester in Feast of Fools, Robin Starveling in What Fools These Mortals Be, Hop Frog in Edgar Allan Poe’s Nutcracker (the unballet), and Harmony in the aforementioned Ship of Fools

Jule Moench

Company Member since 2017

Jule made his Interact debut in 2017’s Feast of Fools as the hilarious Chicken Man and continued to build his character work as Manny, a tough and stressed out vaudeville manager in 2018’s Hot Funky Butt Jazz. Moreover, Jule sings in his church’s choir and is an accomplished member of Toastmasters, a non-profit centered on public speaking and leadership. “I wanted to do theater because of the dancing, singing—I feel proud [when I sing]. It helps me relax. I want to learn to be better, to know people, make connections and make people laugh.” Besides his work at Interact, Jule works at the restaurant, Bread & Pickle, on Lake Harriet—a truly engaged community member whose talent Interact is lucky to have. 

Karen Thorud

Company Member since 1996

Karen is, by definition, a true diva, a title which she has embraced over her twenty years as a performer. “A real diva,” Karen says, “Is in a leadership role, she doesn’t always win, but she tried because she has been doing so for a long time.” Karen has toured around the world and the United States with Interact and enjoys all the festivities and work that comes with being a theater artist, particularly in cabaret pieces. Karen has performed in numerous plays and musicals, continuing her work as a soloist, actress, and life-long learner.

Katlyn Aubitz

Company Member since 2017

Katlyn was overjoyed to perform in Feast of Fools and Hot Funky Butt Jazz with Interact. “I [now] feel like an actress…the costume and the set made me feel like my character was there,” she giggled, “I like acting, it’s my favorite thing to do. I feel happy hanging out with new friends and dancing. I feel free dancing, doing anything [where] you move.” Katlyn says that part of what inspired her to pursue acting was a fondness of films and she draws inspiration from that for her work in rehearsal. Additionally, Katlyn models for ARC and participates in various pageants and public speaking events.

Laura Nelson

Company Member since 2010

Laura presents constant sincerity and gratitude both onstage and off. She attributes her ability to perform in her first Interact show, Life is Sweet, to the support of her mother. Since that premiere, Laura finds joy and challenges with each project, but she approaches her work with three ideas in her head for artistic success, “Be yourself, be prepared, and have fun.” By the Seat of Our Pants, Plotholes: A Fool’s Foibles, and What Fools These Mortals Be stick out in Laura’s mind as particularly memorable because of the ensemble work with her peers and because, in her own words, “We all like to act and be onstage and work, do music and dance—it’s fun!”

Lhea Jaeger

Company member since 2004

Lhea lives, breathes, exudes, exists theater – memorizing entire musicals and creating monologues and entire plays in her free time. Lhea waves modestly, “I’m into musicals, they give me ideas for my shows and for my characters…[Performing] is hard but you try.” Besides playing her dream role of Shakespeare’s Juliet in What Fools These Mortals Be, some of Lhea’s standout performances include Princess Peacock in Plotholes: A Fool’s Foibles, The Siren in Life is Sweet, and a coy flapper in Hot Jazz at da Funky Butt (2012). Lhea is a consummate, passionate professional who is a joy to watch, whether it be on the rehearsal or hitting an impressive high note.

Matt Dahlstrom

Company Member since 2001

Matt joined Interact five years after the company formed, attributing his admiration of other actors as fuel for himself becoming an actor. Since making the leap, Matt has performed in over thirty shows with Interact, often in featured roles. “I’m a comic, I make people laugh and laughter feels good in the heart…acting just comes out of my brain.” Matt feels particularly proud of his global travel, touring everywhere from England to Thailand. Matt brings his comedy, love of William Shakespeare, and poetic heart to his characters at Interact. 

Michael Engebretson

Company Member since 2016

Michael is an energetic and dedicated performer, showing his passion and love of the stage in his Interact debut as Snout in What Fools These Mortals Be. When asked why he started his theatrical ventures, Michael replied, “Because I want to help people out and make people happy through improv, telling stories, and being in scenes. And now I’ve learned [as an artist] to be confident in myself…I’ve learned to speak up more and keep on trying hard and to do your best.”

Michael Wolfe

Company Member since 2011

When asked why Michael decided to pursue work as an actor, Michael answered, “Well, because I love it. Theater allows me to reach within myself and activate aspects of my personality that I don’t normally tap into in my regular life.” Since joining the company in 2011, Michael proves himself as a dedicated and compelling performer in a multitude of roles in shows such as Joy, What Fools These Mortals Be, and Plotholes: A Fool’s Foibles. As successful as Michael is as a soloist, he says that his work as an artist is not just about him as a performer. “It’s like when people are growing up, people ask them what are they going to do with their life that benefits not just them but their community and make life better? I like to think doing this [theater] is contributing to bettering society. I like to think it benefits myself and others.” 

Mike Brindley

Company Member since 1997

Mike identifies as a poet both on the written page and by using his body in his theatrical pursuits. “[Theater is] part of my dream, my imagination—it’s kind of like creating words with my body.” Mike approaches each new work with grace and dignity, an outlook he has mastered in his twenty years at Interact. He feels particularly connected to the Interact shows that have travelled—stateside and internationally and says, “The best part of the touring show is to gather people together I would never have met.” Through his work at Interact, Mike gathers a local and international community together through motion and storytelling. 

