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Going Down on the Queen of Minneapolis

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Going Down on the Queen of Minneapolis

By Freshwater Theatre

Written by Ruth Virkus

Or: The Final Voyage of Nokomis Construction. The employees of a failing construction company are trapped on a party boat. Forced to face their ridiculous demons, together they decide whether to sink or swim.


World premiere

Includes artists of color

Just so you know, this show has
Violence, Adult language

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16 and up

Other shows

Summer at Nokomis Construction always ends with a party cruise.  A time-honored, annual way to trap the employees on a boat, forcing awkward conversations and cementing deep seated hatred between co-workers.

This year, it's doubtful the boat will stay afloat under the weight of so much dysfunction.  The boss has returned from jail with her illiterate cellmate in tow, and the company is failing.  They have an actuary as a stowaway, and the CFO is crafting his big presentation with dry erase markers.  

The receptionist is mutinous, the employees are unscrupulous...and it's all about to go down on the Queen of Minneapolis.

Check out our feature on Twin Cities Theater Connection with Joshua Humphrey!

Matthew Everett recommends the show as part of his Single White Fringe Geek coverage for Twin Cities Daily Planet!
(Oh, and we've made his top 20!  http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/blog/matthew-everett/fringe-top-20-2012-edition-if-you-removed-gun-my-head#.UBpj-bRgxi4.twitter)

AND, Theatre Pro Rata Artistic Director Carin Bratlie also recommends Going Down on the Queen of Minneapolis on MPR's Art Hounds Blog: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/state-of-the-arts/archive/2012/08/art-hounds-fringe-spectacular.shtml 

Cast + crew

Rachel Flynn
Role: Lorraine
Rachel has worked in various capacities with numerous theater companies including Swandive Theatre, Lake Harriet Players, La Vie Theatre, STL Productions, and Bloomington Civic Theatre. Ever the over-achiever, Rachel was in two shows in last summer’s Fringe Festival: "Knit One, Purl the Other", with Unfold the Sky Productions, and "Rambler Family Ramblers Final Christmas Reunion Spectacular", with OAFTrax Productions. Rachel has been seen onstage with Freshwater in "Table 12: A Play at a Wedding" and "Dirty Girls Come Clean", and recently hit the stage with Theatre in the Round for their production of "Independence" this January. Rachel’s favorite roles include The Music Man (Marian), BLISS: Three One-Acts (various roles), Postcards from the Corn Palace (various roles), Tartuffe (Elmire), and Savage in Limbo (Denise Savage).

Ariel Leaf
Role: Angela
Ariel Leaf is thrilled to both be at home in a familiar role (that of a total bitch, for some reason she keeps getting cast that way) and to get to do some COMEDY! She rarely gets the opportunity to make others laugh instead of cry, and she's secretly turned on by having her husband slap her onstage. A company member of 20% Theatre, Footprints Collective and of course Freshwater, Ariel divvies up her theatre into Lighting Design, Performing, Directing, Producing and occasionally Playwriting. Speak of which, you can see her next in Freshwater's "Better or Worse", a fundraiser for Minnesotans United for All Families. Not only will Ariel be performing in the festival, but she wrote a piece in it and will be lighting the entire show. 'Cause woe betide the world if she has any free time. She is also working on a community created performance, The Vet Project with Footprints Collective, slated for fall of 2013.

John Leaf
Role: Willie
John Leaf is a graduate of St. Mary's University in Winona, MN. While there he played many roles on stage, both big and small. He is very happy to jump back on stage once again with the very talented crew at Freshwater Theatre. The last time he was on stage was a one night stint for Freshwater's Awkward Moments Festival, in Dream Sequences by Scot Moore.

Scot Moore
Role: Dan
Scot Moore is an actor, director, and author residing in Minneapolis and is participating in his [lots]nth Fringe Festival. You can find more about him, including the recently published Gaymerica at www.scotmoore.com. Also, you can check out more of his writing as well as the work of a crowd of other talented folks in Naval Gaze Productions' "Fringe Orphans" at Theatre in the Round.

