Minnesota’s festival of performing arts
August 1–11, 2013 / Minneapolis

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Drama /

By Homeward Bound

Written by Kristine M. Holmgren

Four men on a corporate executive retreat, two quarts of bourbon - and the news that none of them want to hear.

Political content, Historical content

World premiere, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer

Just so you know, this show has Adult language.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Thursday, 8/1 8:30 p.m.
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Saturday, 8/3 2:30 p.m.
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Monday, 8/5 5:30 p.m.
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Friday, 8/9 10:00 p.m.
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Saturday, 8/10 7:00 p.m.
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Mixed Blood Theatre

1501 S 4th St.

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Audience reviews

Let me be blunt...

By Saera Jacques / August 6, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

This is not a show for everyone. If you don't like feminism and drunken stupor, jog away.

I, personally, really enjoyed it. It made me laugh. It made me think. It made me uncomfortable. That lack of comfort, that on edge nature made it quite enjoyable for me. A lot of boys may not like it, but I feel as if almost every woman who sees it will recognize these men.

I dunno. I liked it. Meow.

2 people found this review helpful

Compelling - A Must See

By Wendy Jefferson / August 4, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

I saw this show last week, and didn't write a review until seeing the poor reviews in the local newspapers. I'm amazed, but I guess not surprised, that two male critics for the papers would not enjoy this production. The play is about the dark side of male frustration, which is magnified by peer pressure, alcohol, and loneliness. There are no gender stereotypes here; I can honestly say that I know each and every one of the characters in this play, from my own family and work colleagues. It's not a pleasant portrayal of these men, but it's true, it's compelling, and it's also hilarious. It's a must see!

3 people found this review helpful


By Paula Nancarrow / August 3, 2013
This user has reviewed 23 shows

I actually misremembered what the Pioneer Press said about Effigy, and thought it was about the sexism playwright Kristine Holmgren experienced while in seminary. At least that's what got my attention, and got me in the door. But my misremembering served me well. This is a compelling examination of the way in which people who commit hate crimes justify their actions, the psychology of resentment. The unease I felt standing outside the door while the effigy hung at the edge of my vision testifies to the power of the symbol, even without the incendiary effect of gasoline. All four actors played their parts well. Whether being a CEO is worth being found dead slumped over the annual report - whatever your gender - merits further thought.

1 person found this review helpful

4 guys talk about a woman

By Anna Lovrien / August 2, 2013
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I agree with the previous reviewer that Tim Como was the standout cast member (the rest of the cast, not so much). I think the concept for the play is a strong one, with the four corporate men discussing their issues with a new female CEO. But the two characters so against the female CEO were so self-assured, and the two "maybe we should be cautious about what we do" characters were so weak in the knees, that I felt the conflict was not convincing enough. I wanted the female CEO to come on stage and kick these guy's asses! (but, unfortunately, they only talk about her, we don't see her). Three stars out of five.

I got it

By Chad Nyhus / August 5, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

I have read a couple of the reviews, about who speaks like that and I don't know anyone like that, I actually get this, and I am a man! 4 guys not happy about the new boss, 2 older generation gave their lives to the company 1 younger just starting out and is easily influenced and the 4th that has to figure out his life.
They are speaking like 4 guys do around a camp fire when no one can hear them, I know each one of these guys, no the real people are not like this all the time, but catch anyone on a bad day and we spew this stuff out of our mouths. Get 4 women together give them some wine(or whiskey) and record that conversation and guess what you will hear.
This story rings true on many levels and it was really a good laugh in others.

3 people found this review helpful


By Mary Wilson / August 4, 2013
This user has reviewed 8 shows

The actors did well with their roles, but the roles were more caricature than character. All exposition and no resolution--ended abruptly after 30 minutes.

2 people found this review helpful

Good and short

By Ginny Lynns / August 3, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Effigy is a pithy and terse exploration of the continued strain of woman-bashing in our culture. A popular feminist saying of the 70's was, "Women must do what they do twice as well as men to be considered half as good. Luckily it is not difficult." That epigram is just as applicable today. We must add that no matter how well women do the jobs they are given, some men will still resent their rise to the top. Not all men are as sexist and even misogynist as the guys portrayed in this short play, but Effigy is not about the men who are women's allies, who march alongside women for equal pay, reproductive freedom and equality for women. It is about those guys who are still stuck in the 18th century mindset that represses women. Go see it

3 people found this review helpful

Dark yet enlightening

By LuAnn Monahan / August 2, 2013
This user has reviewed 23 shows

This is a very short performance - a mere 30 minutes- and a heavy topic to cover in such a short period of time. The performance by Tim Como was the strongest of the four cast members with the most believable character. See this one if you have the time - it is after all, only 30 minutes out of the day.

1 person found this review helpful

We get it. They hate women.

