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Rohan Preston

Reporter | Theater
Phone: 612-673-4390

Rohan Preston covers theater for the Star Tribune.


Preston spent his childhood in Jamaica and adolescence in New York before earning an English degree at Yale. He has served on the Pulitzer Prize jury for drama. He has been a Star Tribune theater critic since 1998.
Recent content from Rohan Preston
Grayson DeJesus as Jim O’Connor and Carey Cox as Laura Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie” at the Guthrie Theater.

Guthrie offers up a witty version of 'The Glass Menagerie'

REVIEW: Theater last staged the play in 2007.
What needs to change on the Minnesota arts scene? Artists and leaders weigh in

What needs to change on the Minnesota arts scene? Artists and leaders weigh in

Here's what Twin Cities movers and makers told us.
Cheryl Willis, Janis Hardy, Maria Asp and Barbra Berlovitz play women gathering for a free-associative chat in “Escaped Alone.”

What's it like to die? Frank Theatre stages two Caryl Churchill one-acts

Frank Theatre stages two Caryl Churchill one-acts that wrestle with the grim oblivion that awaits us all.

Artistry's 'Our Town' nods to the weirdness afoot

A revival of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" shows that it's a carpe diem ancestor to the Netflix series "Stranger Things."
Pop icon Sting gave a sneak peek of “The Last Ship,” his former Broadway show at the Ordway. Sting will perform in the production in St. Paul.

Sting will be an Englishman in St. Paul when 'The Last Ship' plays the Ordway

The singer-songwriter was all charm at the Ordway as he previewed "The Last Ship," which he will headline in April.
Michael Lupu

Longtime Guthrie dramaturg Michael Lupu, who shaped shows for decades, dies at 89

A giant in the field, he was internationally recognized in a role that often goes unnoticed.
Playwright and physician Anton Chekhov peers from his Guthrie mural over actor-turned-physician Dr. Lee Mark Nelson, a Chekhov admirer.

One of the Twin Cities' finest actors gave up the stage for a new life in medicine

Lee Mark Nelson gave up a career as a leading man of the stage for a new life in medicine.
Above: Shavey Brown, Kevin Brown Jr., Ben Bakken, Rendell DeBose and Dwight Leslie of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”

'90s musical 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' rises again at St Paul's Ordway Center

"Smokey Joe's Cafe" bows Tuesday at the Ordway with a cast of Twin Cities singers the creative team describes as "spectacular."
Sue Kotila, the Guthrie Theater’s visitor services director, held an ushers meeting before a matinee performance of “Floyd’s.”

Vomit, panties, teeth: Theater house managers handle all kinds of issues

The good, the bad and the downright weird: The life of a theater house manager.
Theater Mu’s dark comedy, “Hot Asian Doctor Husband,” features Mikell Sapp, left, Damian Leverett, Meghan Kreidler, Eric Sharp and Danielle Troi

Theater Mu's 'Hot Asian Doctor Husband' premieres with deadpan wit

"Hot Asian Doctor Husband," full of profanity and sharp wit, has its buzzy premiere at Mixed Blood.
Brian Oake hosted a birthday bash for 89.3 the Current at First Avenue shortly after joining the station in 2016.

After Facebook rant, Twin Cities morning-show DJ Brian Oake is out at the Current

No reason was given for his departure, but he had posted an angry message after getting kicked out of a concert.
“Stuck in an Elevator with Patrick Stewart II: The Wrath of Fandom” stars Travis Bedard, Ali Daniels, George Michael Calger.

8 mini-reviews from the Minnesota Fringe Festival

Festival runs through Aug. 11 at multiple venues throughout Minneapolis.
The cast of "Fiddler on the Roof."

Beloved classic 'Fiddler on the Roof' shows its emotional center at Orpheum in Minneapolis

The production nods to tradition even as it adds exuberant updates.
More than half the cast of "42nd Street" has been tapped from the Twin Cities area.

