This performance of Spoon River adapted by Tom Isbell and Andy Kust from Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology was located in the Marshall Performing Arts Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth in Duluth, Minnesota.

One of the important goals of this design was to create a poetic reality. This poetic reality I likened to Plato's concept of "treeness" in that I wanted to create the essence of a sunrise or the essence of an evening on the hillside.

Photos by: Darton Visual Effects by Wesley Darton

Artistic Team:

Tom Isbell - Director
Andy Kust - Music Director
Scott Boyle - Technical Director
Sean Dumm - Assistant Technical Director
Kaeli Melin- Stage Manager
Tolu Ekisola - Assistant Stage Manager
Wesley Darton - Lighting Designer
Nick Mrozek - Sound Designer
Jenna Mady - Set Designer
Curtis Phillips - Projections Designer
Heather Olson - Costume Designer
Rebecca Katz Harwood - Choreographer


Ryan James Fargo - George Gray, Cassius Hueffer, Barney Hainsfeather, Clarence Fawcett, Hamilton Greene, The Village Atheist, Enoch Dunlap
Luke Harger - Reuben Pantier, Deacon Taylor, William, Walter Simmons, Judge Somers, Dippold the Optician
Phil Hoelscher - Benjamin Pantier, Harry Wilmans, Roscoe Purkapile, Willard Fluke, Rev. Lemuel Wiley, Roger Heston
Erik Meixelsperger - Jonathan Houghton, Trainor the Druggist, Knowlt Hoheimer, Eugene Carman, Searcy Foote, Alexander Throckmorton, Washington McNeely
Rebekah Meyer - Mrs. Pantier, Margaret Fuller Slack, Mrs. Purkapile, Emily, Lois Spears, Girl
Kayla Peters - Emily Sparks, Mrs. Kessler, Hannah Armstrong, Elsa Wertman, Pauline Barrett, Lucinda Matlock
Brian Saice - Young Jonathan Houghton, E.C. Culbertson, Richard Bone, Fiddler Jones, Judge Selah, Silas Dement
Lauren Schulke - Actor 1, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. George Reece, Nellie Clark, Aner Clute, Minerva Jones
Glee Schultz - Dora Williams, Lydia Puckett, Wedding Singer, Faith Matheny, Mrs. Charles Bliss, Hortense Robbins

Research Imagery

The show starts off with a sunrise on a hill. This image represents the essence of a sunrise that I wanted to capture for this moment.

Production Shot

Here is the sunrise as it was done in the show.

Research Imagery

During the course of the show there is a battle from the American Civil War. I wanted to create the sense that we are in the midst of the battle by replicating side-light similar to this image.

Production Shot

Here is the battle sequence as it was done in the show.