Our Company

Commonweal Resident Ensemble

Lizzy Andretta

LIZZY ANDRETTA (she/her) is in her sixth season at the Commonweal. She appeared in Dancing Lessons and A Christmas Carol last season and has previously appeared onstage in shows such as The Elephant Man, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Dracula: Prince of Blood, Boeing Boeing, and Sanders Family Christmas, among others. Other Commonweal credits include Root River Anthology, Headspace and A Driftless Christmas as well as choreographing for Peter & the Starcatcher, Stones in His Pockets, Dancing Lessons and A Christmas Carol. Lizzy earned an M.F.A in Acting from the East 15 Acting School in England and a B.S. from Skidmore College. She is originally from New Jersey and now lives in Lanesboro with her beloved cat, Henry.

CODY BEYER (he/him) is thrilled to be joining this lovely community and extraordinary company for his first season at Commonweal. He received his B.A. in Theatre Honors from the University of Tennessee. Cody is an actor, designer, and builder who has been working in Chicago for the past 7 years. He worked mostly with Theatre-Y and Hell in a Handbag Productions, with his favorite credits being Macbeth and Stories of the Body. As most people have felt, these last few years have proved tremendously trying, but this Theatre and community have something truly special that Cody can’t wait to add to.

Stela BurdtSTELA BURDT (she/her) is grateful to celebrate her 22nd season with our Commonweal family. Past onstage work includes roles in Souvenir, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Crimes of the Heart, Zombies from the Beyond, A Midnight Dreary, Harvey and Man of La Mancha. In addition to performing, Stela is a music director, sound designer, freelance vocalist and the Commonweal’s Patron Relations Manager. Currently, Stela is in the role of a lifetime as mom to Kieran. Love and Light, #TeamScottyForever.

Hal CroppHAL CROPP (he/him) is in his 31st season where favorite roles have been in Come Back, Ghostwriter, Dracula, Outside Mullingar, Sherlock Holmes, The Drawer Boy, To Kill A Mockingbird, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Christmas Carol, Groucho, and Talley’ Folly. Selected directing credits include I Love to Eat,  Headspace Theatre, Peter and the Starcatcher,Brand, Heartland Portrait, Wild Duck, Measure for Measure, Peer Gynt, A Midnight Dreary, Enchanted April, Ghosts, and Little Shop of Horrors. Hal holds a B.A. from Brown University, an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University,and an M.F.A.  from the National Theater Conservatory, He was the Sally Irvine Award winner for Initiative, 2006.

KELSEY HEATHCOTE (she/her) serves on the Commonweal’s production team as the Technical Director and Assistant Production Manager. Since completing her apprenticeship in 2018, her work here has been seen onstage in several shows, including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Peter and the Starcatcher and Bakersfield Mist. In 2020, Kelsey designed the set, sound, and lighting for the Fully Committed and was one of the two audio engineers for A Driftless Christmas. She looks forward to many new and exciting challenges as we reopen our doors this year! 

David Hennessey

DAVID HENNESSEY (he/him) serves on our development team and has appeared in more than 50 shows over 23 years, including A Christmas Carol last season. Other favorites: Headspace Theatre, Holmes and Watson, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, The Drawer Boy, and The Rainmaker. He designed costumes for Ice Maidens and A Streetcar Named Desire, oversees our audio descriptions for the visually impaired, and has led our COVID mitigation protocols since 2020. Other acting credits include In Heart Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Jungle Theatre, and American Players Theatre. He lives in Preston with Linda, his favorite scene partner for 49 years.

Jaclyn June Johnson

JACLYN JUNE JOHNSON (she/they) joined the Commonweal Theatre Resident Ensemble at the start of 2020. An arts administrator, actor, director, playwright, costume designer and teaching artist, Jaclyn has credits across the country, performing and designing with companies such as St. Croix Festival Theatre, Children’s Theatre Madison, Creede Repertory, Riverside Shakespeare Festival, Riverside Theatre, Chicago’s UTG Improv Theatre. Jaclyn received her B.A. from Cornell College. She wishes to thank: her family, friends, spouse and their cats for their encouragement and love; and you for your support of the arts and specifically to the uniquely healing community of theatre.

