Minneapolis Musical Theatre is dedicated to providing community access to high quality yet affordable works of musical theatre never before – or very rarely – seen by Twin Cities audiences.
Founded in 1992, Minneapolis Musical Theatre (MMT) has staged works both within the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. Originally conceived as a touring troupe by founders Kevin Hansen and Steven Meerdink, MMT traveled the Midwest with a combination of musical reviews and lesser-known musicals. In 1997/1998 the Minneapolis Musical Theatre produced its first shows in the Twin Cities –Broadway Today and Sweeney Todd – which initiated a long and very successful partnership with the Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater.
The Minneapolis Musical Theatre was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1999, and in 2000 became the first ‘Company-in-Residence’ at Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater. Its first full season was in 2000-2001, and ever since MMT has grown as a theatrical force in the Twin Cities.
MMT’s first production of its 2002-2003 season, The Rocky Horror Show, opened in October 2002 at Hennepin Stages (formerly Hey City Theater) in the heart of Minneapolis’ Hennepin Theater District. Over the years, the Minneapolis Musical Theatre has produced a long list of area premieres (Pageant, Passion, A New Brain, Violet,When Pigs Fly, Weird Romance, Lucky Stiff, Mail, A Class Act, Bat Boy, Jane Eyre,Convenience, Zombie Prom, Jerry Springer – The Opera, Summer of ’42, Bright Lights Big City, Zanna Don’t!, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Evil Dead, bare and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and – in conjunction with the Minnesota AIDS Project – the area premiere of a one-night-only benefit performance of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens in 2003.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press listed MMT’s When Pigs Fly in the ‘Top 10 Productions’ of 2001. The Minneapolis Star Tribune named MMT’s area premiere of Bat Boy, Outstanding Musical of 2004 (smaller theaters), The Who’s Tommy, one of three Outstanding Musicals of 2005 (smaller theaters) and Zombie Prom, Outstanding Musical of 2007 (smaller theaters). City Pages honored MMT’s area premiere of Jerry Springer – The Opera as Best Comedy in their ‘Best of the Twin Cities’.
MMT’s October 2008 area premiere of Bright Lights, Big City coincided with a move to the Illusion Theater. In 2012 Minneapolis Musical Theatre entered into a partnership with Hennepin Theatre Trust and moved into the New Century Theatre in downtown Minneapolis’ City Center complex.
Christian Unser (Artistic Director)
Christian took over the role of Artistic Director for Minneapolis Musical Theatre in the summer of 2014. He has been an active board member for the company for several years and has appeared in numerous MMT productions since 2005. He has been performing since childhood – his mother was a drama and English teacher and his father was a minister who built all of his mother’s sets. During the day, he is the Senior Producer for Twin Cities Live, a lifestyle show airing weekdays at 3:00 on 5 Eyewitness News. Prior to that position, Christian worked as a director and producer in the corporate video world and as a news videographer in Des Moines, IA. In addition to his day job, he is very active in the Twin Cities theater community. He has also worked with the Chameleon Theatre Circle, HUGE Theater, and other companies around the metro.
MMT Board of Directors:
Scott Sisel has worked as a financial executive in a variety of roles over the past 25 years. Currently, a partner at Eide Bailly LLP, Scott leads the Healthcare practice in the Minnesota/Wisconsin region as well as leading the business development activities on a National basis relative to Health Systems. He has his undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and has served on a number of non-profit boards including the Indianapolis Repertory Theatre and FairmountCenter for the Fine Arts.
Daniel R. Tenenbaum (Board Chair) is the Co-Chair of the Entrepreneurial Services Group at the Gray Plant Mooty law firm. He completed his undergraduate study at Brandeis University, cum laude, in 1987 and received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1990. When he’s not helping entrepreneurs build businesses, he can often be found seeing musicals (he’s seen over 460 unique musicals) and has even written a children’s musical, “Pickle-Chiffon Pie: The Musical,” based on the 60’s book by Jolly Roger Bradfield (www.picklechiffonpie.com). He spent a decade on the Board of Hennepin Theatre Trust and is a member of the President’s Circle.
Rebecca Gebhart has appeared in several MMT shows over the years. She graduated cum laude from Drake University in 2008 with a BFA in Musical Theatre, and spends her days working as an accounting admin for C&H Technology.
Alex Kotlarek is currently the Sales and Community Outreach Manager at Cookie Cart, a non-profit bakery in North Minneapolis, focused on youth development. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2006 with her BFA in Musical Theatre. As a Minneapolis Musical Theatre alumni, some of her favorite past productions include Evil Dead: The Musical, Bare, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Bat Boy: The Musical. In her free time she works as a costume designer for Tartan high School and Eleve Dance Performing Arts Center.
Andrew Hughes joined MMT in 2016. Andrew has a passion for all fine arts, including musicals, and has been in various productions growing up including “Oklahoma” and “Kiss Me Kate”. Currently a transfer pricing consultant at KPMG, he is a published economist with a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Missouri. In his free time, he also enjoys traveling abroad, the Minneapolis music scene and the French language.
Sarah Richardson is currently Senior Director of Strategy & Planning for UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, the business within UnitedHealth Group that serves one in five Medicare beneficiaries. Prior to moving to Minnesota in 2015, Sarah was completing her MPH/MBA from University of Michigan, and had previously worked in Washington, DC as a healthcare consultant. She has her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College, and comes from a family with a love for the performing arts.
Amber ACE Cleveland is a Hip Hop impresario. For over a decade, through her company ACEntertainment MGMT, ACE has created and cultivated a number of shows, mentored countless artists and promoters and has created and curated the annual free, annual Hip Hop festival, For the Love, A Community Celebration. In addition to her varied accomplishments within the music industry ACE is the owner of the catering bakery service, Remixin’ Vixens. She is the events specialist for the Kitty Anderson Youth Science Center at the Science Museum of Minnesota. She has been conferred with a Bachelor of Individualized Studies and Masters of Liberal Studies from the University of Minnesota, and is currently pursing her Doctorate of Education from Hamline University.
Mark Lyons hates cats.