J. Merrill Motz
Role: Captain Brandy
J. Merrill Motz, or Jeremy Motz, or just Motz (rhymes with boats) recently earned a graduate degree in Ohio University’s Professional Playwriting Program, after having spent four years in Minneapolis, where he moved after graduating from Central Michigan University with a BFA in acting. While in the Twin Cities, he acted for Chameleon Theatre Circle, Workhouse, took classes at the Playwright’s Center and The Loft, and appeared as Saul in the original production of Table 12 in the 2010 Minnesota Fringe. Motz was seen onstage recently in performances of his piece, Sky Fleeting, as part of both runs of our Dirty Girls Come Clean festival.

Mame Pelletier
Role: Bren
Mame Pelletier is an actor/improviser/writer/comedian and thrilled member of Freshwater Theatre Company. Going Down on the Queen of Minneapolis is Mame's cherry-poppin' debut in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Be gentle. She's also had the privilege of acting for companies such as Theatre in the Round, Theatre Unbound, The Flower Shop Project, The Playwrights’ Center, Commedia Beauregard, 20% Theatre Co., and Maximum Verbosity. This fall you can see her in Urban Samurai's production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses and she's helping to produce Freshwater's anthology on the history of marriage, Better or Worse. Big ups to her hubs and boychild. Cuz they rock.

Neil Schneider
Role: Shawn
Neil Schneider has lived and worked in the Twin Cities for nearly four years now and was honored to make his Freshwater debut in the original production of Table 12 during the 2010 Fringe! Neil is originally from Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin – Parkside (and, yes, he does love beer and cheese). After working regionally here and there for a few years, he decided to make Minneapolis his new home. Selected credits include the Emcee in "Cabaret", Drake in "Annie", Peter Thorkelson in "I Remember Mama", Mr. Collins in "Pride and Prejudice", Dale Wilson-Shears in "Smile the Musical", Scouja/timHom in "Klingon Christmas Carol", and Malvolio in "Twelfth Night". This October, Neil was seen in Theater Mu’s production of "Four Destinies", and 20% Theatre’s "The Naked I: Wide Open". He would like to thank all his friends and family for their constant support and love!

Katie Starks
Role: Mystee
Katie Starks has been an avid viewer and participant of Twin Cities theatre since graduating from Metropolitan State University with a BA in theatre in 2007, where she was blessed to have worked with the amazing Camille D’Ambrose, including her final production of "Macbeth". Katie has worked with several Twin Cities theatre companies, including Theatre Unbound, Urban Samurai, Commedia Beauregard, Nimbus, The Flower Shop Project and The Directors Studios. Last summer, Katie was seen in "The Trunk" with Siege Perilous Films in the 2011 MN Fringe Festival, played Cassie in "Rumors" in September with Urban Samurai, and also appeared in Freshwater’s "Dirty Girls Come Clean" festival this January. Katie is also an incredibly proud and excited member of 20% Theatre Company, for whom she directed a piece in The Naked I: Wide Open.

Michael Sung-Ho
Role: Joe
New to the Twin Cities, Michael Sung-Ho spent his more recent years working as an actor and full-time model in Los Angeles, CA. After relocating to Minnesota, he’s been warmly received, taking study and shelter at The Brave New Institute and performing in "M. Butterfly" on the Guthrie’s Wurtele Thrust Stage in 2010. Michael recently worked with Savage Umbrella Theater on "The Ravagers", a new work with simultaneous workshops in Seoul, South Korea and Minneapolis, MN (in partnership with Seoul Players), was also seen in Theatre Mu’s production of "Little Shop of Horrors" at the Ritz Theater and "Come Hell and High Water", a production with Dominique Serrand and Steve Epp’s The Moving Company at the Southern Theatre. Michael was seen this fall as Brother Brightbee in Freshwater’s production of "The Book of Liz" by David and Amy Sedaris, and will be in Theatre Mu’s upcoming production of "Into the Woods". Michael’s other professional acting credits include a slew of independent films you’ve never seen before, but should, and several commercial advertisements exercising his Asian-hipster expertise in video game peripherals and cellular phone technology.