Naa Mensah

Company Member since 2009

Naa brings a vibrant and extremely physical aspect to her stage work, having trained as a dancer for her entire life. Naa enjoys incorporating dance into her work at Interact and is inspired by many different styles, being particularly inspired by traditional African dance, tap, hip hop and ballet. A company member since 2009, Naa enjoys every show she has performed in, particularly, Joy, Life is Sweet, and Madame Majesta’s Miracle Medicine Show. When asked why these shows resonate with her, she responded, “They’re real, good for dances—I liked the responsibility.” 

Sam Videen

Company Member since 2003

Sam is an impressive theatrical presence: a tall ginger with an exceedingly deep voice combined with a sense of fashion that will not quit. Sam feels that with his work as a singer-actor, he can make a difference in himself as a performer while amusing an audience. “I express myself truly and now because I like to perform and sing, it’s fun to entertain.” Sam’s most memorable roles include Nick Bottom in What Fools These Mortals Be, Gunther in Work of Heart, and Oliver in Between the Worlds at Interact. The Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus is also lucky to have Sam’s powerful bass voice as a proud member for a number of years. 

Scott Raberge

Company Member since 2003

Scott believes that by performing, you also act as a teacher and that it is an artist’s responsibility to discover and create. This view has been shaped by his fifteen plus years as a company member at Interact. “Acting tells people about yourself and people in the audience are learning. What you’re doing is teaching. People are then understanding what people with disabilities can do.” Hot Jazz at da Funky Butt (2012),, Outcast Elves, Sindibad:Artist and Outlaw, and World Wide Church of the Handicapped are shows that Scott believes showcased both artist and ability, something that Scott holds to the utmost importance. “People will say people with disabilities can do nothing more than just washing dishes. I wanted something different, something that I would enjoy doing. Doing something you love is a good feeling.”

Sean Carroll

Company Member since 2018

Sean decided that he wanted to become an actor because he always thought actors inspired and entertained. Before becoming a company member at Interact, Sean sang in choir and participated in a number of Christmas programs at St. Joan of Arc Church. Sean is a vivid performer, continually expressing himself with experimental movement and use of voice–particularly noticeable in his performance in 2018’s Hot Funky Butt Jazz. Beyond his love of performing, Sean enjoys relaxing with video games and exploring the world around him with some travel. 

Stephanie Muue

Company Member since 2016

Stephanie knew that she wanted to be an actor since she was a child. “I love acting, it’s my passion, and I enjoy it. I love to dance and just do performing arts.” She feels that her dreams are further realized at Interact, encouraging her as a performer and helping her develop as a human being. “Interact has made my personality better—made me more calm and at peace—because I feel comfortable when I work with other artists. It’s a safe environment to be in.” Besides her work at Interact, Stephanie is an avid cinephile who adores talking about films and working at a movie theater. 

Suzy Sauter

Member since 2003

Suzy is probably one of the sweetest humans you will meet, with a naturally high soprano speaking (and singing) voice that excels her charming nature. One cannot be completely sugar, which is why Suzy brings surprising and hilarious coloring to roles such as the Devil in Hell is Empty and All the Devils are Here—one of her most memorable roles—and a Macbeth-style Witch in What Fools These Mortals Be. Aside from more villainous characters, Suzy enjoyed playing a bird in Cloud Cuckoo Land. “I really enjoy different acting moments, performing in front of an audience—the attention from the audience—I love it!” Suzy excels at many forms of improv, adding comedy in various capacities that she believes energizes her. “It’s a smile and a wink, then you got it,” she laughs before hitting the stage. 

Taylor Michurski

Company Member since 2015

Taylor brings a vibrant, leading-man quality to his theatrical work at Interact. He identifies strongly with dance work and enjoys learning new choreography. “Theater is my life, without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today…[it] helps me create and find things that I don’t know about myself. It would be a boring old world without theater.” Taylor found great moments of strength as an actor playing the iconic role of Romeo in What Fools These Mortals Be followed by the herorical predestined youth, Francois, in 2017’s Feast of Fools

Thomas Altimus

Company Member since 2018

Thomas considered himself more of a sports person than a thespian, but welcomes a change in careers.  “I like watching hockey, I used to play but I’m getting too old for that,” Thomas says with a sweet lilt in his throat. The last time Thomas acted was in high school (fond memories of playing Charlie Brown included) but happily returns to the stage for the first time in many years with Interact. “I jumped on it [Interact], I enjoy theater and felt I could learn more. Right now, I’m learning to dance, sometimes it’s difficult and sometimes it feels just right.” Thomas danced his heart out as a vaudeville performer in 2018’s Hot Funky Butt Jazz at the Guthrie and makes his sophomore performance at Interact in Hot Dog Daze.

Tom Ordyneic

Company Member since 1996

Tom O. is proud to be a member of Interact since its early years, but says he really started his acting career at the age of three. He has performed on many local stages including the Guthrie and at the Walker (in a particularly compelling Tony Orlando tribute (a personal hero of Tom O’s) with Interact. Interact brings joy, playfulness, and overall happiness to Tom O. “It’s fun and Interact makes me happy,” Tom O. grins before stepping on the rehearsal floor. 

Yeon Ju

Company Member since 2005

Yeon feels energized and enthused by theatrical work. “I was in a motorcycle accident so I traded in my books—for being in front of an audience. Theater gives me a chance to express myself, I get to express all these emotions I couldn’t or wouldn’t do if I wasn’t in theater. It gives me a chance to express it all.” In his ten-plus years of performing at Interact, Yeon identifies singing as a beloved aspect of performing along with shows Hot Jazz at da Funky Butt (2012), Between the Worlds, and the Ivey Award-winning Broken Brain Summit. I’ve been doing this a long time and I want to put something into my roles and celebrate being onstage.”

Performances

Upcoming shows and a select archive of Interact’s productions over the years.

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