RIVKA KELLY (she/her) joined the Commonweal family in 2020 as the Production Stage Manager. Rivka hails from California but has spent the last decade as a traveling stage manager – mostly around the midwest. Selected stage management experience includes shows with American Players Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Skylight Theatre and Two Crows Theatre. Rivka received her BA from the University of Vermont. She’s grateful for this welcoming community and her amazing family’s support.

Josiah LaubensteinJOSIAH LAUBENSTEIN (he/his) is in his fifth season at the Commonweal and is the theatre’s Literary Manager and Videographer. Shows here have included Leading Ladies, Dancing Lessons, Boeing Boeing, and more. Before moving to Lanesboro, Josiah worked at Festival Theatre in St. Croix Falls, WI, as the Marketing Director and acted in nine productions over two years. Prior to that, Josiah lived in Columbia, SC where he earned his M.F.A. in Acting from the University of South Carolina. Josiah is a proud member of Glassbox Theatre Group, and a co-founder of Highway Walkers Media Company. He is happily married to Rachel and is besotted with their first child, Franny.

LAURIE ROBERTS (she/her) is excited to join the Commonweal this season. Before moving to Lanesboro, Laurie worked with A Red Orchid Theatre, Hell in a Handbag, Facility Theatre, Theatre Y, and Red Tape Theatre in Chicago. Before then, she performed in Cincinnati at Know Theater and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Some of her favorite work has been devised and performed internationally in Pontlevoy, France and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Laurie has also worked as an acting teacher, movement director, and choreographer. She earned her M.F.A. in Acting at the University of South Carolina. Love to Duke Orsino.

JODI RUSHING (they/them)is in their fourth season at the Commonweal. Their favorite credits include An Iliad (Wealhouse), On The Verge, I Love to Eat, and Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]. Before their tech apprenticeship with the Commonweal in 2019, they stage managed for Doniphan Dance Project in Tupelo, MS, and served as the conference manager for the 2019 ACDA South Conference. Jodi holds a B.A. in Theatre and Film from the University of Mississippi.

TIM SAILER (he/him) started at the Commonweal as an apprentice in 2009 and is now in his fifth season with the company. He appeared in A Christmas Carol, The Rainmaker, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and An Enemy of the People. Other Minnesota work includes performances at Park Square Theatre, Theatre L’Homme Dieu, and the Orchard Theater Collective. He spent five years with the American Shakespeare Center (Staunton, VA), where he played more than 50 roles in 35 plays. Other regional work: Utah Shakespeare Festival, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Houston Shakespeare Festivals, and Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. Tim holds an M.F.A. from the University of Houston and is also an audiobook narrator.

Adrienne SweeneyADRIENNE SWEENEY (she/her) is grateful to be in her 22 season with the Commonweal, serving as the Assoc. Art. Dir. and Dir. of External Relations in addition to artistic roles. From Philadelphia, she holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the U/AZ. A commercial voice talent, she can be heard regionally on radio and TV. Favorite shows here include last season’s A Christmas Carol, in which she had the great fortune to play Scrooge. Other favorites: Silent Sky (director), Boeing Boeing, Steel Magnolias, Outside Mullingar, To Kill a Mockingbird and Sylvia. Adrienne believes that the act of sitting together in the dark, sharing stories, can help bring light to the world, something we all crave now more than ever. She looks forward to sharing time and space with you.

Jeremy van Meter

JEREMY van METER (he/him) is enjoying his 11th season in residence at the Commonweal. Favorite credits here include Sky in Come Back, C.K. Dexter Haven in The Philadelphia Story, Anthony Reilly in Outside Mullingar and the title role in Dracula: Prince of Blood by Scott Dixon. Jeremy’s professional career began at The Barter Theatre in Virginia and he has appeared regionally at Riverside Theatre, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Great River Shakespeare Festival. Jeremy holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the U. of Iowa and makes his home in Lanesboro with his lovely and extremely talented wife, Catherine Glynn.

In Memoriam

Scott DixonSCOTT R. DIXON (he/him) as a member of the Commonweal family from his first arrival, as a seasonal actor in 2001. He passed away in November, 2018, after a battle with cancer. He spent the last 17 years of his life at the Commonweal in Lanesboro, where he was an actor, playwright, director and served the company administratively in several capacities, last as Director of Development. He met and married his wife, Stela Burdt, here and they had a son, Kieran. Scott’s wit and capacity for understanding made him a friend to all. We will miss him and remember him with love. To read more about our friend Scott, CLICK HERE.

