KD Bauer, Managing Director (they/them), has served as a marketing specialist and arts administrator for professional theaters, festivals, and independent artists for 15 years. Their passion for people, ideas, and storytelling drives them to listen, learn, and grow every day. KD received their graduate certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from St. Kate’s (2020), and their B.A. in Theater and Creative & Professional Writing from Bemidji State University (2011). KD enjoys dreaming up all the possibilities for the future, talking to their cat, reading classic novels, writing (especially while it’s raining out), drinking coffee and Earl Grey, listening to 60’s & 70’s music, and discovering more about themselves and the world around them. Greatest strength: creative strategy; greatest weakness: keeping houseplants alive. Reach out and say hi, and add me on LinkedIn!
Alan M. Berks, Co-Artistic Director* (he/him), is a theater-maker whose work has been seen in Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Indianapolis, and New York. Most recently, as a member of Minnesota’s playwright-driven Workhaus Collective, he wrote and workshopped a small cast, political duel between a Republican politician and a reporter called The Great Divide and, with Alan Berks & Company, an adaptation of Six Characters in Search of an Author. Other work includes his solo show Goats, set in the Middle East after Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, which has been produced in Phoenix, Indianapolis, Chicago, New York, and St. Paul, MN. Awards include: Minnesota State Arts Board (Ringtone), MacDowell Colony Fellow (They Want), and Jerome Fellow (Mourning Rituals). Other work includes: Music Lovers, How to Cheat, Almost Exactly Like Us, 3 Parts Dead, Everywhere Signs Fall, Home of the Brave (published by Playscripts), and They Want (based on The Oresteia by Aeschylus). Alan is also a teacher, communications consultant, and co-founder and former editor of MinnesotaPlaylist.com.
Leah Cooper, Co-Artistic Director* (she/her), has been directing, producing, and managing in theater for over 30 years. Locally, she has directed for Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Commonweal Theatre, Gremlin Theater, 20% Theatre, Theatre in the Round, Shakespearean Youth Theatre, The Playwrights Center, and for the Breaking Ice (diversity and inclusion) program at Pillsbury House & Theatre. She was the first Executive Director of the MN Theater Alliance serving over 450 theaters across the state, co-founding partner at MinnesotaPlaylist.com, and Executive Director at the MN Fringe Festival. Leah is also a facilitator and consultant in community engagement and organizational development, and she serves on the board of directors for the Department of Public Transformation, an artist-led organization that works locally and relationally to develop creative strategies for increased community connection, civic engagement, and equitable participation in rural places. Prior to working full time in the arts, she spent 10 years in the corporate sector as a software engineer and business consultant. Other loves include gardening, cooking, yoga, bicycling, and hanging out with good friends. She’s done a wide variety of things, but the unifying theme to her passion is inclusive creativity and creative inclusivity, and her favorite quote is, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Mohandas Gandhi
Becky Dale, Ensemble Member (she/her), was the composer of original music for Wonderlust’s Capitol Play Project. She also participated as a community member in the Adoption Play Project and the Overachiever Web Series. Other community-engaged theater work she has done includes composing music for Cornerstone Theater Company’s touring production of California The Tempest, Cornerstone’s downtown LA production of Attraction, and founding, producing and composing for the West Side Theater Project, a community-engaged effort that staged three shows: The West Side on the South Side, Phanton of the Kitchen, and Once Upon a River. Some of her other Theater composing credits include Nautilus Music Theater’s Sister Stories, Ten Thousand Things Theater’s The Furies and Caucasian Chalk Circle. Geva Theater, the Playwright’s Center and others have also performed her work. Her theatrical scores include settings of Brecht, Aeschylus, and several living playwrights, Alison Carey, Naomi Wallace, and Page Leong among them. Nautilus’ Composer Librettist Studio and Wesley Balk Opera Music Theater Institute, Cornerstone Theater Company’s Institute, and several years study with composer Libby Larsen were foundational experiences in her artistic journey. She is also a coach, a parent, a bicycler and on staff at Minnesota Communities Caring for Children.
Gabrielle Dominique, Ensemble Member (she/her), performed in Wonderlust’s Capitol Play Project and Overachiever Web Series. She is a 2017 graduate of St. Olaf College, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Dance and Theatre. A South Minneapolis native, she has worked professionally in the Twin Cities as a teaching artist for four years. She has had the privilege of sharing her work as a performer with several companies including Flying Foot Forum, Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, Perspectives Theater, Playwrights Center, Artistry, Theater Latté Da, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and Guthrie Theater.
