Our Town Bios

Production Team Bios

Director’s Note from Kari Steinbach

What is Our Town? Yes, it’s the people of Grover’s Corners, yet it’s also this cast and crew who who have come together to tell this story; It’s Open Window Theatre whose founder in the role of Stage Manager invites you to join us in the town by creating the props and scenery in your own mind. In the timelessness of this story, Our Town is this state, this country, this planet, this solar system . . . the mind of God.

Welcome to Our Town.

Kari Steinbach

Kari is happy to be back at Open Window Theatre after appearing as Mom in Leaving Iowa last season and directing Sister Calling My Name in 2015. She is the founder and artistic director of Hypnic Jerk Theatre for which she is directing Wit, a co-production with Theatre in the Round that is running May 18-27 (website). She has directed locally for Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Theatre SOS, Lyric Arts, Lakeshore Players, Phipps Center for the Arts, and numerous other Twin Cities theatres. Kari lives in Shoreview with her husband, artist Ken Steinbach and a very old dachshund. 

Our Town Cast

Jeremy Stanbary

Jeremy has over 20-years experience producing and performing theater professionally while advancing his uniquely redemptive vision in the arts. In 2003, Jeremy began touring full-time with his original one-man and small-cast dramas. For the next 8-years, he performed for tens of thousands of people both nationally and internationally, reaching countless others via cable television. In 2011, Jeremy & Sarah founded Open Window Theatre. Our Town marks the conclusion of OWT’s 9th producing season and our 30th professional mainstage production.

Jillian Ehlke

Jillian is excited to be returning for her third production with Open Window Theatre. Past OWT productions include: A Christmas Carol and 1984. Elsewhere: The Importance of Being Earnest1940’s Radio HourSingin’ in the Rain, and As You Like it. Next, you can find her playing Adeline in the locally-produced web series, Hidden Falls, releasing this fall. (jillianmae.com)

Jonah Smith

Jonah is thrilled to be making his third appearance at Open Window Theatre, having previously been in OWT’s productions of A Christmas Carol and The Originalist. Other past credits include Chekhov’s The Seagull, Much Ado About Nothing, Peter Pan, Last Train To Nibroc, and Beauty And The Beast, among others. Jonah can also be seen in the upcoming fantasy miniseries, Hidden Falls. Proverbs 16:3 (jonahwsmith.com)

Peter Colburn

Over the last 40 years, Peter’s theatrical credits include: the world premier of Dolly Parton’s: A Smokey Mountain Christmas Carol, Death of a Salesman, Greater Tuna, Twelfth Night, The Pirates of Penzance, Ghost Stories, and episodes of TV’s “Criminal Minds” and “The Mentalist,” to name a few.

Katherine Kupiecki

Katherine is delighted to be back at Open Window, after previously appearing in Shadowlands in 2013. She has also performed locally with Park Square Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Old Log Theater, Gremlin Theatre, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, and is an ongoing company member with The Mystery Café. You can catch her in the feature film International Falls, streaming now.

Craig Johnson

Craig has worked in 300+ productions as an actor or director, with such theater companies as Jungle Theater, Ten Thousand Things, Park Square, Yellow Tree, Latte Da, History Theatre, Artistry, Gremlin, Six Points, Girl Friday Productions, and many others. Recognition: Ivey Awards (acting and directing), Theater Artist of the Year (City Pages, Lavender Magazine). Our Town is Craig’s Open Window Theatre debut.

Katie Kaufmann

Katie is an actor and mask maker, located in the Twin Cities, specializing in ensemble creation and physical theatre. She attended the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and was a performing apprentice for Theatre de la Jeune Lune. She has collaborated and performed new works with many theaters and individuals in the Twin Cities. She also creates and produces her own work, teaches workshops, and designs masks for theaters and schools. Our Town is Katie’s Open Window Theatre debut. (katiekaufmann.com)

John Goodrich

John is glad for the opportunity to work with Open Window Theatre. John has worked with Lakeshore Players Theatre, Theatre Coup d’Etat, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Theatre in the Round, Shoot the Glass Theater, Aethem Theatre, Lex-Ham Community Theatre, and Chameleon Theatre Circle. He’s worked with Kari Steinbach a bunch. John dies bloodily in “Hidden Falls,” a locally-produced web series debuting later this year.

Rick Lamers

Rick is making his Open Window Theatre debut in Our Town. He has appeared in productions throughout the area, most recently in Native Gardens at Daleko Arts, Lion in Winter at The Phipps and was featured in Burnout at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.

Wini Froelich

Wini is delighted and grateful to be making her debut with Open Window Theatre. She has performed locally with Wayward Theater, Freshwater Theater, the Minnesota Historical Society and for 16 years with The Mystery Cafe performing roles such as Tiffany Shamwow and Mayor Maynot. Coming up are The Buddha Prince with TigerLion Arts this summer and Any(mous) with Full Circle Theater in the fall.