2022 – 2023 Apprentices

APPRENTICE MARIA CINA (she/her) is overflowing with gratitude for the opportunity to work with and learn from such a fantastic family of artists. She is honored to be a part of Commonweal Theatre Co.’s 2022-2023 Apprenticeship Class and hopes you enjoy the show!— Wow, is good to be back! Maria earned her AA in Commercial Photography from Madison College in Madison, Wisconsin and her Acting Certificate from The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently on hiatus from studying Theatre Arts and Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities with plans to resume post apprenticeship. Previous credits include Morticia Addams in The Addams Family Musical with Madison College Performing Arts (Robin Fonfara), Kendra in The Gulf with Rankin Theatre Guild (Corey Helser), Assistant Stage Manager for Romeo and Juliet with Theatre LILA (Jessica Lanius, Martinique Barthell), and US Marnie for Lewiston/Clarkston with Forward Theatre Co. (Jen Uphoff Gray).When not on stage, Maria can be found sipping tea and cuddling her cat Knives Meow in a sunny corner of the apartment, a fantasy novel close by. She sends love, hugs, and pinky promises to all her friends and family. instagram: @mariashe_

APPRENTICE GRACE CUMMINGS (she/her) has been acting and performing for almost a decade. She got her start performing in Monroe, Louisiana at Strauss Youth Academy for the Arts. From there, she moved to Natchitoches to join Northwestern State University’s Theatre & Dance program with a concentration in Performance and participate in the Louisiana Scholars’ College. Her philosophy as an artist is simple: art is about connection. No matter if she is writing, acting, singing, or painting, she aims to use her art to connect emotionally with those around her. Her one goal when she is onstage is always to tell a story that will not only connect her with her audience, but also with herself. Some of Grace’s previous roles include Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Prospero in The Tempest, and Deb in Ordinary Days. She was also able to debut two original roles, one written by the award-winning Del Shores in In Memoriam of Lena as Julia, and one written by herself in Emilia as Emilia Bassano. But right now, this Louisiana girl is just excited to be joining Commonweal in their apprenticeship and to be portraying Libby in I Ought to be in Pictures while getting to make new friendships and explore Minnesota! gracecummings.net | grace.cummings0403@gmail.com

TECH APPRENTICE SARA HUESER (she/her) serves as the technical Apprentice for the 2022 season. Favorite credits include The Wild Party, My Way, and The Other Place. She has spent many seasons in Savannah GA and Greenville SC working on shows. Originally from Pennsylvania, Sara holds a bachelor’s in Computer Engineering and a B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing for Savannah College of Art and Design. 

APPRENTICE JOHN B. NICOL (he/him) is incredibly excited to be returning to the theatre scene as an acting apprentice with the Commonweal. Born and raised in community theatres around Northeastern Iowa, he then went on to receive his B.S. in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University, Mankato. While there he had the opportunity to play some fun roles including Matt Friedman in Talley’s Folly, and Smee in Peter and the Starcatcher. In regional theatres he had fun playing Willard Hewitt in Footloose at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse and Demetrius in Midsummer Night’s Dream with Free to the People Theatre.

APPRENTICE TANNER SABOL (he/him) is thrilled to join the Commonweal Theatre for the first time! Growing up in Sioux Falls, SD, and graduating with a BFA in musical theatre from the University of North Dakota, he initially began acting in high school, being a part of the Oral Interpretation team for all four years. Since then, he has played roles such as Felix in the Odd Couple, Sweeney in Sweeney Todd, Richard Hannay in the 39 Steps, and was also a performer in the American College Theatre Festival’s 2020 Cabaret. He hopes to find another home away from home at the CTC!

APPRENTICE ALEX SCHLESINGER (they/them) is ecstatic to be making their professional acting debut on the Commonweal Theatre’s stage. Alex graduated from Luther College in 2021 with a BA in Theatre, and they are delighted to join the Commonweal’s apprentice class this year. Favorite roles include Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show, Florizell in The Winter’s Tale, and Amos Hart in Chicago. Alex would like to thank their mentor, professor, and good friend Jeff Dintaman for his years of support and sharing of knowledge that got Alex to where they are today.