Cactus Flower
Nov. 8-10 & 15-18, 2012
Directed by Paul Finocchiaro
Scene Design by Noah J. Files
Costume Design by David McCarl
Lighting Design by Steven Smith
Sound Design by George E. Grubb

Cactus Flower
Igor Sullivan (Austin England, at window) tries to break in to Toni's apartment
when he senses danger. Toni (Antonia Perez) is under the cover in bed.

Cactus Flower
Later on, Toni mistakes Igor for Julian.

Cactus Flower
Dr. Julian Winston (Andy Rotchadl, second from left) visits Toni (Antonia Perez, center)
at the record shop. Customers in the shop are (left to right): Gabrielle Chavers, Emily Engels,
Brandon Lund and Sarah Jesseman (in booth), Tylinn Farhni and Colton Moyer.

Cactus Flower
Harvey Greenfield (Carter Allen) talks with Mrs. Dixon Durant (Amanda Forman), while
Dr. Winston (Andy Rotchadl) and Stephanie Dickinson (Emily Jansen) look on.

Cactus Flower
Mrs. Durant (Amanda Forman) has a point to make.

Cactus Flower
Senor Arturo Sanchez (Joseph Scheller) is a bit skittish, despite
the best efforts of Stephanie (Emily Jansen).

Cactus Flower
When they go to the nightclub to pretend to be husband and wife, Stephanie (Emily Jansen) strikes
up a friendship with Igor (Austin England) while Julian (Andy Rotchadl) strikes out at fitting in.
Also at the nightclub are Senor Arturo Sanchez (Joseph Scheller, far left), Toni (Antonia Perez), Boticelli's
Springtime (Jaclyn Juola, second from right) and Harvey Greenfield (Carter Allen, far right).

Photos by Mike Lagerquist

Cactus Flower reunites to local actors who have been "married" before

By Matt Caron, MFA Directing candidate

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance’s season continues to blossom
in November with Cactus Flower by Abe Burrows.  Two locally grown actors—Emily Jansen (playing a
prickly flower of a nurse, Stephanie), and Andy Rotchadl (playing philandering dentist Dr. Julian Winston)
—star in this delightful comedy.

Emily Jansen, a senior BFA Musical Theatre candiate from St. Peter, grew up attending Minnesota State, Mankato theatre
productions with her mother.  “I especially remember seeing (The Adventures of) Tom Sawyer and just thinking
it was the best show ever,” she remembers.  She cites the Minnesota State Mankato musicals, such as the
Wizard of Oz
and Showboat, as being particularly inspirational.  “Ever since I was little I knew I wanted to go to
school here.”

While in high school, Jansen attended the annual high school workshops hosted by the Department of Theatre & Dance.
It was at these workshops that she had the opportunity to meet and work with the faculty, which only solidified her desire
to attend college here.  She received much encouragement from the faculty, including Nick Wayne, who serves as the
department’s Musical Director.  “I took voice lessons from Nick in high school,” Jansen said.  “He encouraged me to come here.”

Andy Rotchadl is a sophomore Theatre Generalist from Mankato.  “I started off as a child actor here,” he recalls.  “My first show
was Cotton Patch Gospel.”  Rotchadl also appeared in the children’s choruses of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat
and Singin’ in the Rain.  Growing up, he did a lot of theatre throughout his high school years at Mankato Loyola.
After high school he attended the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse for a semester, but ended up returning to Minnesota State
Mankato as an undecided major.  He then went to Chicago for a time to pursue a career in music, but decided to head back to his
hometown to pursue theatre.  “I need a degree,” he says with a smile.

Rotchadl and Jansen were last seen together on stage as the married couple Al and Kristine Deluca in the opening show of the season,
A Chorus Line
.  Now they find themselves cast in a romantic relationship opposite each other once again in Cactus Flower
“Working together on A Chorus Line made it easier to work together on a second show,” Jansen reflects.  “We were able to build
off the trust and chemistry established in that show.”  

Even though the two shows are very different, Rotchadl says he was still able to find things in one show that were useful in
communicating the relationship between the characters in the next “We found out we were cast together for Cactus Flower
while we were still in rehearsal for A Chorus Line.” 

Both Rotchadl and Jansen love what Minnesota State Mankato has to offer its students.  “It’s so great that you can see such
a variety of shows in one season,” says Jansen.  “That also means you get that opportunity to play a wide variety of characters.”
In this season alone Jansen played a crazy, quirky dancer in A Chorus Line, she will get to play a mature, serious nurse in
Cactus Flower, and be sure to look for her as an angst-filled young schoolgirl in Spring Awakening this winter. 

“I’m really enjoying my classes here,” says Rotchadl.  “The teachers have such a depth of knowledge—they know how to help you
to be good at what you do.”   
Cactus Flower runs Nov. 8-10 and 15-17 at 7:30 p.m., with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Nov. 17 & 18.  To purchase tickets, visit us online at MSUTheatre.com or call 507-389-6661.  The Theatre & Dance Box Office is open 4-6 p.m., M-F.