Staff Directory 10645706

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
SpacecraftingVictorian house in Mpls.

$2.2M Victorian home in Minneapolis updated with 'every modern convenience'

Owner wishes he could move his Victorian house overlooking Lake Bde Maka Ska to Florida.
Kenny Turck in his garden near Litchfield, Minn., where he welcomes and counsels young people using gardening, or ecotherapy.

A Minnesota social worker uses gardening to help youth heal from trauma

A gardener and social worker uses produce to help young people with mental health challenges.
The house and ADU are located in Minneapolis’ Bryn Mawr neighborhood.

$500k home with accessory dwelling unit in Minneapolis comes with a backstory

The house in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood has a surprising past.
Penumbra Theatre artistic director Sarah Bellamy.

Penumbra Theatre leader Sarah Bellamy readies a vision to meet the moment

Recent grants bolster theater as it plans to add a suite of new wellness and racial equity programs.
The Guthrie and other theaters face large hurdles reopening in a post-COVID world.

Guthrie Theater cancels spring mini-season

Theater says it can't set date for reopening amid pandemic uncertainty.
Michal “Misha” Daniel

Michal Daniel, Twin Cities theater photographer who shot stars such as Meryl Streep and Savion Glover, dies at 64

Daniel died of natural causes in Prague, the city of his birth and where he had returned in 2015, according to his son.
The unsolicited Ford Foundation grant “thrilled” Sarah Bellamy, Penumbra Theatre’s artistic director.

Penumbra Theatre declared one of Ford Foundation's 'cultural treasures'

Ford Foundation declares theater an "American cultural treasure."
JEFF WHEELER • Jeff.Wheeler@startribune.com Closed since May, the Guthrie Theater didn’t expect to mount a show until March.

Guthrie will offer a virtual version of 'A Christmas Carol'

The Twin Cities will have its most-storied holiday tradition again in a new way.
Dudley Riggs, shown in September 2010, owned Brave New Workshop for 39 years, selling to current owners John Sweeney and Jenni Lilledahl in 1997.

Dudley Riggs, godfather of Twin Cities comedy scene, dies at 88

The founder of the nation's oldest sketch-comedy troupe taught generations of comic talent, including Louie Anderson and Al Franken.
Jamecia Bennett performed at a cabaret on the Ordway Center loading dock.

Ordway brings tears with its first show in six months – on a loading dock

The cabaret-style performance is the first of a series that will continue Saturday.
Claudia Rankine

In her new book 'Just Us,' Claudia Rankine invites us all to talk about white privilege

Silence on the issue equals "the constant death of Black people," says the first guest in this year's virtual Talking Volumes series,
Children’s Theatre students created the original musical“Covidtown” to perform via Zoom.

Twin Cities theaters miss applause and audiences but want to reopen safely

Rohan Preston Star Tribune Directors miss tussling over ideas and emotions in a rehearsal room. Actors crave the applause of live audiences. Theatergoers long…
Protesers marched past First Avenue Saturday night. ] aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com The 10k March for a “Free North” began outside US Bank Stadiu

These 5 civil rights leaders changed Minnesota — but not as much as they hoped

For decades, these leaders marched and protested, rallied and fought against injustice.
Mark Ferraro-Hauck

Beset by debt, two St. Paul theater companies join forces to survive

Park Square and Stepping­Stone had been in talks before pandemic made their partnership urgent.
Penumbra founder Lou Bellamy and his daughter Sarah Bellamy toured the "Penumbra Theatre at 40" exhibit at the Minnesota History Center.

St. Paul's Penumbra gets a new name and a new mission: Promoting 'arts, racial equity and wellness'

The Penumbra Center for Racial Healing still will produce plays, but performing arts is becoming just one of three areas of focus.
Gautham Raja and Sonal Raval in “Crushed,” one of several works at the Fringe centering on the immigrant experience. Vishwanath Somashekar

Minnesota Fringe Festival tries to prove that theater can thrive online

The festival was always about experimentation. Now, it's trying to prove that theater can survive online.
Macalester College Prof. Harry Waters Jr. started Outside Voices, a combination of laughing yoga and theater exercises occurring weekly at Powderhorn

Stress making you scream? Join the club with weekly gathering at south Mpls. park

A theater artist and Macalester professor creates a ritual of release during COVID and George Floyd crucibles.
A protester on 38th Street near the intersection of Chicago Avenue.