Twin Cities tap dancers are better than New Yorkers, says a hotshot choreographer

A New York creative team was pleasantly surprised about what it found in the Twin Cities while refreshing a Broadway classic, "42nd Street."
Casting directors Sheena Janson Kelley of the Jungle, Jennifer Liestman of the Guthrie and Kelli Foster Warder of the Ordway posed for a portrait at t

These casting directors are three of the most powerful people in Twin Cities theater

Meet the casting directors responsible for hiring hundreds of Twin Cities actors every year.
Kirsten Wyatt, portraying Miss Adelaide, in a scene during tech rehearsal for “Guys and Dolls.” ] JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com Th

Guthrie updates 'Guys and Dolls' with strong women for the 21st century

The Guthrie's splashy summer musical "Guys and Dolls" gets a 21st century update.
Kristin Stokes, Chris McCarrell and Jorrel Javier in “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.”

Percy Jackson musical at St. Paul's Ordway offers more thunder than light

The Percy Jackson musical "Lightning Thief" lacks heart.
Lily Tung Crystal, the new artistic director at Theater Mu.

Theater Mu hires leadership coach, ex-journalist to 'reunite' company

Lily Tung Crystal arrives from the Bay Area, where she helped launch another Asian-American theater company.
Laura Stearns read a statement at a news conference at the office of attorney Jeff Anderson, at right, after a Minneapolis jury found the Children's T

CTC apologizes for seeking court costs from sex abuse victim

"Last week we failed in our commitment to be empathetic and respectful in our handling of our legal obligation," Children's Theatre Company artistic director Peter Brosius said.
Tyler Michaels King and JuCoby Johnson in “To Let Go and Fall” at Theater Latté Da.

Theater Latté Da plays with memory, romance with 'To Let Go and Fall'

Theater Latté Da's "To Let Go and Fall" tracks a same-sex romance at varying life stages.
Stephen Christopher Anthony in the title role in “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Broadway's socially awkward 'Dear Evan Hansen' charms Twin Cities audiences

Review: The show brings a light touch to heavy subject matter, including social anxiety and suicide.
Minnesotans Christopher Schout, Jennifer Melin Miller and Frances Wilkinson are Broadway producers.

Meet the Minnesotans who helped bankroll Broadway's hottest new musical

These Twin Citians theater lovers invested in the hit "Hadestown."
Katie Bradley as Wang Min in Full Circle Theater’s “Caught.”

Theatergoers feel 'Caught' between truth, reality with sly play at the Guthrie

Full Circle Theater stages Christopher Chen's high-concept, highly provocative play.
James A. Williams and Stephen Yoakam in “Blood Knot” at Pillsbury House Theatre.

Pillsbury House Theatre's 'Blood Knot' is a gnarly Apartheid-era play on race

A new production features masterful performances, even as the apartheid-era script shows the drama's shortcomings.
Samantha Biatch, Del M. Logeais and Melissa Miller in “Féminaal” by the brand-new Grumble Theater.

Grumble Theater asks patrons to see very first show 'solely as a woman'

A promising new company asks viewers to take a feminine perspective on its first show.
The ensemble cast of “Autonomy” features (from left) Ansa Akyea, Malachi Caballero and Harry Waters Jr.

Mixed Blood Theatre's epic 'Autonomy' takes hard-driving look at future of cars

Mixed Blood Theatre parks its ambitious "Autonomy" at Xcel Energy Center.
Sofia Salmela in Children's Theatre Company's "Matilda the Musical."

Children's Theatre triumphs with hilarious, heartfelt 'Matilda the Musical'

The Minneapolis company stages a honking take on the Broadway musical, loaded with show-stopping performances.
Friends since college, actors Stephen Yoakam and James A. Williams will play brothers in “Blood Knot,” a 1961 drama by South African playwright At

Twin Cities stage stars draw on long friendship for racially charged 'Blood Knot'

Longtime friends Stephen Yoakam and James A. Williams play brothers in a South African play that speaks to them as Americans.
Sarah Rasmussen, artistic director at the Jungle Theater.