Zeb Hults, Ensemble Member (he/him), was the technical director for Wonderlust’s Capitol Play Project and the scenic designer for the Adoption Play Project. He is a recent transplant to Minneapolis from New York City and Connecticut. He has worked as Scenic Designer and/or Technical Director on every Wonderlust show produced so far. Locally, Zeb has also worked as Technical Director or Stage Manager for Theatre Novi Most, Eclectic Edge Ensemble, Maple Grove HS, Circus Juventas, and Mad Munchkin Productions. He is currently the Assistant Technical Director for the Theatre Arts & Dance Dept. at the University of Minnesota. During his eight years in NYC, he worked Off-Broadway, in the theatre/event/fashion industry, and traveled across the country for a design firm, installing large-scale seasonal displays for casinos. In CT, he worked for the Goodspeed Opera House, was the Technical Director for the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Hartford, CT and as a Project Manager for Global Scenic Services in Bridgeport, CT.
Megan Kim, Ensemble Member (she/her), Megan Kim is a graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy-Los Angeles. She spent 9 years acting and singing in LA performing at various venues such as the Ford Amphitheatre and Fullerton Civic Light Opera, before returning to the Twin Cities. She is a company member with Wonderlust Productions. She performed in In My Heart: The Adoption Play Project, Our House: The Capitol Play Project and the OverAchievers Web Series and was the assistant director for Look Again: The Normandale Play Project. Other theatre credits include: Artistry, Smartmouth Comedy, Freshwater Theatre, Theatre Unbound and Nautilus Music-Theater. She also performs with Pillsbury House + Theatre’s Breaking Ice program.
Kari Olk, Ensemble Member (she/her), stage managed The Capitol Play Project and was the production manager for The Overachievers Webseries. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in performing arts and social justice in 2015. She has been directing and acting in plays since she was a kid. As an adult she has stage managed with the University of Minnesota BFA/Guthrie Training Program, assistant directed with Theatre Latté Da, and run programming for Twin Cities Theater Camp, and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. She currently works at Pillsbury House + Theatre as the director of the Chicago Avenue Project. Kari believes in theater that generates new ideas, empowers new voices and sparks creativity.
Ariel Pinkerton, Ensemble Member (she/her), performed in Wonderlust’s Veterans Play Project, Adoption Play Project, and Capitol Play Project, as well as providing production support for the Overachievers Web Series, and evaluation and lobby displays for all of our projects. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BA in Theatre Arts. She is an actor, lighting designer, director, and general ne’er-do-well. She is also a company member of Freshwater Theatre and Co-Artistic Director of Fortune’s Fool. Come summer you can often find her performing her one woman autobiographical shows at the Minnesota Fringe. To quote Carrie Fisher, “If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.” An activist from a very young age, she found a perfect fit in Wonderlust and the desire to allow under recognized or misrepresented voices a place to be heard, and it makes her very proud to be able to assist in any way that she can.
Oogie Push, Ensemble Member (She/Her/We), is a member of the Meskwaki Nation near Tama, Iowa. She received an MFA in Theatre: Design & Technology from University of Missouri-Kansas City. She’s been a working Actor in the Twin Cities for 5 years, and she can also be found performing with Wonderlust Productions, Theatre Unbound, Full Circle Theater, Pillsbury House + Theatre’s Breaking Ice, and anyone else who invites her to do a staged reading or performance. She initially got into theatre to smash stereotypes of Native Americans and to tell Native stories from a Native perspective. But it was only recently that Oogie began to write her own personal stories for the stage and internet. She and other actors have performed her stories at Pangea World Theatre, Park Square Theatre’s Andy Boss Stage, The Guthrie Theatre’s McGuire Proscenium, the Minneapolis American Indian Center, and at MIA. For not being an admitted fan of Shakespeare, she has done King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, R&J, Measure for Measure. She most recently self-produced, directed, recorded, edited and starred in her own short form movie Just Keep Living which you can find at https://youtu.be/u0Ur3OBnZpw and she currently manages 3 youtube channels: Oogie Push, Auntie Oogie Presents:, & Theatre Talk (w/Oogie). When she isn’t acting or writing Oogie can be found weaving Meskwaki Twine Bags, dancing, playing with her cat Luna Grrl, catching a theatre show, watching movies or binge watching tv shows, because the next best thing to acting is watching other actors act.
