What We Leave Behind: Addressing Climate Change Through Dance


A Vibrant Dance Showcase

Original Choreography by Jill Grundstrom and NMU Theatre & Dance Students

Lecture Content by Dr. Jessica Thompson

Original Music by Om

How do we change the conversation surrounding climate change? By examining and relating to the people and places we love. Join NMU in a collaborative lecture, dance, multimedia, and live music performance with our new dance company, co/lab collective, the OM music group, and Professor Jessica Thompson.


Thursday, November 7th at 7:30 PM

Friday, November 8th at 7:30 PM

Saturday, November 9th at 1:00 PM (Theatre for All Performance)

Saturday, November 9th at 7:30 PM


Tickets are $17 for the general public, $12 for NMU Faculty/Staff, Seniors, and Military, $10 for students, and $5 for NMU students.

Located in the Forest Roberts Theatre.


Cast List

Dance Creators
Charlie Edwards
Liz Caputo
Jacqueline Brignall
Maisie Zahn
Valerie Slaght
Eliza Goben
Kate Joy Karling
Audree Stephens
Gracie Fries
Kortney Manchip
Megan Hibbard
Skylar Taavola
Om Musicians
Carrie Biolo
Kendra Day
Wyatt Tillotson
Janae Peterson

Maria Formolo

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


Creative Team

Creative Director

Jill Grundstrom
Om Director Carrie Biolo
Lecture Content Creator Dr. Jessica Thompson
Scenic Designer Bill Digneit
Scenic Artist Jason Schneider
Lighting Designer Vic Holliday
Costume Design/Organization Shelley Russell
Projection Design Team Micah Munts, Gabrielle McNally, Tracy Wascom
Sound Designer Dan Zini
Properties Masters Hannah Carey, Keli Crawford-Truckey
Technical Director David Pierce
Production Stage Manager Lilith Kontos

Indicates work done in partial fulfillment of the senior capstone.

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



Additional Artistic Staff

Assistant Stage Managers Clair Kaminski, Emily Kendall
Lighting Design Assistant Megan Hibbard
Master Electrician Jacob Stipe
Light Board Operator  Lilith Kontos
Sound Board Operator Dan Zini
Spotlight Operator Avery Zahlmann
Audio 2 John Fatla

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



Forest Roberts Theatre Staff

Costume Shop Supervisor Ann Juidici
Costume Shop Crew

Erin Culp, Frances Dykema, Masie Johnson, Kate Karling, Eric Mackall, Sabrina Nelson, Joel Shinavier, Esther Teng, Zoe Zimmer

Scene Shop Foreman Ross Johnson
Carpenters and Painters

Emily Baker, Emily Kendall, Keegan Downey, Alec Vanhorn, Audree Stephens, Taylor Venegas, Esther Teng

Lighting and Sound Supervisor Dan Zini
Electrics Crew

Jacob Stipe, Justin Vant’ Hof, Sam Stauffer, Eric Honig

Prop Artesians Keli Truckey, Hannah Carey
Box Office Manager Nick Salin
Assistant Box Office Manager Sophie Sam
Box Office Staff

Abby Macek, Jacob Laitinen Leah Danielson, Marina Morse, Micah Munts

Photographers NMU Marketing
Facebook Find us at NMU Theatre and Dance! 

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


Cast Bios

Charlie Edwards (Dance Creatoris an 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, training in dance since the age of 11 and acting since the age of 17. As an NMU student, Charlie has found joy performing in and choreographing for the annual NMU dance concerts, as well as acting in several NMU theatre productions. He is very excited to perform in what will be his final collegiate dance concert before graduating in May. Enjoy the show!

Liz Caputo (Dance Creatoris a senior at NMU with a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology Applied Behavioral Analysis, and a double minor in Pre-Law and Dance. Liz has been dancing for 20 years and has studied the arts of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, and Hip Hop. She has been preforming at NMU dance concert's for four years now and was in East of the Sun West of the Moon Ballet that NMU presented last winter, and was in the Hip Hop Dance Crew for three semesters.  Liz would like to thank her family and her fiancé for supporting her in everything that she does! Enjoy the Show!

Jacqueline Brignall (Dance Creator) is a junior year Zoology major. This is her second show with the Forest Roberts Theatre. She is excited to share such an important message in a way that is able to reach everyone.

Maisie Zahn (Dance Creator) is currently a sophomore at NMU, and is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee where she was classically trained in ballet for nine years. She is studying Sports Science in hopes of becoming an athletic trainer for professional dancers. She has enjoyed her experience performing with NMU in Fringe Festival, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, as well as Beauty and the Beast. She is grateful to be following her passion through dance.

Valerie Slaght (Dance Creator) is a senior studying Philosophy and double minoring in Religious Studies and Dance. She has been dancing for sixteen years. Valerie has danced in the past two dance concerts put on by NMU. She is excited to dance with a purpose in this show and spark conversation about climate change.