Lacey Zeiler
Role: Mila
Originally from San Francisco, CA, Lacey Zeiler has been performing all over the Cities with numerous companies, including Theatre Arlo, Theatre Unbound, 20% Theatre Company, Ministry of Cultural Warfare, Workhouse Theatre Company, Savage Umbrella, 3AM Productions, National Theatre for Children, and the occasional singing telegram. Previously, Lacey served as a member of The Flower Shop Project, where she was their Director of Outreach. Her first play, In the Weeds, depicting her humorous experiences working in the restaurant industry, was produced by FSP to great acclaim at the Bryant Lake Bowl in October of 2009. While working with FSP, Lacey was fortunate enough to have been cast in the same show with the handsome John Zeiler, who she recently married. As first time producers, John and Lacey were fortunate enough to squirrel their way into the 2010 Minnesota Fringe Festival with "An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein". With the help of 6 different directors, an amazing tech rock star, and a goddess of a stage manager, they sold out the entire run, including the much-coveted encore performance. Lacey also just completed a run in Agatha Christie’s "The Hollow" at Theatre in the Round this May/June. In her hypothetical free time, Lacey enjoys painting, yoga, watching Dexter, drinking boxed wine, and listening to guilty pleasure pop music.

Ruth Virkus
Role: Playwright/Producer
A National Merit Scholarship recipient who graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota Morris with degrees in history and theatre, Ruth Virkus is also a company member with 20% Theatre Company, Twin Cities. Previously, she worked for several years with The Flower Shop Project, a theatre company founded with other graduates of the UMM theatre department.

During her time with FSP, Ruth acted in and co-wrote "Drowning in Velvet", "Dawn’s Inferno", "Ladies A.I.D.", "Auld Acquaintance", "Attack of the Atomic Trash Monster’s Bride", and "The Fish, The Fruit and the Pet Coffin Maker". Ruth also served as FSP’s head producer for "(Almost) Got it Made" and "In the Weeds". Her first solo writing endeavor, "Preferred by Discreet Women Everywhere", eventually begat a companion piece entitled "10:00 Bistro Caprice", which was featured in The Fresh Five with 20% Theatre Company in January of 2010.

Ruth recently produced and curated Freshwater’s "Dirty Girls Come Clean: The Return", also directing a couple of the pieces in the fest, which raised over $2000 for Dress for Success Twin Cities, and Ruth was recently onstage in Walking Shadow Theatre Company’s production of "An Ideal Husband".

Kate O'Connell Jandric
Role: Stage Manager
Kate was born and raised a Saint Paul girl but broke the bonds that tied her to the 651 and made that epic trip across the river, where she studied Stage Managing at the University of Minnesota. She absolutely loves ice cream, reading and her playful puppy Bailey. She would love to thank her parents and friends for all of their enduring support.

Some of her Stage Managing experience includes "Comedy of Errors" and "Twelfth Night" with The Strange Capers, "Bombus and Berylline" with Four Humors, "Reeling Over Love" with Eclectic Edge Ensemble Dance Company, "The Duties and Responsibilities of Being a Sidekick" and "Prince and a Pauper" during the ’10 and ‘11 Minnesota Fringe Festivals and "Reverb" in the Dowling Studio at The Guthrie.

Ben Layne
Role: Director
Working primarily as an actor in the Twin Cities, Ben Layne has appeared onstage for various companies including Swandive Theatre, Theatre Pro Rata, The Directors Studios, Tedious Brief Productions, Starting Gate Productions, Theatre Limina and Commedia Beauregard, among others.

