Our Company

Commonweal Resident Ensemble

Lizzy Andretta

LIZZY ANDRETTA 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.

Stela BurdtSTELA BURDT 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 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.

Elizabeth DunnELIZABETH DUNN is in her eighth season with the Commonweal. Favorite credits include: Boeing, Boeing, On the Verge, Scotland Road, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Dracula: Prince of Blood. She has traveled in multiple tours with Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre, and lived in Chicago for a stint, where she studied improvisation at iO (formerly ImprovOlympic). Originally hailing from Georgia, Elizabeth is a 2010 graduate of Valdosta State University where she earned her B.F.A. in Theatre Arts.

KELSEY HEATHCOTE 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 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 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 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.

Rachel KuhnleRACHEL KUHNLE returned to the Commonweal in 2018, seven years after completing her acting apprenticeship in which she performed in Metamorphoses and To Kill a Mockingbird. She was last seen on stage as June in Sanders Family Christmas and directed last year’s production of Dancing Lessons. Rachel completed her M.F.A. in Acting from the University of South Carolina in 2017. She loves her cat, her baby, and is grateful to her husband, Josiah, for being awesome.

 

Josiah LaubensteinJOSIAH LAUBENSTEIN joined the Commonweal late in 2018. He is the resident videographer and most recently appeared in Dancing Lessons. Before moving here, Josiah worked at Festival Theatre in St. Croix Falls, WI, as their Marketing Director and acting 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, a co-founder of Highway Walkers Media Company and is happily married to Rachel Kuhnle. He is besotted with their first child, Franny.

Brandt RobertsBRANDT ROBERTS is in his ninth season at the Commonweal. Favorite roles include Robert in Boeing-Boeing, John Merrick in The Elephant Man, Mr. Coffee in On the Verge, Ragnar Brovik in The Master Builder, and Fancourt Babberley in Charley’s Aunt. Cherished regional credits include Measure for Measure and Henry IV Part I at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Brandt’s original one-person show, The Art of the Entertainer, has been performed in several states and was adapted into an online presentation in 2020. Roberts holds an M.F.A. in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

JODI RUSHING 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 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 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 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 was 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.