East of the Sun, West of the Moon


A World Premiere, Full-Length Ballet

Choreography and Direction by Jill Grundstrom, Music by Griffin Candey, Story Adaptation by Susan Candey

This exquisite fairytale shines onstage in this never-before-seen ballet.  In a land that has been depleted and bewitched by the evil Troll Queen, a girl volunteers to go with the White Bear, who is under the spell of the Troll Queen, in payment of her family's debt.  The Bear takes the Girl on a journey to his castle, where they encounter the Northern Lights. Upon arrival, she meets his servants, who have also been turned into animals.  After the castle settles for the night, the Girl ventures through the castle finding the Bear in his princely, human form, which he can only assume during the full moon.  The Troll Queen, Troll Princesses, and entourage steal away the Prince to their lair.  The Girl is left with witches and the four winds to find the land of the trolls, which lies “east of the sun and west of the moon."  Can the girl find the troll kingdom and save her prince? Her breathtaking, magical journey comes to life in this stunning original production.


Thursday, January 24th at 7:30 PM

Friday, January 25th at 7:30 PM

Saturday, January 26th at 1:00 PM (Theatre for All Performance)

Saturday, January 26th at 7:30 PM


Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for students, and $5 for NMU students.

Located in the Forest Roberts Theatre.


Cast List

The Girl Sadie Knill
The Prince (Bear) Ethan Bott
The Troll Queen Charlie Edwards
Mother Kate Fether
Father Nathaniel Langlie
Servant (Rabbit) Amelia Bishop
Servant (Ferret) Emily Burbey
Servant (Mouse) Skylar Taavola
Troll (Pride) Kati Kattelus
Troll (Greed) Alycia Schenk
Troll Ensemble Jacqueline Brignall, Nathaniel Langlie, Elodie Malherbe, Lizzie Smith
Witches Erin Culp†, Sarah Fosco, Maddie Rayner
East Wind Maisie Zahn
West Wind Eridinn Nayback
South Wind Kylie Jacobson
North Wind Eliza Compton
Northern Lights Demi-Soloists Kate Fether, Kate Karling, Josie Truckey
Northern Lights Ensemble

Kendra Campbell, Liz Caputo, Eliza Compton, Kylie Jacobson, Valerie Slaght, Olivia Manganello, Marina Mankee, Eridinn Nayback, Hanna Numinen, Valerie Schuhknecht, Maisie Zahn


† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.



Creative Team

Choreographer and Director Jill Grundstrom
Composer Griffin Candey
Story Adaptation and Dramaturgy Susan Candey
Conductor Erin Colwitz
Scenic Designer Victor G. Holliday
Lighting Designer Victor G. Holliday
Assistant Lighting Designer Justin Van't Hof
Costume Designer Jill Grundstrom
Sound Designer Jacob Stipe
Properties Master Hannah Carey
Technical Director David Pierce
Production Stage Manager Emily Kendall

† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.



Additional Artistic Staff

Assistant Stage Manager Audree Stephens
Master Electrician Dan Zini
Light Board Operator  Nathan Morgan
Sound Board Operator Jacob Stipe
Fly Rail Operator Alec Vanhorn
Dresser Joel Shinavier

† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.



Forest Roberts Theatre Staff

Costume Shop Supervisor Ann Juidici
Costume Shop Crew Alyssa Bjork, Ethan Bott, Erin Culp†, Hannah Danforth, Megan Leach, Erin Perry, Sabrina Nelson, Callie Reid, Joel Shinavier, Esther Teng
Scene Shop Foreman Steve McClain
Carpenters, Electricians and Painters Emily Baker, Hannah Carey, Keegan Downey, Emily Kendall, Regan McKay, Brady Skewis, Audree Stephens, Jacob Stipe, Esther Teng, Justin Van't Hof, Taylor Venegas, Taylor Wilcox
Lighting and Sound Supervisor Dan Zini
Box Office Manager Lilith Kontos
Assistant Box Office Manager Emily Kendall
Box Office Staff Kendra Anderson, Leah Danielson, Jacob Laitinen, Abby Macek, Micah Munts, Nick Salin, Sophie Sam, Brady Skewis
Facebook Find us at FRT Theatre and Dance! 

† indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.

Cast Bios

Sadie Knill (The Girl) is extremely excited to be performing in East of the Sun, West of the Moon. She has danced as a member of the ensemble in NMU’s Tarzan and The Addams Family. Before NMU, Sadie was a member of the Michigan Ballet Theatre, performing in various roles in The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty. She would like to thank Jill for giving her this unique opportunity and her family for their continuous support in everything she does!

