Featured Q-STAGE Collaborator: Hannah Stein

Part of the mission of 20% Theatre Company is to provide opportunities to new and emerging artists. Q-STAGE is the perfect vehicle to create such opportunity. So, as we finish out our second installment of the Q-STAGE New Works Series, we’d like to introduce you to one more artist you may not have met. Hannah Stein has been the production assistant for Andrea Jenkins’ piece Body Parts: Intersectionality.

Production Assistant: Hannah Stein

Production Assistant: Hannah Stein

Who are you and what do you do (in life? in the world? in the arts?)?

My name is Hannah Stein and I am from Athens, Georgia. I graduated from Lawrence University with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and moved to the Twin Cities to pursue stage work. You can often find me helping to run two cool consignment shops in uptown Minneapolis and on Grand Avenue in St Paul (My Sister’s Closet) or hanging out with my two adorable chinchillas!

Tell us about your artistic background?

The very last term of my high school senior year, my friend talked me into my first audition for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production was so wonderful that I immersed myself in theatre once I got to college! Trying my hand at everything from light operation and set design to performance and directing, my senior project was performing in a two-person show in which I also did sound design. I also interned at American Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois and at LOST Theatre in London, England.

Tell us a little bit about the Q-STAGE piece or pieces you are working on?

I am working with Andrea Jenkins to tell her story and demonstrate how her experiences at the crossroads of race, identity, and sexuality illuminate further questions and common goals for many people. A collage artist as well as poet, Andrea incorporates many different elements into this piece, and it has been wonderful to work with her!

What themes do you pursue in your work?

I am fascinated by cultural simultaneity, obligations within different social systems, unexpected challenges faced by Queer people, and the drama within everyday spaces.

Tell us about an artist or performance that has inspired you?

My role as a stagehand in 20% Theatre’s Rapture Blister Burn was particularly formative because I had the chance to think over the ideas within that amazing show each night. Regarding inspiring performances, I was particularly blown away by Mark Rylance’s incredible role in Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth.


CAT14_QStage_CALIt’s here! Tonight marks the opening of Q-STAGE, presented by 20% Theatre Company as part of the Catalyst series at Intermedia Arts. And what a journey it has been…

As a team of artists, we kicked off the creative process about 6 months ago, back in November, as Q-STAGE artists and support staff met to introduce themselves and their ideas. The Q-STAGE process as a whole began well before that – when 20% Theatre Company received 35 beautiful proposals last August, each describing visionary Queer work by Queer artists. In September, the proposals were turned over to our 13-member Artistic Advisory Committee who read and reviewed them for a month. Committee members each chose 8 proposals that they felt should be selected to participate in Q-STAGE, with a focus on ensuring diverse representation of Queer voices, experiences, and artistic expression. We then created a huge spreadsheet, compiling all of the committee members’ top selections, and ultimately, the top 6 of their top 8 selections were invited to be part of Q-STAGE 2015. (Note: 2 committee members also submitted proposals to be part of Q-STAGE, and during the review process, those members were not allowed to select their own proposal for their top 8.)

Each of the artists whose work you will see participated in an extensive development and sharing process. The goal of Q-STAGE is not only to provide funding for the development of new Queer work, but also to create an environment in which Queer artists can experiment and thrive. The work you are about to see has evolved beyond each artist’s original proposal, as they have had the time and space to explore, refine, and in some cases, completely change some of their original ideas.

If you’ve read the descriptions of each piece, you’re probably having a hard time deciding which Set to come to. Our advice: don’t choose. Come to all three sets. With our $5-$25 Sliding Scale for tickets, you can see all 3 Sets (all 6 new works!) for just $15. Opportunities to explore the intersectionality of diverse themes such as race, gender identity, sexuality, family, class, mental illness, abuse, etc., through raw, new performance are few and far between.

CLICK HERE for the full schedule and descriptions of shows.

Also – Do you have themes you’d like to add? Thoughts on the state of Queer performance? Questions about where it’s going? Then please come and join us for one of our post show discussions, following Set A on 5/3 at 730pm, Set B on 5/6 at 730pm, and Set C on 5/7 at 730pm.

See you at the shows!

Nicole Wilder & Claire Avitabile
Q-STAGE: New Works Series Co-Producers