Minority Minnesota artists speak out with collection of essays

Editor's note: Influential Black members of the Minnesota arts community have joined together to “illuminate an unabashed and missing narrative” for “a historical moment of…
Eden Prairie home

$1.19M estate in Eden Prairie sits on bluff with incredible views of Minnesota River

The house isn't visible from the street. All you see is the long driveway that leads to the 1.64-acre lot.
CTC will reprise the successful “Seedfolks” in its upcoming season. Sonja Parks (pictured) previously played all the roles in the U.S. production.

Children's Theatre will not reopen until March of next year

Live stage productions will relaunch with "Annie" and "Seedfolks."
Performers with the Theater of Public Policy added telephone improv for free to people feeling lonely or worried due to COVID-19.

Twin Cities improv troupe offers 'Phone a Friend' outreach to those feeling isolated

The idea occurred to writer and improviser Keren Gudeman during a jog around Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis.
Jamie Grant’s last day as the Ordway Center’s president and CEO is Aug. 31.

Ordway president and CEO to leave for Calif. job

Jamie Grant broadened the center's programming beyond Broadway.
Using facial expressions for emphasis, Nic Zapko interpreted during a Gov. Tim Walz news conference.

Can't stop watching Gov. Walz's ASL interpreter? You're not alone

Nic Zapko is drawing huzzahs for her strength and expressive interpreting of Gov. Tim Walz's news conferences during the COVID-19 and George Floyd emergencies.
A sign at an entrance to the Guthrie Theater stated that the building was closed.

After 'financially devastating' show cancellations, Guthrie Theater cuts staff by 79%

It's the latest pandemic fallout for the downtown Minneapolis theater.

The return of 'Hamilton' to Minneapolis pushed back nearly a year

Touring Broadway shows such as "Frozen," "Tootsie" and "Come From Away" have been re-scheduled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Guthrie and other theaters face large hurdles reopening in a post-COVID world.

Facing pandemic peril, Twin Cities arts groups seek a way forward

Theater, which relies on people gathering in numbers to take in an experience, has been devastated.
A custom-built, five-bedroom house in Golden Valley’s Tyrol Hills neighborhood is listed at $1.025 million.

$1.025M California-modern house is Hollywood glam in Golden Valley

A mid-'70s home in Golden Valley offers nature, artsy design and proximity to downtown.
“Ghostbusters” co-star Ernie Hudson — and Slimer — recorded an uplifting video message for a fan through the Cameo app.

'Ghostbusters' actor Ernie Hudson records messages of hope from Minnesota

The Hollywood actor is riding out the pandemic at his house in the Twin Cities, where he sometimes dons his old "Ghostbusters" jumpsuit and records messages to cheer up fans.
Married 25 years, partners in work and in love Carlyle Brown and Barbara Rose posed for a photo outside their Minneapolis apartment

After his wife suffered a stroke, a Twin Cities playwright rewrote his definition of partnership

Twin Cities playwright became a caregiver to the woman who had been his collaborator.
One of the most popular stops along the 3-mile-drive each spring at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is the flowering crabapple collection featuring

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum will open Friday to vehicle traffic

Visitors will be able to experience thousands of spring blooms — from a distance.
“Waitress,” Grammy winner Sara Bareilles’ hit show that has played the Orpheum in Minneapolis, will now have an Ordway engagement (March 9-14, 2

Pandemic aside, Ordway 'plows ahead' with new season

The feel-good roster includes "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" as well as a return of "Waitress."
On “Celebrity IOU,” Jonathan Scott, Michelle O’Neill, Viola Davis and Drew Scott take part in the big reveal of O’Neill’s remodeled home.