Adam Whisner, Ensemble Member (he/him), performed in Wonderlust’s Veterans Play Project, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Adoption Play Project, Capitol Play Project, Dear Future Self at St. Thomas University, and Overachievers Web Series. Additionally, he has been a band leader, vocalist, and guitarist for all of our projects that featured live music. Adam has been a full-time actor in the Twin Cities since age twenty-five, doing theatre, corporate/educational video, and commercial TV, radio, and Web advertising. He’s been the voice of dozens of local, regional, and national brands including Callaway, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, and the Minnesota Wild. Theatre credits include shows with Hey City Theater, History Theatre, Hidden Theatre, Eye of the Storm Theatre, 15 Head: A Theatre Lab, The Commonweal, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Gremlin Theatre, Workhaus Collective, Joking Envelope, Loudmouth Collective, Theatre Pro Rata, and Park Square Theatre. Adam took a hiatus from stagework in 2002 to focus on music, starting a few rock bands including Blacktop Badge, which played around the Twin Cities’ rock club scene. He’s also an avid motorcyclist, a lifelong passion. His stage acting has been recognized in Lavender Magazine and City Pages, where he was named Best Actor in City Pages’ 2016 “Best of the Twin Cities” annual review. Today Adam balances his acting life with work for Pillsbury House + Theatre’s “Breaking Ice” diversity, equity, and inclusion education program.
E.G. Bailey, Board Member (he/his), recently named one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film, and a McKnight Media Artist Fellow, is an Ivey award-winning artist, filmmaker, director and producer. He is the recipient of a regional Emmy, LIN travel grant, and the Hughes, Diop, Knight Poetry Award from the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference. His work is featured in the Target Art Connects commercial, now archived at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC). He was an editor for the film, Petting Zoo, which debuted at the 65th International Berlin Film Festival. Bailey has directed and assisted plays for well-known production houses, such as: The Guthrie, Pillsbury House, and Children’s Theater. Titles include: Othello, Amiri Baraka’s Wise Why’s, Juno and the Paycock, The Brother Size, and Sha Cage’s N-Word and U/G/L/Y. He is the co-founder of Tru Ruts Endeavors, MN Spoken Word Association, and the Million Artist Movement. Bailey’s written works have been published in Solid Ground, the millennial issue of Drumvoices Revue, Warpland, a publication by the Gwendolyn Brooks Center, and Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota, an anthology. His latest work includes the co-curation of America Now!, a special film project which has taken place at the Tampere Film Festival in Finland, Latvia and others; and his film, New Neighbors, premiered at the 2017 Sundance film festival, and has been won numerous awards and screened at over 100 festivals world-wide.
Nancy Baldrica, Board Member (she/her) is Vice President, Chief Marketing & Development Officer for Fraser, leading the marketing, communications, fundraising, and volunteer sectors of the nonprofit. Her work has been recognized with awards for publication excellence, video production, website design, and advocacy. She graduated from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, with a major in News/Editorial Journalism, and completed the Fundraising Certificate Series through the University of St. Thomas in 2019. She has worked in newspaper, magazine, and book publishing, and authored the book “The Accessible Home,” while contracting for Creative Publishing (now Quayside Publishing) in Minneapolis. Nancy has a background in entertainment, music, and public speaking, and is an award-winning ventriloquist.
Mary Beidler Gearen, Board Member (she/her) is an award-winning theater actor, director and producer. She is a trustee at the College of Wooster, in Ohio, and serves locally on the boards of Playwrights’ Center and the Summit Hill Association. Mary received a Drama Desk Award as a coproducer of Latte Da’s “All is Calm – the Christmas Truce of 1914,” in its off-Broadway run. She has a brand new musical, “SKATES – the Musical” on “Covid hold” in Chicago. Mary has enjoyed film and commercial work, and enjoys editing/opining on scripts, screenplays and books. She favors new work development in all aspects of her career and supports numerous Twin Cities arts organizations that create it. Mary loves to travel and does so with gusto whether towing her tiny Scamp travel trailer to the national parks, exploring the Scottish Highlands, or delving into the canyons of New York City. She looks forward to learning more about the Wonderlust odyssey.
Marianne Combs, Board Member (she/her) is a veteran public radio journalist, with more than 20 years experience covering the Minnesota arts scene. In 2020 she was named Journalist of the Year by the Minnesota chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists, and has won multiple awards for her investigative reporting. She is particularly interested in the areas where the arts intersect with social justice. Currently she is the Managing News Editor for “Racial Reckoning: The Arc of Justice,” a collaboration between KMOJ, Ampers Radio for Diverse Communities and the Minnesota Humanities Center.