Dawson Ehlke

Dawson is honored to return to Open Window Theatre. His previous work with Open Window includes The World Over (2020) and Mercy Unrelenting (2023). This time he is thrilled to share the stage with his wife, Jillian. Dawson will also appear in the crowd-funded fantasy series “Hidden Falls,” due for release later this year.

Joshua Row

Joshua is making his professional debut in Our Town at Open Window Theatre after 4-years at the University of Nothwestern, St. Paul. His shows at UNW include The Lightning Thief, Anything Goes, Little Women, and Twelfth Night. Joshua’s upcoming projects include Guthrie Theater’s production of Into The Woods, where he will be Jack’s Understudy.

Madeline Mae Kapel

Madeline makes her Open Window Theatre debut in Our Town after many youth production credits. Recently she’s been seen in: Ten November with Expressions Community Theatre, The Little Mermaid with 4 Community Theatre, and the original song cycle Memory Lane with Hamline Music Department.

Augustine Stanbary

Augustine is the oldest son of OWT founders Jeremy and Sarah Stanbary and he last appeared on our stage as the Young Nicholas in this season’s critically acclaimed production of NICHOLAS: The Origin of Father Christmas, which met with an extended run back in December. Other theater credits include Open Window’s youth prodcuctions of Seussical (summer ‘22) and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (summer ‘21), in addition to His Name is Michael in July ‘22. Augustine is excited to be carrying on the Stanbary family tradition on the stage!

Annie Day

Annie is excited to be making her OWT debut! Past productions include The Seagull1940’s Radio Hour, Sense and Sensibility, Toward’s Zero, Much Ado About Nothing, Antigone, etc. Annie will be seen as Aedwin in an upcoming fantasy webseries, “Hidden Falls,” which was locally produced here in the Twin Cities. Luke 12:34

Stephen Brewer

Stephen makes his professional theater debut in this production of Our Town. Previous theater credits include multiple collegiate credits at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS, where Stephen received his BFA in Theatre Arts with a minor in Music and Vocal Performance.

Our Town Crew & Designers

Lauren Volkart (Stage Manager)

Lauren previously stage managed The Originalist at OWT earlier this season along with Leaving Iowa last season, in addition to assisting with multiple other OWT productions. Lauren also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for OWT and is thrilled to have a space where her passions in administration, theatre, and community-building can work together within the mission of Open Window.

Nate Farley (Set & Props Designer)

Nate has been with OWT since Season 2 and is now our resident designer and scenic artist. Nate is a Librarian by day and a freelance designer/actor by night. He was last seen on the Open Window stage in our production of Leaving Iowa last season. He also shares his many talents with a variety of other theater and film companies in the area, in addition to serving as the Resident House Manager for Open Window Theatre.

MaryBeth Schmid (Costume Designer)

MaryBeth is grateful to have designed costumes for all four of OWT ‘s productions this season: The Originalist, Nicholas, Mercy Unrelenting, and now Our Town, as well as Leaving Iowa from last season. You can catch her work this summer in the OWT productions of Foshay the Musical (July) and Willy Wonka (August).

Olivia Lundsten (Lighting Designer)

Olivia has had the great pleasure of designing all four of OWT’s productions this season: The OriginalistNicholasMercy Unrelenting, and now Our Town. Her other recent designs include Sense and Sensibility (Missed the Boat Theatre), Catholic Young Adults: The Musical (Missed the Boat Theatre) Kiss Me, Kate (Bethany Lutheran College), Little Shop of Horrors (State Street Theater Co.), Beauty and the Beast (State Street Theater Co.), A Midsummer’s Eve (Mankato Ballet Company), and The Giver (Maple River Community Theatre).

Jeremy Stanbary (Sound Designer & Producer)

See actor bio above

Corey Mills (Pantomime Coach)

Corey has been creating and performing theater in the Minneapolis metro area for the past 25 years and is the Co-Artistic Director of SPARK theater + dance along with his wife, Betsy. He was a company member of JAZZDANCE! by Danny Buraczeski for four years, and is a playwright and improvisational acting/movement instructor. Corey has worked with Open Window Theatre in many different ways over the past decade, most recently as a co-director for last season’s Leaving Iowa.

Amanda Weis (Music Director)

Amanda is an experienced performing artist and stage director who divides her time between private vocal instruction and performing and directing throughout the Twin Cities and greater area. Ms. Weis has performed leading and supporting roles with numerous notable performing arts companies in the region. Ms. Weis was also the vocal director for the national tour Nick Jr Live, a new work from Nickelodeon and VStar Entertainment. Amanda Weis is a member of the NATS – National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a solo & ensemble contest judge for the Minnesota State High School League under the name, Amanda McGivern.

Kathryn Humnick (QLab Technician)

Kathryn is our full-time Box Office Manager and Resident Stage Manager. Katy has stage managed many shows at OWT since 2020 and she’s also an actress, having performed onstage in last season’s Leaving Iowa in addition to performing many voiceovers in 1984. This season, Kathryn stage managed our productions of Nicholas and Mercy Unrelenting, while serving as QLab tech for all of our shows.