'A Dolls House, Part 2' landing amid Jungle Theater season packed with buzzy new titles

"A Doll's House, Part 2" is just one highlight in an exciting 2019-20 season.
James Craven, Regina Marie Williams, Sherwin Resurreccion and Kurt Kwan in "The Brothers Paranormal."

Theater Mu and Penumbra team up for thrilling, chilling 'The Brothers Paranormal'

This world-premiere ghost story packs plenty of heart and heartbreak.
Charles Numrich, Avi Aharoni and Raye Birk in “Shul” at the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company.

World premiere 'Shul' weighs legacy, stereotypes at Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company

After a synagogue attack in California, Minnesota Jewish Theatre opened on a sober note.
Michelle Barber, Kersten Rodau and Therese Walth in “Mamma Mia!” at the Chanhassen.

Abba-themed 'Mamma Mia!' stirs up smiles at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

The Abba-sourced musical is a font of fun at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.
Alex Moggridge and Louise Lamson in “Metamorphoses” at the Guthrie Theater.

At the Guthrie, Broadway's 'Metamorphoses' is more beautiful than ever

Tony winner Mary Zimmerman brings her anthology of Roman myths to the Guthrie.
James Craven, Regina Marie Williams, Sherwin Resurrección and Kurt Kwan in “The Brothers Paranormal.”

Theater Mu bounces back from firing artistic director with Thai-American ghost story

Theater Mu rises from the soul-shaking experience of abruptly firing its artistic director.
"Matilda the Musical" stars Lillian Hochman, Audrey Mojica and Sofia Salmela listened as director Peter Brosius and China Brickey worked through a sce

Minnesota theater parents do 'anything' to support children's dreams

Starring roles at the Children's Theatre require behind-the-scenes juggling.
Jayanthi Kyle is present when people need her most, even if it’s difficult.

Minnesota-based singer/songwriter Jayanthi Kyle uses music to heal

Kyle uses her voice to help people through tragedies and trauma, but also to celebrate triumphs.
Greta Grosch and Ellen Apel in "Pop Goes the Noggin."

New play anchors 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' in the loon state

A new play about a 1970s mental facility invokes the Jack Nicholson classic.
Red Wing native Oskar Eustis has led New York’s Public Theater for 15 years.

Minnesota-raised Oskar Eustis strives for diversity, democracy at America's top theater

Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis has an outsize impact on American theater.
Betty Buckley in “Hello, Dolly!” on Broadway.

Broadway vet Betty Buckley shines in 'Hello, Dolly!' revival at Orpheum

Review: The surprisingly fun Broadway revival stops at the Orpheum.
“The White Card” by Claudia Rankine comes to Penumbra next year. AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

Penumbra grapples with urgent American issues

The St. Paul theater's 2019-20 season explores vexing contemporary topics.
Ann Michels (Victoria Grant) and Emily Scinto (Norma Cassidy) in "Victor/Victoria," performed by Artistry Theater.

Gender-bending 'Victor/Victoria' stirs the heart at Artistry in Bloomington

Stage star Ann Michels is a natural in "Victor/Victoria," a show about breaking free from a confining world.
Renee Guittar, Jessica Fredrickson and Emily Bengtson in Chanhassen's "Mamma Mia!"

Musicals reign on Twin Cities stages, forcing theater artists from their comfort zones

Song-and-dance shows dominate Twin Cities stages, forcing theater artists from their comfort zones.
Maxwell Emmett Ward (center) in "Be More Chill" at Minneapolis Musical Theatre.

Powered by social media, hit Broadway musical 'Be More Chill' lands in Mpls.

A local production of the sci-fi musical opens just one month after bowing in New York City.
Theater Latte Da’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Twin Cities stage star Tyler Michaels King wigs out in Theater Latté Da's 'Hedwig'

Tyler Michaels King delivers a feral performance in Latté Da's staging of the rock musical.
Angela Davis hosts her show “MPR News with Angela Davis.”