Eliza Goben (Dance Creator) is a senior at NMU from Marshall, MI. She is studying Applied Behavior Analysis with a double minor in Human Services and Dance, and she is currently working in the Organizational Behavior Management Lab for her final year. Eliza has been dancing for sixteen years. She has studied ballet, acro, clogging, jazz, hip hop, and most recently contemporary. Although Eliza has never performed with NMU, she has been involved in many theatrical productions and dance recitals in her hometown.

Kate Joy Karling (Dance Creator) was born and raised in our gorgeous Upper Peninsula. She is so proud to be a part of such a progressive, enlightening production. She hopes that you can feel, and share in, the passion of everyone who has been involved in the making of this show as you experience it. She would like to thank her family and close friends for their wholehearted support in her endeavors.

Audree Stephens (Dance Creator) is a Senior at NMU majoring in theatre and minoring in dance. This is her first year participating in a dance show and she is so excited to have this opportunity! Audree has been in several shows here at the FRT including The Addams Family (Bride Ancestor/Wednesday's understudy), Tarzan (Kala), Sweeney Todd (Johanna), Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts), and The Full Monty (Estelle). She hopes the audience will open their eyes to what is happening with our world right now and take the appropriate action to live peacefully in the future!

Gracie Fries (Dance Creator) is a junior here at NMU from Kingsford, Michigan pursuing a bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship and a minor in dance. Her passion lies in the musical arts with eighteen years of dance instruction and vocal lessons. She spent four years teaching and choreographing at Julie’s Top Hat Dance Studio and is currently choreographing at Dawn Dott Dance Studio, along with this years SAYT production of Frozen Jr. She was a pro-dancer in this past Dancing With Our Stars Marquette County Style, Disney Edition. Her hobbies include singing, playing bass, baking, gardening, and spending time with friends and family. Being one of the first of her family to attend college, she is proud to be a “Wildcat” with much support from her family and friends.

Megan Hibbard (Dance Creator/Assistant Lighting Designer) is a Sophomore and this is her third semester performing at the Forest Roberts Theatre! Her past performances include Fringe Festival, Beauty and the Beast and Mamma Mia! and she is so excited to add What We Leave Behind to the list. Megan has been dancing for 11 years and can’t wait to keep learning and growing alongside this amazing cast and under the guidance of Jill Grundstrom. She would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her and pushing her to keep overcoming obstacles to do what she loves.

Skylar Taavola (Dance Creator) is a sophomore majoring in Management of Health and Fitness with a minor in Dance. This is her second production at Northern Michigan University, with previously being apart of the East of the Sun, West of the Moon Ballet. Skylar is a second year member and choreographer for the NMU Dance Team. She currently teaches various styles of dance at New Attitudes and Julie’s Top Hat dance studios, and is also a choreographer for Marquette's Nutcracker Ballet. Skylar is so grateful to be a part of this show and would like to thank Jill Grundstrom for inspiring and helping her daily.

Creative Team Bios

Jill Grundstrom (Creative Director) 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.

Dr. Jessica Thompson (Lecture Content Creator) is an associate professor in the College of Business. She teaches courses in environmental and social responsibility, new media and public relations. Her research is focused on communication about complex ecological issues, such as climate change and sustainable development. She has worked on climate change related research teams in Mexico, Mongolia, India, Singapore, and at more than two dozen National Parks and communities across the United States. Her latest book, America’s Largest Classroom: What We Learn From Our National Parks, will be available in April, 2020. She also serves on the Marquette County Climate Adaptation Task Force and Michigan Energy Options’ Board of Directors.

Carrie Biolo (OM Music Director) is a world-class percussionist who brings highly experimental sound, rhythm and movement into her work, Biolo has toured extensively throughout the United States, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Austria, Spain and Italy.  She has recorded over 25 CD’s on various labels including Delmark, HatART and Rhino.  Her music compositions can be heard on Ira Glass’ This American Life, and Chicago, Boston, Interlochen and Marquette Public Radio. Carrie is an instructor at Northern Michigan University where she directs the OM New Music Ensemble and teaches World Music.  This fall she began teaching private percussion lessons at Michigan Tech.  She is the founder and artistic director of the Percussive Attack Camp, maintains a private percussion studio, directs the Marquette Senior High Drumline and is a percussionist with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra. Biolo currently resides in Marquette, MI, where she is a fifth-generation native.  Carrie is an instructor at Northern Michigan University where she directs the OM New Music Ensemble and teaches World Music.  Biolo is also a private music instructor in the Visual and Performing Arts Department of Michigan Technological University, is the founder and artistic director of the Percussive Attack Camp, directs the Marquette Senior High Drumline and is a percussionist with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra.

Lilith Kontos (Production Stage Manager) is a recent graduate of Northern Michigan University, where she received her B.S. in English and minored in theatre. She is a local performer and stage manager and has appeared in roles such as Rocky Horror in The Rocky Horror Show (U.P. Masonic Center), Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Presque Isle Bandshell), Nina in The Seagull (Wolf’s Head Theatre Company), Ali in Mamma Mia! (Forest Roberts Theatre), Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd (Forest Roberts Theatre), Annelle in Steel Magnolias (Lake Superior Theatre), and Jan in Grease (Lake Superior Theatre). Stage management credits include Tarzan at the Forest Roberts Theatre.