Ben also served as assistant director under Damon Runnals for Swandive Theatre’s production of "The Baltimore Waltz", directed for both installments of Box Wine Theatre’s “Raucous Caucus” political play festival and directed a pair of scenes in Freshwater’s "Festival of Awkward Moments". Onstage, Ben was recently part of a workshop of "The King is Dead" with Jon Ferguson Theater, a collaboration between director Jon Ferguson, playwright (and Walking Shadow Co-Artistic Director) John Heimbuch, and a host of performers from Minneapolis and the UK, played Reverend Tollhouse in Freshwater’s production of "The Book of Liz", and was recently seen in "An Ideal Husband" with Walking Shadow. Ben will follow up "Going Down on the Queen of Minneapolis" by directing Freshwater's April production of "The Gifted Program" by Ruben Carbajal.

Write a review

You will be able to write a review for this show during the festival.

User reviews

by Barrett Solberg
Rating 5 stars
Our favorite program of the festival! Terrific characters, dialogue and plot. The barwench stole the show!

A good comedy.
by Eric Salo
Rating 4 stars
This is a good, solid ensemble piece. With up to ten people up on stage at a time it was sometimes a bit tricky to know just where to focus my attention but for the most part they pulled it off well. Special callouts to Scot Moore for playing a perfect deadpan and to Mame Pelletier for going nicely over the top and then absolutely nailing the final line of the show.

fun, witty, and unique
by Eliz D
Rating 4 stars
Although Freshwater is a relatively new company they have consistently put on really great shows - "Going Down..." is no exception. Very fun, witty and wonderfully acted. Great script! Also - a wonderful use of the space!

Cracking Up in the Audience
by Andrew Troth
Rating 4 stars
Solidly constructed comedy with great performances and lots of laughs. Well done!

The Office in Minnesota
by Corinna Troth
Rating 4 stars
Some interesting characters doing funny stuff, strange goings on and all is explained in the end. I'm not sure the venue was the best suited to this show (Who can help that, right?) - and found that sitting on the corner of the stage left us looking through the bar-height table on the corner, and at lot of backs. I know I'd have been happier sitting truly in the center or side section. Some funny stuff, though - a lot like watching The Office in MInnesota...on a boat. Fantastic punchline for the whole show.

Not Bad, Not Great
by Mark Long
Rating 3 stars
I like Freshwater Theatre a lot, but this was kind of a weak effort. Not without a few laughs, but mostly half-baked.

Avast! Cow-orkers!
by Fringivitis Vulgaris
Rating 3 stars
The performers on this raucous ride are some of my faves from Table Twelve. Despicable behavior and appalling conversations are the rule when they take the stage, and they do make it funny. There's not a single likeable soul aboard the boat, and they deserve one another. Now sit right down as they tell a tale...

funny bit a little convoluted
by Vicki Joan Keck
Rating 5 stars
This quirky comedy did not quite come up to the standard set by 2010s Table 12 at the Wedding, also by Virkus. However the characters were wonderfully brought to life by a very able cast. I especially enjoyed Scot Moore's performance as a socially awkward insurance salesman and Mame Pelletier is always outrageously funny. I liked it, but there was a little too much going on at times.

by Josh Vogen
Rating 4 stars
A fun show. If you're looking to laugh and be entertained, you have found your show!

Cruisin Down in a Good Way
by Matt Saxe
Rating 4 stars
Fun, horrifyingly recognizable characters performed by really talented actors, witty banter, and lots of laughs.
It actually did remind me of the cruise on Lake Minnetonka I had to go on with my office last summer. It was clear this show knew who it was skewering and did it well.
No stress or messages, just a fun show delivered by the very talented Freshwater ensemble.

Crazy Witty Fun
by Rochelle Eastman
Rating 5 stars
Over the top story, with lots of things happening at once, but it worked! Fantastic characters, exaggerated, but not offensively ridiculous. The extremely well acted characters had me chuckling all the way home. There was enough of a plot and mystery to hold the mayhem together into a totally enjoyable performance.