By Scott Pakudaitis / August 5, 2013
This user has reviewed 40 shows

I have no doubt that misogyny in the workplace is a very real issue. It's a serious topic that would make good theater. This was not good theater. Every minute of this short piece was tedious - watching drunks stumble on stage for a half an hour is tiresome. The characters had no depth whatsoever; they were caricatures of the "old boys' network." Their diatribes against women in the workplace were so repetitive that I felt like a was being smacked on the head with a rubber mallet. Their dialogue was absurd and not in a good way. Who talks like that? No real people I've ever heard.

3 people found this review helpful

Great Dialogue

By Patricia Berg / August 3, 2013
This user has reviewed 1 show

Essentially a word cruise through the landscape of male fear expressed as misogyny, EFFIGY takes you inside an uncomfortable conversation among four men behaving very, very badly. Any woman who's ever worked in a corporate setting is bound to recognize it. This play bristles with truth and dark humor. I highly recommend it.

3 people found this review helpful

Felt unfinished

By Kelly Rosenthal / August 2, 2013
This user has reviewed 21 shows

Interesting concept but felt like it was lacking a resolution. Between that and the short length (30 minutes), at the performance I attended, the audience was unsure it was really over until the actors came back on stage for curtain call.


Background information + more

"It was his idea."

                                                                                 - Stanley Hudson                                              

Hallspar Industries has been without a CEO since the body of Don McCall

was discovered at his desk, slouched over the annual report.

Now - at the annual summer retreat - the board of directors announces his successor;

- a top performer and natural leader.

The thirty-four-year-old author of a

New York Times best seller.

And a woman. 

Four men step into the night to reclaim what is theirs

in the world premiere of this black comedy

by former Star tribune columnist, Kristine Holmgren.

Based on actual events.

Cast + crew bios

Kristine Holmgren


After a decade of writing social criticism for mainstream press, Kristine Holmgren retired from her column with the Star Tribune to become a Minnesota playwright. She is the author of PAPER DADDY, which premiered in Northfield, Minnesota in 2010 and will be produced in Columbia, Missouri by Talking Horse Theatre in summer, 2015. Her play SWEET TRUTH had a sold-out run at the Berlin Theatre in Columbia, Missouri and her play GOD GIRL is in development for 2015 with the History Theatre of Minnesota. Holmgren is currently working on two commissioned plays for Minnesota-based production companies. When she is not writing stage plays, she answers phones and balances the books at Warner's Stellian. Kristine thanks them and the Masonic Lodge of Roseville for financial support of her Fringe Festival offering, EFFIGY.

Mark Benzel


Mark Benzel is a company member with Upright Egg Theatre (Chuck Mee Project, Songbird) and a Live Action Artist with Live Action Set. He has performed with Live Action Set (The 7-Shot Symphony, and The Happy Show), Sandbox Theatre (Unspeakable Things, The Horse, The Bird, The Monkey and The Dancer), Walking Shadow (Mojo and The American Pilot), Theatre Pro Rata (T Bone N Weasel), Red Eye Theater (Dreamless Land), and Old Log Theater (Treasure Island) among others. Mark studied with Philippe Gaulier and Pierre Byland. He thanks friends, family, and fellow collaborators for all the inspiration and support they give him with every leap.

Jeff Musch

Stage Manager

Jeff Musch is excited to be working with this incredible group
of actors, crew and playwright. He wants to thank all of you for coming and enjoying EFFIGY!

Adam Dielschneider

Rocky Calhoun

Originally from Iowa, Adam moved to the Twin Cities in 2002 to attend Northwestern College, where he had acting roles in THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, PAPA IS ALL, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, and STAGE DIRECTIONS. He also served as Assistant Stage Manager for THE QUILTERS and INTO THE WOODS. Since college, Adam has appeared onstage in several community theater productions, including YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU at the Gallery Theater Company in Bloomington, URINETOWN at St. Anthony Community Theater, and THE LAST CYCLIST with Lex-Ham Community Theater.

Rick Lamers

Stanley Hudson

Rick holds degrees in English, Speech and Theatre from Mankato State University where he was active in campus productions and national declamation competitions. He was nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Award for his dual roles in LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS. Rick has appeared in over forty productions on a variety of stages,including the Old Creamery Theater in Garrison,Iowa. Twin Cities audiences most recently saw him in ROUND AND ROUND THE GARDEN at Theater in the Round. Rick is married to Lynn and they have two children. EFFIGY is his the second time he has been cast in one of Kristine Holmgren's plays - each time portraying a man of questionable character.

Tim Como

Mitch McFee

Tim Como has been bumping into the stage lights (off and on) for over thirty years. Tim majored in Theatre at Southwest Minnesota State University. This is his first try at the Fringe Festival, and you notice he performs with his fingers crossed. Tim was last seen in the Historic Mounds Theater production of "War of the Worlds" and is a frequent actor in Kristine Holmgren's stage plays.

Maxwell Mars

Benjamin Mannering

The playwright met Maxwell Mars at a Fringe production in 2012, and was inspired by his innocent energy as she wrote the character of Benjamin for her play, EFFIGY. Max is a familiar face around Minnesota stages. This is his first appearance at Mixed Blood, and he looks forward to bringing Benjamin to life.

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