Oscar winner Viola Davis blesses Minnesota actress pal with home makeover on new HGTV show

Megastar Viola Davis plays real-life angel to her Minnesota friend Michelle O'Neill on HGTV's "Celebrity IOU."
Shanan Custer looked through her script while taking part in a rehearsal for “Couple Fight: The Musical!” with her husband, Eric Webster, in 2018.

Minnesota Fringe Festival canceled in face of coronavirus pandemic

The future of the Upper Midwest's largest performing arts event is in doubt because of the pandemic.
A sign at an entrance to the Guthrie Theater on March 15.

Guthrie Theater cancels rest of its 2019-20 season

The Guthrie's building, which used to be open seven days a week, will remain closed until further notice.
Helen Anker with Keith Rice in the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s “Camelot.”
Heidi Bohnenkamp

Guthrie, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres star fears she has been stricken with coronavirus

Helen Anker, who starred in "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot," is in self-quarantine.
Stephen Pelinski and Veanne Cox headlined the Guthrie’s 2007 production of “Private Lives,” the Noël Coward comedy that will be revived in Sept

Coming up at the Guthrie: Kathleen Turner as Molly Ivins, 'In the Heights,' more

On tap are Kathleen Turner's Guthrie debut, Lin-Manuel Miranda's breakout musical and Joe Dowling's return.
Michael Gruber (center) in "The Music Man" at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.

Chanhassen's 'Music Man' captivates while toning down archaic gender politics

Review: Director Michael Brindisi's smooth production tones down archaic gender politics.
Director Anne Bogart talked with actor Donnell E. Smith, who plays Pentheus, during rehearsal of “The Bacchae.”

Auteur Anne Bogart brings 'The Bacchae' to the Guthrie

Auteur Anne Bogart closes some circles with "The Bacchae" at the Guthrie.
Leslie Alexander as Mrs. Higgins, Shereen Ahmed as Eliza Doolittle and Kevin Pariseau as Colonel Pickering in the touring production of “My Fair Lad

Broadway tour of 'My Fair Lady' gorgeous and problematic at Orpheum in Minneapolis

Bartlett Sher's lush 2018 revival uses wit and irony to mute show's sexist baggage.
Ricky Falbo starred in the 2016 production of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” at Children’s Theatre.

'Wimpy Kid' anchors a revival-heavy Children's Theatre season

The show anchors a season heavy on revivals, including "The Wizard of Oz," "Seedfolks" and "Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat."
Ronnie Allen in “Thunder Knocking on the Door” by Ten Thousand Things Theater Company.

'Thunder Knocking on the Door' returns to the Twin Cities two decades after bowing at Guthrie

Blues fable "Thunder Knocking on the Door" returns in an elemental production.
Provided
Bonni Allen, Jen Maren, Shana Eisenberg, Sara Marsh and Melinda Kordich in the Old Log production of “The Dixie Swim Club.”

Old Log Theatre's 'Dixie Swim Club' plumbs the depths of life with laughter

The Old Log revival of "The Dixie Swim Club" offers a well-timed cornpone comedy about the stages of life.
Director Eric Morris, right, observed during the rehearsal of Dixie Swim Club." BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Eric Morris directed a rehearsal for "Dixie Sw

A young leader strikes sparks at Minnesota's venerable Old Log Theatre

Artistic leader Eric Morris is trying to lure younger audiences while retaining longtime fans.
Marcelo Mena in "Spamtown USA."
Children's Theatre

Children's Theatre play 'Spamtown' uses charm and wit to navigate bitter 1980s P-9 strike

New Children's Theatre play "Spamtown" uses child's-eye charm to navigate bitter 1980s P-9 strike in Austin, Minn.
The Ordway presented "42nd Street" as its summer musical in 2019. Photo by Rich Ryan

Musical 'Groundhog Day' won't see the light at Ordway this summer

Partnerships to defray expense of $1 million production fell through.
Tony-nominated director Marion McClinton, who piloted August Wilson's plays to both Twin Cities and Broadway stages, will be celebrated March 1.