Ethan Bott (The Prince/Bear) is currently a senior studying English writing. This is his first ballet and he is glad to be a part of it. Other shows Ethan's been in on the FRT stage include Sweeney Todd, Tarzan, and Noises Off.

Charlie Edwards (The Troll Queen) is a senior English writing major with a double minor in dance and computer information systems. Charlie has been involved in the performing arts for a majority of his life, taking voice and piano lessons from age 9 to 14 and dance classes in a variety of styles since the age of 11. As an NMU student, Charlie has found joy performing in and choreographing for the annual NMU Dance Concerts, as well as dancing with the NMU Hip Hop Dance Crew. He couldn’t be more excited to portray an androgynous role in this world premiere ballet. He hopes you enjoy the show!

Kate Fether (Mother/Northern Lights Demi-Soloist) has been taking ballet lessons at Queen City Dance Company for the past three years and has a bit of a dance background from her childhood as well. She is a mother of two kids and is a physical therapist in the area, working with children through the public schools. NMU is her alma mater and it has always been a special place to her. She was very excited when she first heard about this NMU production and how it was going to be an original, creative collaboration. She really just felt compelled to be a part of it. She is so glad to have the opportunity to be on stage as an adult and really enjoys providing for the audience the experience of watching ballet that she so loved as a kid.

Nathaniel Langlie (Father/Troll Ensemble) is a junior theatre major and dance minor. Nathaniel has performed in many Northern productions such as Tarzan, The Addams Family, Noises Off, the 2018 NMU Dance Concert, and Sweeney Todd. Nathaniel has also appeared in Godspell and Beacon on the Rock locally. Nathaniel hopes that you will enjoy the performance.

Amelia Bishop (Servant (Rabbit)) is a freshman at MSHS. She attends Marquette Center for Dance for ballet. Amelia is also involved in theatre, choir, and band. She is very excited to be a part of this original ballet and has thoroughly enjoyed the rehearsal process. Amelia would like to thank her family for their support and Jill Grundstrom for this wonderful opportunity.

Emily Burbey (Servant (Ferret)) is currently a sophomore at NMU majoring in graphic design. She began dance at the age of four with New Attitudes Dance Studio of Marquette and has continued to participate in NMU dance classes and events. She has also been involved in many theatrical productions since the age of five with community programs. She has most recently performed in the NMU Dance Concert and in NMU's production of Tarzan as Jane in 2018. Her hobbies include performing, singing, dance, soccer, and design. Emily is so grateful and excited to be a part of East of the Sun, West of the Moon!

Skylar Taavola (Servant (Mouse)) is a freshman at NMU majoring in management of health and fitness with a minor in dance. She has been dancing for 15 years and has been involved in Marquette’s Nutcracker for five years. She is currently on the university's dance team along with teaching at New Attitudes. Skylar is excited to be a part of her first production at NMU and can’t wait to perform in this special world premiere ballet, East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

Kati Kattelus (Troll (Pride)) is a senior studying ceramics and minoring in dance. She also teaches yoga at the PEIF and the local studio, Tulivesi. This is Kati’s second show with NMU and she’d like to thank Jill Grundstrom for both of these opportunities as well as the rest of the cast for all of their hard work. Kati hopes you enjoy the show and would love to meet you afterward!

Alycia Schenk (Troll (Greed)) is a senior hospitality management major and a dance minor.  She danced at First Street Academy of Dance for 15 years and has continued to dance at NMU.  Last year, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester and take dance classes. In the past, she performed in NMU’s Dance Concert and Second Skin Shop’s The Nutcracker. She is very excited to be part of this once in a lifetime premiere ballet and to be working under the choreography of Jill.  She hopes everyone enjoys the show!

Jacqueline Brignall (Troll Ensemble) is a sophomore currently attending Northern Michigan University. She is majoring in biology with a concentration in zoology and minoring in dance. This is her first performance at the Forest Roberts Theatre, and she could not be more excited to be a part of the show.

Elodie Malherbe (Troll Ensemble) is 14 years old and is in 8th grade at Bothwell Middle School. She’s been dancing for 10 years and counting at Marquette Center for Dance. She does youth theatre, lots of music, and sports. In the past year she’s been in Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland and is currently also in Newsies.

Lizzie Smith (Troll Ensemble) is studying illustration and dance at Northern Michigan University and has participated in countless stage productions throughout her young life. She would agree that performance art is her favorite kind of art, and as a natural-born entertainer who usually takes on the quirkiest of roles, Lizzie is ecstatic to present herself as a troll in this ballet. Her dance experience goes way back to her childhood, and will continue until she can no longer walk. Please enjoy this show, East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

Erin Culp (Witch) is a sophomore majoring in psychology and theatre. She has been involved in theatre for many years, but this is her first ballet. She is very grateful for this experience and can’t wait for it to open!