Bit disappointing
by Mark Goldberg
Rating 3 stars
My expectations were lofty for this show after reading the premise but it unfortunately did not deliver. I found it a bit confusing at first, trying to understand who each of these characters were and how they related to each other, and then once their natures were revealed, most of the were pretty loathsome.

Katie Starks as Mystee did a really nice job with her role, and I wished they would have expanded the role of Mila a bit mroe as she seemed to bring a great deal of energy to her character.

There were some laughs, but I found this to be a very cynical, mean spirited play that I did not enjoy nearly as much as I expected to

I'm Angela! I'm the Boss Now!
by Jason Vogen
Rating 5 stars
How can you go wrong?! A Minnesota boat cruise full of sarcasm and drunken shenanigans with more than a handful of well placed tongues in cheeks. Other than a few jokes that could have been just a tad tighter this show had a barrel full of solid laughs and throwback references that had my row elbowing each other with knowing snickers. Sit close and don't just focus on who is talking because some of the best gems are taking place away from the main action! Put this one on your list!

by Roy Close
Rating 1 star
A big, noisy, sloppy, deeply cynical mess of a comedy, frenetic rather than fast-paced and vulgar rather than witty. The program credits a director, but you wouldn't know that anyone directed it from the disoriented blocking and lack of focus. There's not a genuine moment in it anywhere.

A negligee hoof dinned on Quint mop snow
by Brian Watson-Jones
Rating 5 stars
Hilarious, ridiculous journey for a group of dysfunctional semi-idiots. In a sense, that's every comedy, and this one is on a boat. Scot Moore's actuary is definitely the standout role, but there isn't a weak link in the cast. Great story, although alas, the wardrobe malfunction has been corrected, so there was no unplanned nudity. So it goes. Still worth your ticket!

Lots of Laughs
by Jimmy Leduc
Rating 4 stars
A funny group of characters played by great actors. It reminded me of sooo many office parties. A fun filled show for sure.

Worth boarding.
by Joshua Humphrey
Rating 4 stars
I see writer Ruth Virkus challenging herself here--this is a big play with multiple moving parts, with work for all of her ensemble, and all of the moments between scenes are mini-plays onto themselves. You can be watching the main scene on one side of the thrust and there will be characters engaged in their own selfish little losses and victories, and director Ben Layne deserves a lot of credit for making that work without distracting from the main sequences.

Shout out specifically to Scot Moore, who channeled Richard Ayoade's Moss from The IT Crowd while still being an entirely different type of character.

get on board, go on down.
by Amber Bjork
Rating 5 stars
I am already a big fan of many of the talents involved in this piece. Ruth Virkus is a quirky writer, with that "out of the blue" "did i just hear...?" kind of humor that I am drawn to. Scot Moore's socially awkward character and Mame Pelletier's fearlessness really hooked me for some good belly laughs.

A solid piece from a young theatre company that is making their mark ever more readable. These kids are going somewhere tasty.

by Bob Flynn
Rating 5 stars
"This is your life" if you've ever worked in an office. The script and the Freshwater cast is so strong that you know every character on stage. Very funny and sadly "real."

i love freshwater!
by Puck Matz
Rating 4 stars
It was great to see so many performers I love and admire on stage together! Creating a farce out of improv is no small task, and these folks showed us just that. Although I was confused by some of the choices in terms of characters and plot (and sometimes humor just a little too off-color), I was thoroughly entertained. As always, Mame Pelletier gave a stellar performance that had me belly-laughing every time she spoke, and Ariel Leaf's final drugged-out soliloquy was quite silly indeed.

Come Aboard!
by Bradley Johnson
Rating 4 stars
This show has a great set of characters that are well acted by the complete cast. I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but was engaged throughout the show, laughing right up through the end. Looking for a good comedy? See this show.

Ship of fools
by Rick Treece
Rating 4 stars
Great performances and great characters, co-workers with more collective dysfunction than the denizens of "The Office".