Tony-nominated director McClinton to be celebrated March 1 at Minneapolis' Pillsbury House Theatre

The legacy of Tony-nominated director Marion McClinton, who piloted August Wilson's plays to Broadway, will be celebrated March 1 in Minneapolis.
Garrison Keillor canceled his planned fundraising show for the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis.

Garrison Keillor cancels event at Woman's Club over 'social media' complaints

Fallout continues for former "A Prairie Home Companion" host, who was dropped by MPR in 2017.
Australian actress Nicole Kidman (L) and Scottish actor Ewan McGregor (R) in a scene from the movie "Moulin Rouge" which was nominated for 8 Oscars.

8 movies and plays to get you in the mood for love this Valentine's Day

Whether you're paired up, poly-ed up or single, these plays and movies are a great way to prime an evening of romance.
Lynnette R. Freeman, who plays a rising artist, in a scene with Michelle O’Neill, as a wealthy collector, rehearsed for Thursday’s opening of “T

'Genius' Claudia Rankine shuffles a stacked deck with 'The White Card'

"Genius" playwright Claudia Rankine plumbs America's sensitive seams in "The White Card," making its regional premiere at Penumbra.
Mia Williamson, Alex Newell, Hailey Kilgore and the cast of “Once On This Island.”

Tropical-themed theater in the Twin Cities offers more than escape

Stage shows steeped in the humidity and magic of tropical worlds also teem with deeper issues.
Artistry Theater’s “Bridges of Madison County” stars Jennifer Baldwin Peden as Francesca Johnson, Ryan London Levin (Michael Johnson), Charlie C

Artistry's 'Bridges' delivers in subtle, beautiful tones

Review: Musical version of "The Bridges of Madison County" soars on lead's voice.
Flordelino Lagundino

St. Paul's Park Square Theatre cuts job of artistic director

Facing funding shortfalls, the St. Paul theater eliminated a key position.
Lynnea Doublette and Ellis M. Dossavi Alipoeh in "Bob Marley's Three Little Birds" at Children's Theatre.

'Bob Marley's Three Little Birds' makes regional debut at Children's Theatre

A Bob Marley-infused "reggae fairy tale" makes its regional debut at Children's Theatre.
Michael Wangen.

Lighting designer Michael Wangen dies at 65

The self-taught lighting designer worked on productions in the Twin Cities and at playhouses across the country.
Akshay Krishna as Yazen and Gamze Ceylan as Noura in the Guthrie Theater’s “Noura.”

Regional premiere of Heather Raffo's 'Noura' paints surrealist picture at the Guthrie

Review: "Noura" dramatizes an immigrant's soul struggle.
Britta Ollmann, Nora Montanez, Kate Beahen, Regina Marie Williams (foreground) and Meghan Kreidler in “Bernarda Alba” at Theater Latté Da.

Theater Latté Da offers up a poetic, powerful 'Bernarda Alba'

The regional premiere of "Bernarda Alba" is potent and poetic at Theater Latté Da.
"Jogging" by Hanane Hajj Ali

Guthrie Theater kicks into high gear with its first celebration of Arab and Arab-American artistry

Guthrie Theater kicks its celebration of Arab and Arab-American artistry into high gear.
Logan Verdoorn and Olivia Wilusz in “Becky Shaw.”

Review: Love comes at you fast in Gremlin's spooky 'Becky Shaw'

The Gina Gionfriddo play gets a taut, spooky production at Gremlin Theatre.
When Tony Vierling, center, performed in the Guthrie Theater’s “The Pirates of Penzance,” his rear end made a cameo appearance, thanks to a ripp

Split britches, errant bras: How Minnesota actors cope with costume catastrophes

Costume mishaps cause actors to go from embarrassment to tittering glee.
Nancy Nelson greeted Connie Johnson 78, as she arrived with her daughter Mary Melby to see “Mamma Mia!”

Longtime Twin Cities broadcaster greets guests at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductee Nancy Nelson is the first female greeter at the Chan.
Marion McClinton at his home in St. Paul on July 30, 2014.