Why Emmy-winning TV anchor Angela Davis made the leap to public radio

After 20 plus years on Twin Cities TV, anchor and reporter Angela Davis pivots to public radio.
Misty Copeland: "Dancers come in all shapes and sizes and colors."

Ballet superstar Misty Copeland will share love for 'beautiful art form' in Minneapolis

In Minneapolis, Misty Copeland will talk Prince and inspiring youths to reach for their dreams.
Dean Holt as Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit” at Children’s Theatre Company.

Children's Theatre Company stages minimalist, magical 'Hobbit'

Review: A new staging conjures a world of magic and light.
Jungle Theater’s “School Girls” is set at an elite boarding school in Ghana.

Jungle Theater's 'School Girls' earns A-plus for dissecting global beauty standards

Review: The stylish production earns straight A's for dissecting global beauty standards.
Jane, Brigid, Kate and Rita McDonald, from left, youngest to oldest, are the inspiration for “Sisters of Peace.” The four McDonald sisters have jo

These 4 sisters are actually sisters: Minnesota's 'worker nuns' celebrated in new play

Related by blood and by faith, Minnesota's McDonald sisters devoted their lives to protesting war. A new play at the History Theatre tells their story.
Actors Sara Richardson, Ashawnti Sakina Ford, Nora Montañez and Audrey Park from “She Persists: The Great Divide III” at Pillsbury House Theatre.

Pillsbury House Theatre serves up five playlets on women's status in today's divided America

Minneapolis theater has commissioned five playwrights to ruminate on the status of women in "She Persists: The Great Divide III."
Tracey Maloney, left, plays Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe, with Dame-Jasmine Hughes as Aileen Jenks in “Roe,” opening Friday at Mixed Blood Theatre

Mixed Blood Theatre's 'Roe' remembers abortion rights plaintiff 'exploited by both sides'

Opening Friday at Mixed Blood Theatre, "Roe" takes a closer look at the complicated woman behind the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade case.
The cast of the touring production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' is sugary, not sweet for Minneapolis theatergoers

The Broadway tour lands at the Orpheum with a terrific kid performer and a lot of dead air.
Longtime friends Kersten Rodau and John-Michael Zuerlein star in Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ bestselling “Mamma Mia!”

Acting BFFs pucker up for Chanhassen Dinner Theatres' bestselling 'Mamma Mia!'

Two actors bring special chemistry to the latest show at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.
At Alice Cooper’s sold-out Ordway concert last summer, 70 percent of the 1,900 fans hadn’t been to the venue before; 1,200 bought tickets to “El

St. Paul's Ordway Center hopes newcomers find 'treasure' in eclectic bookings

Rock 'n' roll acts surprise patrons expecting the usual calendar of Broadway and opera productions.
“Love and Other Social Diseases"

Brave New Workshop's 'Love and Other Social Diseases' mines inappropriateness for laughs

In the Brave New Workshop's 300th show, the jokes cut straight to the heart.
Thatcher Jacobs and Nick Blaemire, from the First National Tour of “Falsettos.”

Set amid 1980s AIDS crisis, Broadway export 'Falsettos' hits winning note in St. Paul

Set amid the AIDS crisis, this musical at the Ordway conjures a broken but lovable modern family.
With kids at the center, Children's Theatre to remember Minnesota's 1985 meatpackers strike

With kids at the center, Children's Theatre to remember Minnesota's 1985 meatpackers strike

Part of the Children's Theatre's 2019-20 season, a new play recalls the state's momentous meatpackers strike.
Miriam Schwartz and JuCoby Johnson in “Actually.”

Minnesota premiere of 'Actually,' a play about rape on campus, is compelling

Campus-set drama looks at issue of sex assault with the involvement of alcohol.
Lauren Diesch in “Antigone” by Park Square Theatre.

Park Square Theatre turns 'Antigone' into modern, relatable antiheroine

Park Square Theatre gives the Greek tragedy an ambitious all-female update.
Tracey Maloney in “Stewardess!” stars as Mary Pat Laffey in History Theatre's "Stewardess!"