Sarah Fosco (Witch) is a senior forensic biochemistry student at Northern. She is in the pre-medical program and plans to attend medical school. She is also a part of the NMU Dance Team, and teaches dance classes at her local dance studio, Dawn Dott Dance Studios. In her free time, Sarah enjoys working out, shopping, photography, and playing with her dogs. She is excited to be a part of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and is lucky to work with so many great people!

Maddie Rayner (Witch) is thrilled to be dancing in East of the Sun, West of the Moon! Working on the world premiere of a production from the beginning has been an incredible opportunity and she is extremely excited for this to be her first experience dancing in a full-length ballet. Her previous credits at NMU include the Birdseller in Sweeney Todd and dancing in the ensemble in Tarzan. Maddie would like to thank the cast, the pit orchestra, and the production team for all of their time, effort, and hard work to make this production great. She would also like to thank her family, friends, and House DeBergerac family – Abby and Erin – for all of their love and support.

Maisie Zahn (East Wind/Northern Lights Ensemble) grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee where she danced with Chattanooga Ballet starting at the age of seven years old. She has been in twelve different ballet productions with different ballet companies. Maisie also appeared in Fringe Festival this past fall, and will be appearing in Beauty and the Beast this spring! This is Maisie’s first solo in a ballet and she is very excited to be a part of this production! 

Eridinn Nayback (West Wind/Northern Lights Ensemble), age 14, lives in Shingleton. She dances at Marquette Center for Dance (director Mrs. Lynne Bolitho), and will portray a character role for the spring recital. A lover of theatre and forensics, Eridinn will be dancing in Newsies, and has been in many Superior Arts Youth Theater productions. She is thrilled to be challenged by college ballet, especially as a freshman in high school. Eridinn has done several summer intensives, including Grand Rapids Ballet, Russian Ballet in Novi, and most recently, Cecchetti training in Holland, Michigan. Eridinn has also enjoyed being in the local production of The Nutcracker, competition company, and performance company at New Attitudes.

Kylie Jacobson (South Wind/Northern Lights Ensemble) is a senior at NMU majoring in elementary education with a dance minor. She has been dancing for 15 years and is trained in ballet, jazz, and lyrical. She has previously performed in three of the dance concerts at NMU. Over the past few summers, Kylie has spent time teaching little dancers to love dance the way she does. Dance to her is a way of letting go of stress and telling a story through only movement. When she's not dancing, she's doing puzzles, watching hockey, or planning her wedding. Kylie is very grateful that Northern is able to offer dance, and looks forward to seeing how the program grows.

Eliza Compton (North Wind/Northern Lights Ensemble) is a sophomore at NMU majoring in English secondary education and minoring in Spanish secondary education. Even though this ballet is her first performance with NMU, she has danced ballet for six years and has previously performed in Swan Lake, Perilous Encounters, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Rose with Marquette Center for Dance.

Kate Karling (Northern Lights Demi-Soloist) was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and is grateful to have grown up in such a breathtaking place. She has been dancing for seventeen years, with experience including jazz, contemporary, lyrical, and, her favorite from the very beginning, ballet. Kate has performed in many recitals at the beautiful Historic Ironwood Theatre. She is a junior year English major, theatre minor and would like to thank her family for being supportive of her dreams. Kate is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of such a fantastic, brand new ballet! She hopes you enjoy!

Josie Truckey (Northern Lights Demi-Soloist) is thrilled to be joining the production of East of the Sun, West of the Moon at NMU. She has been studying ballet for 10 years at Marquette Center for Dance, under the direction of Lynne Bolitho, where she also assists in teaching younger students. Josie danced the role of the Nutcracker in the 2018 Kaufman Auditorium & Second Skin Shop production of The Nutcracker. Josie is 14, and is currently an 8th grader at Bothwell Middle School in Marquette. When not dancing, Josie loves to downhill ski, spend time with friends, and relax with her Dachshund, Zucchini.

Kendra Campbell (Northern Lights Ensemble) is a junior medicinal plant chemistry major and a criminal justice minor from Iron River, MI. She has been in dance since she was 3 years old performing in tap, jazz, gymnastics, ballet, and hip hop. She was also a part of her high school dance team and attended dance camps and competitions growing up. She performed in the 2018 Dance Concert at NMU and is happy to be continuing her dancing career here at Northern. This world premiere ballet, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, is very important to her and is thankful to be given the opportunity to be apart of this production.