Acclaimed August Wilson director Marion McClinton dies at 65

He died the death of a wise man or prophet. As director, playwright and actor Marion McClinton was taking his last few breaths at Regions…
The queens of “Six”: Abby Mueller, Samantha Pauly, Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Brittney Mack and Anna Uzele. Liz Lauren

'Six' opens a four-week, pre-Broadway tryout at the Ordway

If "Hamilton" cracked open a door with its hip remix of history, "Six," about the wives of Henry VIII, bursts through it.
From left, Jane Bennet Bingley (Roshni Desai), Mary Bennet (Christian Bardin), Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet Darcy (Sun Mee Chomet) and Lydia Bennet W

'Miss Bennet' is revived at the Jungle with more physicality and humor

Director Christina Baldwin's production has more physical humor, thanks to some newer actors.
Kirsten Wyatt portrayed Miss Adelaide in “Guys and Dolls.”

The Guthrie Theater finds success with broadly inclusive programs

Successful, diverse offerings let the theater finish season in the black.
Sally Dixon. Undated photo by Laura Crosby.

Sally Dixon, pioneering curator and champion of avant-garde films, dies at 87

She died Tuesday in the car of her son, Alexander, as he was fulfilling her last wish by taking her out of hospice and driving her home.
John Townsend

Arts writer John Townsend, a champion of Twin Cities theater, dies at 60

John Townsend, a prolific Twin Cities arts writer and rights activist who contributed freelance reviews to the Star Tribune and wrote for Lavender, billed as…
Playwright Lauren Yee

Playwright Lauren Yee has won over $400,000 in literary prizes in 2019

Lauren Yee, who considers the Twin Cities an artistic home, has won over $400,000 in literary prizes and has four upcoming shows in the area.
Children's Theatre production stage manager Jenny Friend.

Meet the folks who serve as air traffic controllers for Twin Cities theater

Combining an air traffic controller's calm with nimble troubleshooting skills, stage managers keep shows in tiptop shape.
Visitors toured the Capri Theater, where Prince had his first solo concert in 1979, as the theater broke ground on a renovation and expansion that’s

$12.5M Capri Theater renovation pinned as linchpin to north Minneapolis revitalization

A $12.5 million expansion of the Capri Theater promises to help with the revitalization of north Minneapolis.
Filsan Said, Lina Jamoul, Rasha Ahmad Sharif and Noor Adwan in the New Arab American Theater Works’ production of “Zafira and the Resistance.”

New Arab-American play 'Zafira' evokes Orwellian dystopia at Guthrie

Review: Donald Trump is not mentioned by name but his aura permeates the drama about spreading Islamophobia.
Bill Marshall, Sarah Lawrence and Laurel Armstrong in Skylark Opera Theatre’s production of “The Most Happy Fella.”

Review: Skylark Opera Theatre's 'Happy Fella' is low-budget but not cut-rate

Skylark's "Most Happy Fella" is a stripped-down but entirely charming Golden Age musical.
Former civil rights lawyer Chad Quaintance has devoted his life to protecting the most vulnerable. He now serves as a volunteer chaplain.

80-year-old Minnesotan 'lives his faith' — from early civil rights to comforting the sick today

In late life, one-time civil rights prosecutor and lawyer Chad Quaintance has taken to helping hospital patients in their crucibles.
Director and adapter Greg Banks, center, watched actors Dean Holt and Joy Dolo during rehearsals for “Snow White.”

British director and adapter Greg Banks has become a master of reducing classic texts to their play-filled essences

Adapter Greg Banks has become beloved in the Twin Cities for his re-imagined classics.
Joy Dolo is “Snow White” and the Stepmother in the Children’s Theatre Company production.

Children's Theatre's 'Snow White' full of theatrical virtuosity while raising questions about stepmom archetype

Review: Children's Theatre's entertaining "Snow White" offers theatrical virtuosity with its cast of two.
Danielle Wade (as Cady Heron), Megan Masako Haley (Gretchen Wieners), Mariah Rose Faith (Regina George) and Jonalyn Saxer (Karen Smith) in “Mean Gir

Review: 'Mean Girls' offers colorful hellscape at Orpheum

"Mean Girls" offers a funny, sweet and superficial view of the hellscape that is high school.