Meet Some of Our
Craig Ellingson went directly from his graduate work
at Minnesota State Mankato to his teaching/directing work
at Minnesota State Moorhead. Now he serves as the
Director of Theatre.
Even though his graduate work at Mankato was during the time it was a two-year program,
Craig Ellingson managed three summers of Highland Summer Theatre...and he loved it.
In fact, although he came to graduate school with a strong work ethic, it's safe to say he fine-tuned
it and has been practicing it effectively with the Straw Hat Players, who for their 50th anniversary
in 2013 presented six fully mounted productions—including four musicals.
One of the big reasons he chose Mankato was that it would give him the opportunity not only
to act but to direct. And, as it turns out, to produce an original children's theatre production,
The Snow Queen, that went out on tour. In his work with three different performance people,
as well as dance and vocal work, he says he was encouraged to explore many areas and become
a stronger performer.
Ellingson said he loves to work quickly as well as intensely, primarily so he can instill in his
students a sense of their craft and ownership in what will become their art. He also credits his time
in Mankato with equipping him to handle many of the programming and administrative responsibilities
of his job and the Straw Hat Players.
All in all, it appears he practiced what he now preaches to his students: You have to work your
program in order to get out of it everything you need upon graduation.
The Snow Queen (1997) featured Ben Thietje, Amy Jo Krueger,
David Tacheny, Shawn Ashley and Sarah Bizek.
View a video interview with Craig here.
• The Medora Musical 2013: Technicians Matt Gilbertson & Dana Kleiman,
performers Emily Walter and Lauren Mikeal Weber
• Guthrie Theater regular Jim Lichtscheidl
• Bismarck, ND, teacher/director Erin Drevlow
• Globe-trotting activist Chris Bell
• Rapid City graphic artist and actor Jeff Smith
• Our man on the road, Corey Krolikowski
• Taking the stage by storm, Jacleen Olson
• Recognize the voice over? That's Brent Teclaw
• Eriq Nelson is The Dude
• Theatre technicians Allen Weeks and Mick Coughlan said.
—Mike Lagerquist, August 2013
If you have questions or comments,
click on Mike's name above.