Liz Caputo (Northern Lights Ensemble) is a senior at NMU with a double major in criminal justice and psychology applied behavioral analysis and with a double minor in dance and pre-law. Liz has been dancing for 19 years and has studied the arts of tap, jazz, hip hop, and ballet. As an NMU student, Liz has performed in three of the annual NMU Dance Concerts, and has been a member with NMU Hip Hop Dance Crew for two years. She is looking forward to sharing her love of dance with the community and would like to thank her family and boyfriend for supporting her in everything that she does! Enjoy the show!!  

Olivia Manganello (Northern Lights Ensemble) is a pre-med biology major in her senior year at NMU. She has been dancing for 17 years. This is her second show with the FRT and she is so excited to be a part of this production.

Marina Mankee (Northern Lights Ensemble) is a sophomore chemistry and Spanish major. She has danced ballet for 11 years throughout grade school and is very excited to be dancing in this ballet!

Valerie Schuhknecht (Northern Lights Ensemble) is a sophomore studying biology and she wants to become an optometrist. East of the Sun, West of the Moon is the first production through NMU she has been a part of. She has practiced ballet for six years and is currently a member of Queen City in Marquette. 

Valerie Slaght (Northern Lights Ensemble) is a current junior at NMU majoring in philosophy and double minoring in religious studies and dance. She has been dancing for fifteen years, ballet being her favorite type of dance. This is her first NMU production and she’s had a great experience working with everyone. It's been really cool to see everyone come together and make a beautiful show. 

Creative Team Bios

Jill Grundstrom (Director, Choreographer, Costume Design) is a Marquette based dancer, instructor, and choreographer. She has a BS from Northern Michigan University in Secondary Education with majors in English and French, and an MA in Dance Education from New York University in New York City and Genoa, Italy. She is currently working on an EdS degree in Educational Leadership, with the intent to continue to an EdD. She continues to train with The Luigi Jazz Centre, STEPS on Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center in New York City, and has worked, taught, and trained with New York City Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, and American Ballet Theatre, whose curriculum she is certified in. Jill is the dance program director at NMU and choreographs for FRT Theatre and Dance Program, as well as for the Superior Arts Youth Theatre. She has choreographed over 30 full-length musical and dance productions in the Upper Peninsula, New York City, and Los Angeles, and recently choreographed an independent feature-length film, Our State Fair. She was the recipient of the MACC Outstanding Performing Artist of the Year Award in 2011. She is currently consulting on a new Character Dance curriculum for American Ballet Theatre.

Erin Colwitz (Conductor) is a native of Wisconsin and received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota. She later completed the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Southern California in choral music. As a professional singer, Dr. Colwitz was contracted to sing with the Dale Warland Singers (of Minnesota) in 1999. She can be heard on three of their albums, one of which was nominated for a Grammy: Dominick Argento's Walden Pond (2003) on Gothic Records. Dr. Colwitz is currently the Director of Choral Activities at NMU; she conducts the Marquette Choral Society, University Choir, and Arts Chorale, and teaches Choral Methods and Music in Society, as well as specialty classes such as The Beatles: Their Music, Their Times. She is frequently a guest conductor, contest adjudicator, and choral clinician throughout the U.P., Michigan, Wisconsin, and the Southeast. She also serves on the Michigan ACDA board as the Membership Chair.

Victor G. Holliday (Scenic Design, Lighting Design) has been the designer for the Forest Roberts Theatre since 1982, and also served as technical director from 1982-2000. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. Johns University (Minnesota), and his Master of Fine Arts in Scenic Design from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Before coming to NMU, he was designer and technical director at Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey). Vic has also designed for summer and community theatre companies in Hawaii, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and North Carolina. Outside of the theatre, his major interests are history (particularly military and naval history), ship modeling (pre-deadnought steel navy), and he is an active ailurophile.

Shelley Russell (Costume Design) is a professor of theatre arts at NMU. Shelley teaches a variety of courses, including playwriting and stage combat. She's directed over fifty productions including Beauty and the Beast, RENT, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan and Legally Blonde. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, and has acted and sung in numerous productions, created dance and fight choreography, designed costumes, and written plays and musicals which have been honored by the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award Competition, KCACTF, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the State of Michigan. She served as executive director for LST and in 2011 was honored by NMU with the Distinguished Faculty Award. Playwriting credits include Holdin' Our Own, Beacon on the Rock, Haywire, Points North, and Water, Woman. 

David Pierce (Technical Director) came to NMU from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY where he had been technical director for the department of theatre and dance. Other TD credits include Adirondack Theatre Festival, Little Theatre on the Square, and Four Seasons Theatre Company. David holds a BS in construction management from Ferris State University and an MFA in theatre technology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his spare time, he loves to be outdoors. He enjoys hiking, boating, fishing, biking, and bonfires. He's also a boisterous Tigers fan!