The script needs some tightening, but the stuff that works is awesome.

Fun and Light-hearted
by Nathan Schilz
Rating 4 stars
This was just a super fun show. It felt like a bunch of friends on stage having a good time, and I got to watch them have fun making theater. I was cool with that. Mame steals the show. A funny, sometimes bawdy, good time.

by Claire Avitabile
Rating 4 stars
Though I was a little lost at times (or, perhaps, some jokes just went over my head), this show was quite a romp including some of my favorite Twin Cities actors, and some fun Twin Cities-related humor. Great job!

Mixed feelings
by Roger Rosvold
Rating 3 stars
What a glorious mess! A tale of disfunctional fools told boldly, with great passion and dedication. Cast presents us 2 dimensional characters within a flat scenario: the perfect sit-com set-up which delivers laughs galore.

Intelligent, sexy cast presents us a good piece of comic hilarity. Don't look for much meaning, though, because you won't find it.

Very funny indeed
by Daniel Pinkerton
Rating 4 stars
Ruth Virkus has written another wondefully funny comedy, reminiscent (in a good way) of her show table 12. Ben Layne directs a terrific ensemble. The show is lighter than air (no social or political messages here!) and you will laugh a LOT. In fact, Mame Pelletier delivers (perfectly) the funniest line I've heard in many a Fringe. (Full disclosure: My daughter, Ariel Leaf, id among the cast members.)

Not as dirty as it sounds...
by Eric Wentling
Rating 4 stars
A fun situation comedy about a Minneapolis based company that has booked their office party on a boat, in which people get drunk, fired, promoted, and drugged. Not necessarily in that order. I wasn't so sure during the first 15 minutes, but was really enjoying it by the end.

Hateful People Doing Hateful Things
by William Marth
Rating 4 stars
Some great performances, although I may not have enjoyed the show itself as much as others will. I have a hard time watching comedies filled with characters I loathe doing terrible things to each other.

The resolution took a little while to wrap itself around itself, and there were some parts that were pretty uncomfortable, but lots of laughs within it. Another plug for Scot Moore's amazing deadpan geek.

Brilliant Script & Cast! Hilar!
by John Potter
Rating 5 stars
The show was hilariously fantastic all-around. The witty script was perfectly written and filled with an amazing array of characters executed flawlessly by the talented cast. Mame Pelletier is a comedic goddess as a white trash pirate and Scot Moore's emotionless math nerd kept me laughing non-stop. All of the one liners and plot twists are absolutely brilliant. A great show for all ages to see.

Fun piece of theater
by John Stevens
Rating 3 stars
Some parts unable to hear from the cast, but over all a nice bit of theater. Not the best, but it was enjoyable. Absolute hilarity from the character Dan played by Scot Moore. He was the most fun character in the show and made it extra fun to watch!

Slow Laughs
by Margarite Dante
Rating 3 stars
Everyone wants to be funny, but one-liners are great for roast or stand-up. This nice little romp makes for some entertainment, but hardly worth the price of admission -- sad to say. Except for Scott Moore and his face. Wow. What a face. I could kiss it or pie it!

Lots of great one-liners
by luann monahan
Rating 4 stars
The acting may be over the top at times, but the actors hearts are in the right place. The writing was outstanding and provide a lot of laughs while offering a bit of mystery.

A bawdy romp!
by Troy Simpson
Rating 4 stars
A silly, clever ride full of dysfunctional characters through the evening and politics of a office party cruise. This cast of ten delivers a farce that is often witty, and funnier than anticipated!

by Carin Bratlie
Rating 4 stars
This show has the bones of classic sitcom structure, with some devilishly funny laughs. Scott Moore's deadpan character is a stand out, and the comedic twists kept me engaged to the end.


Saturday, 8/42:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/510:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 8/78:30 p.m.
Friday, 8/104:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/114:00 p.m.


U of M Rarig Center Thrust venue information
330 21st Ave. S, Main Floor