Erica Fields, Board Member (she/her), an adoptee who was a performer in the Adoption Play Project, is a business owner, entrepreneur and a theatre artist. Erica was President and majority owner of her grain marketing firm, Brooks Grain, LLC, which she started in 2007 after working in the grain industry since 1974. She recently sold her business to her nephew who will carry on the family business. She now has a consulting firm, Fields Consulting, LLC, which works with clients in the area of DE&I. Erica is a transgender woman, and successfully transitioned her gender in 2010. With a thoughtful plan and great support from family, friends and colleagues, she was able to complete this transition smoothly and maintains her active roles in her business and theatre careers. Erica has been on the boards of several Twin Cities non-profits, including 20% Theatre Company, a Theatre Company which promotes the work of women and transgender artists, Minnesota Trans Health Coalition, Quorum, the Twin Cities GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and Gender Justice, a local non-profit that works to promote gender equality. She also has served as an advisory board member for Reclaim!, a nonprofit providing counseling to trans youth and their families, as a mentor. Erica is active in Rotary International, and is a Past President of the Minneapolis University Rotary Club and currently serves as an Assistant Governor for her Rotary District. Erica was one of the co-founders of TransParentDay.org, which promotes the first day of November as a day to celebrate being a transgender parent without the concerns of the stereotypes of gender. A native of Edina Minnesota, Erica is a graduate of Edina High School, and Gonzaga University. Erica recently relocated to Louisville, KY where she lives with her wife Patience. In Louisville, she is a member of the Rotary Club of Louisville and serves on the board of the Fund for the Arts.
Kevin Lindsey, Board Member (he/him), who we met through the CAPITOL PLAY PROJECT, was also a participant and performer in the OVERACHIEVERS WEB SERIES. Kevin is currently the CEO of the Minnesota Humanities Center. Prior to that, he was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in February 2011. He has over 25 years of experience in resolving complex legal and public policy questions as an attorney within private law firms, an executive in business, and in the public sector with the Office of the Ramsey County Attorney. In announcing his appointment, Governor Mark Dayton called Kevin ideally suited for the position, and said, “Kevin is a respected lawyer and advocate with deep experience in the community working on issues of fairness in the workplace and in the community. He will be a strong, professional voice in the Dayton Administration.” The department is responsible for enforcing the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The jurisdiction of the agency is broad, covering subject matter areas such as public accommodations, public services, business contracting, housing, education, and employment. In the area of employment, the agency investigates approximately 400 charges of employment discrimination, audits approximately 500 employers regarding their equal employment and equal pay practices, and investigates 100 ban-the-box complaints on an annual basis. Kevin received his JD and BA from the University of Iowa, where as a student he served as editor-in-chief of the Iowa Law Review. Commissioner Lindsey was recently honored by his alma mater with the 2017 Iowa Law Review Distinguished Alumni Award.
Ned Rousmaniere, Board Member (he/his) is a behavioral consultant for organizations. He earned a Master’s degree in clinical social work at the University of Minnesota (1984). After several years as a child and family therapist, his professional focus turned to workplaces. As a counselor and consultant, he’s helped employees and leaders improve workplace satisfaction and effectiveness despite common challenges like change, conflict, and uncertainty. He’s supported all of MN state government for 20 years, with previous experiences at Honeywell, Wells Fargo, and the US Postal Service. In 2017- 2018 he participated in WLP’s Capitol Play Project . Previously, his school-aged daughter dragged him into a couple of plays, including one produced by community-based theater company Cornerstone Theater. That experience inspired Ned, and he’s been thrilled to build on it through WLP. Ned also gardens and bikes around town. After four decades away from sailing, he recently returned to the sport thanks to a small styrofoam boat that resembles a picnic cooler with a colorful banner for a sail.
Sarah Tan, Board Member (she/her) is an artist educator and deviser born and raised in Singapore. She has a B.A. in Theatre Arts and concentration in Education Studies from Carleton College, an M.F.A. in Theatre for Youth and Community from Arizona State University, and is a certified Trauma Support Specialist. Her background is in modern dance, physical theatre, professional theatre, and drama education. As a scholar, she has researched digital creations with young people, the performance of identity, and the intersection between the performing arts and healing trauma. Currently, she is a freelance artist educator in North America in the physical and online space. Learn more about what she’s up to at www.sarahtanhy.com.
*Leah Cooper and Alan Berks are the founders of Wonderlust Productions and are active ensemble and board members.
Thank you to our founding board members!
Julie Guidry, Upstream Arts
Ashley Hanson, Place Base Productions and Department of Public Transformation
Wu Chen Khoo, Technical Tools of the Trade
Jack Reuler, Mixed Blood Theater
Maren Ward, zAmya Theater Project
Harry Waters, Jr., Macalester University