History Theatre's jaw-dropping 'Stewardess!' humanizes fight for gender equality

History Theatre's "Stewardess!" is a jaw-dropping and heart-warming experience.
Minnesota Opera already stages certain programs at the Lab Theater. The organization’s Project Opera training program will perform six shows there t

Minnesota Opera betting on a small, versatile venue in the hopping North Loop

By purchasing North Loop theater, Minnesota Opera intends to shake up its programming.
Laura Stearns said Friday she pursued this case because “the judicial system is broken in its handling of sexual abuse.”

Jury: Children's Theatre found negligent, not liable in civil trial over 1983 assault

The same jury returned a $3.68 million verdict against Jason McLean, a former teacher at the school who was never criminally charged in the probe that sent theater leader John Clark Donahue to jail.
A scene from “Minefield” by Lola Arias

Falklands War veterans gather onstage for remarkable 'Minefield' at Walker Art Center

Walker Art Center closes its Out There series with a 95-minute work that evokes the war with testimonials, images and videos.
Theatre 55’s “Hair.”

Minneapolis theatre casts hippie musical 'Hair' with actors age 50-plus

Theatre 55 is producing 'Hair' by actors who lived it.
Sarah DeYong as Amalia and Ryan London Levin as Georg Nowack in the Artistry’s “She Loves Me.”

'She Loves Me' is a well-told fairy tale at Artistry in Bloomington

With superb music direction and casting, Artistry's staging has plenty of romantic sweep.
Rosanna Staffa with one of her set pieces from “The Biggest Little House in the Forest.”

Navigating American English helped Children's Theatre playwright think 'like a child again'

Translation mix-ups inspired an Italian writer's show for Children's Theatre.
Singers Rudolph Searles III, Brianna Graham, Leo James and Allyson Tolbert.

Ordway Center kicks off cabaret series starring Twin Cities talent

Ordway Cabaret Thursday: Under former artistic director James A. Rocco, the Ordway Center had a series of periodic songbook concerts to celebrate the work of…
Richard Holt, Christopher Finn, Susanna Jennings and Monica Nash in “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” at the Children’s Theatre.

Budget British take on 'Mr. Popper's Penguins' imported to Children's Theatre in Minneapolis

After 20 years, "Mr. Popper's Penguins" returns to the Children's Theatre as a cut-rate British production.
Christie Prades as Gloria Estefan in “On Your Feet.”

Gloria Estefan musical is flawed, but brings Minnesotans some much needed Miami heat

Broadway's Gloria Estefan musical arrives at a cold time in Minnesota.
Paul Herwig and Jennifer Ilse opened Off-Leash Art Box in south Minneapolis last winter. The new performance space comes at a time when a rash of smal

Twin Cities performing artists face 'space crunch' as venues close

The closing of key venues has Twin Cities theater and dance artists scrambling for places to perform.
Jason McLean at the Loring Pasta Bar in Dinkytown in 2014.

First trial begins in new lawsuits arising from Children's Theatre scandal

Alleging she was sexually assaulted in 1983, Laura Stearns sued CTC and its ex-teacher Jason McLean.
Lee Sellars and Kurt Kwan in the Guthrie Theater’s production of “The Great Leap.”

The Guthrie gets game: Here are 8 plays in which theater tackles sports

A basketball drama opening Friday is the latest attempt to build a field of dreams onstage.

Walker kicks off Out There series with intense show

Review: Rabih Mroué's "Borborygmus" feels like a figurative self-immolation dressed up cleverly as experimental theater.
With homes in Burnsville, L.A. and Brainerd and three TV projects, Ernie Hudson says he’s “living my best life.”

Burnsville resident and 'Ghostbusters' star Ernie Hudson returns to Twin Cities stage

Screen star Ernie Hudson reflects on the ups and downs of a life launched on a Twin Cities stage.
Abdul Salaam el Razzac

Actor and founding member of Penumbra Theatre dies at 74

Abdul Salaam El Razzac, 74, was in Penumbra Theatre's very first main stage show and has been a pillar of the storied acting company ever since.
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