The Forest Roberts Theatre and the First Nighters Club present:
MEDIEVAL DINNER THEATRE
Featuring: A Madrigal Choir Directed by Dr. Erin Colwitz, the Borealis Dancers, Live Music by Joel and the Good Boys, and "The Maniac King," a hilarious short play by Jamie Weeder
Soak yourself in 14th Century Europe through the doors of the Masonic in February! This immersive and interactive theatre experience transports you to a rager of a banquet, complete with a band of buzzed sellsword musicians, exotic dancing of realms from afar, a classic Madrigal choir from the days of yore, colorful characters that are sure to whip up some trouble, and all the roasted animal and casks of ale you can handle... but no epic old school smasher is complete without a brutal bloodbath. Witness the nonsensical enterprise of a Maniac King as two rival houses compete for the lands, liens, and crown - and you cast the vote. It’s a romp you’ll find yourself invested in as you root wildly for your favorites through the absurdity of the events. You’ll laugh, you’ll laugh more, you’ll unlearn some things. Russell Crowe as Robin Hood circa 2010 calls it, '… bit like Medieval Times for a buncha grown-up dags lookin’ to get legless.' See you there!
Friday, February 22nd at 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 23rd at 7:30 PM
***PLEASE NOTE: Doors will open at 6:00 PM. Dinner will begin at 6:30 PM.
Tickets are $50 for the general public, $25 for students, and $25 for NMU students and include dinner and drinks.
Show-only tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for students, and $5 for NMU students and ONLY include the play portion of the evening (no dinner or drinks).
Located in the Masonic Building in downtown Marquette.
"The Maniac King" Cast List
|Costume Designer||Susan Candey|
|Sound Designers||Jamie Weeder, Dan Zini|
|Properties Master||Steve McClain|
|Technical Director||David Pierce|
|Production Stage Manager||Sophie Sam|
Additional Artistic Staff
|Assistant Stage Manager||Ellie Kraemer|
|Master Electrician||Dan Zini|
|Light Board Operator|
|Sound Board Operator||Dan Zini|
|Run Crew||Regan McKay†|
Thomas P. Laitinen (The Maniac King) earned his Bachelor of Science degree in theatre in 1997. He served four and a half years in the U.S. Army- 11BC2, and as United Nations command joint security force in Pan Mun Jom, Korea from 1988-89. He also worked as an LST for Pathways. Thomas spent two decades traveling around North America, performing in the entertainment industry in all kinds of productions, and returned to the Marquette area in 2013, where he worked for Dan Perkins Construction Company. Presently, he is starving as an artist but happy. Cheers!
Madeline McDonald (Pope Joan) is a first-year student at NMU, majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. She has appeared in several other productions such as Camp Rock the Musical (Mitchie), The Little Mermaid (Ariel), Pride and Prejudice (Ms. Bingley), What The Room Knows (ensemble), Stück (Ziva), Fringe Festival (Jule), and Amletto (ensemble/soloist). She enjoys swimming, painting, soccer, singing, cooking/baking, and butterflies. Madeline studied abroad for ten months her senior year of high school and loves making new friends (...and talking). She is thrilled for the opportunity to participate in the theatre program at NMU.
Shane Vincent† (Russell Crowe as Robin Hood Circa 2010) is an alumni of Northern, Shane has been doing theatre for the last 9 years. He has been in many shows, from Shakespeare to Les Miz. His latest role was Robert O’Claire in last summers Beacon on the Rock. Shane says, “I am excited to do improv theatre again and this cast is going to make it a great time, for me and the audience!” Shane thanks his family and friends for supporting him and hopes everyone can make it out to this riot of a show!
Sabrina Nelson† (Thomas Jr. Jr.) is a third year student at Northern Michigan University and is thrilled to be performing in the first ever production of the Medieval Dinner Theatre. You may have seen her previously performing in Sweeney Todd in the FRT, and as Cybil Dane in The Bold, the Young, and The Murdered through APO. She is a theatre performance major and a vocal music minor, and is thrilled to be part of such an amazing and talented production full of fun, passionate, and zany people. She hopes you will all eat, drink, and be merry, and enjoy your stay at the court of the Maniac King!
Danae DeValve (Mary) is a sophomore at NMU. She is a theatre major performing in her first play since coming to Michigan. She used to do school and community plays in her hometown of Lone Grove, Oklahoma. But, in the last two years, she has moved from place to place – which made it hard for her to find a play to be a part of. So, after settling here in the ice and snow, she is excited to be performing in this grand show.
Jacob Laitinen (Prester John) is a sophomore at Northern Michigan University with a major in theatre and a minor in music. Notable performances at NMU include: Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd, Porter in Disney's Tarzan, Creon in Antigone, The Snail with the Mail in A Year with Frog and Toad, and Monsieur Thenardier in Les Miserables. Jacob wants to thank his friends and family for coming to the show, and hopes everyone enjoys this fantastic production!
Seth Bowen (Pan Piper) is a secondary industrial technical education major and theatre, secondary history education, and music minor. He is a sophomore from Rhinelander, Wisconsin and has been involved in productions like Mary Poppins (George Banks), Sister Act (TJ), Sweeney Todd (Police Officer/ Ensemble), and Scrooge 2018 (Bob Cratchit). He is so excited to play the role as Pan Piper who is never afraid to play a tune. Seth is overjoyed to bring this traveling outlandish misfit onto the stage and really get involved with the Medieval Dinner Theatre. Drink Hale!
Bailey Barthel (Bridget of Sweden) is extremely excited to join the cast of this year’s Medieval Dinner Theatre as Bridget of Sweden. Originally from Ironwood, she attends NMU as a theatre major. She hopes to explore and expand her talents with this improvisational show. She also hopes that the audience has a wonderful time!
Creative Team Bios
Jamie Weeder (Director) graduated from Eastern Michigan University in ‘07 with a B.S in theatre and music performance. Jamie Weeder has been a professional theatre artist appearing with the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Williamston Theatre Company, Performance Network, Water Works Theatre Company, New Theatre Project, Encore Musical Theater Company and The Blackbird Theatre. Outside of performing and directing, Jamie enjoys exploring theatre’s capacity as a tool for empowerment. To that end she has provided drama therapy at St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities in Lansing, worked and performed with the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) in Ann Arbor and was a facilitator for Shakespeare in Prison. A Program of Detroit Public Theatre at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti before relocating to Marquette in 2015. Jamie has served as artistic director of Upper Peninsula Shakespeare Festival and Wolf's Head Theater Company since their inception, co-founding the companies in February of 2015 and January 2018, respectively. She is board member of Evolve MQT: A creative assembly powered by the Marquette Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Marquette Symphony Orchestra, an improviser, performance artist and cellist/composer. She is delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate creatively in such a beautiful and unique place, with such immensely talented artists and individuals.
Sophie Sam (Production Stage Manager) is a freshman theatre & entertainment arts major and dance minor. Prior to coming to NMU, she co-directed Annie (2017) and directed RENT (2018) with Dickinson County Community Theatre. She most recently directed Anatomy of a Murder (2018) at the Vista Theatre. This spring, she will be assistant directing Pookie Goes Grenading (2019) with Wolf’s Head Theatre Company. She served two terms as President of Dickinson County Community Theatre from 2015-2017, and is currently on the Board of Directors for Wolf’s Head Theatre Company. Earlier this FRT season, Sophie performed in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd (2018).