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Commonweal Theatre announces new board members


Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Business Announcements

LANESBORO, Minn. — The Commonweal Theatre Company is pleased to announce new board members for 2014. At its latest meeting, the Commonweal Theatre Board of Directors accepted the retirement of board members Michael Bigelow Dixon and Dave Harrenstein and welcomed new members, Louanne Hamann, Joan Ruen, and Alan Bailey. “We are honored,” comments Commonweal Executive Director Hal Cropp, “by the service of those on our board and are pleased to welcome three new members as we embark on our 26th season.”

Alan Bailey is a playwright and free-lance director, based in southern California, and is one of the longest tenured Commonweal artists having directed 10 productions over the course of a 20 year relationship. He has also directed at the La Jolla Playhouse, the Pasadena Playhouse, and the Denver Center Theater Company among others. He is the author of several plays, including the Smoke on the Mountain trilogy. “I am honored to deepen my connection with this lively, inventive, and influential arts organization by joining its Board of Directors,” says Bailey. “As an advocate and advisor for the Commonweal, I hope to nurture its continuing development just as the company has been a touchstone for my own development as an artist over the years.” Bailey will fulfill the same function on the Board that Michael Bigelow Dixon did for the past decade in being a link to the greater national theater ecosystem.

Joan Ruen has lived in Lanesboro for 27 years and is the owner of Bluffscape Amish Tours. She also taught business education at Lanesboro Public School for many years and is currently a substitute teacher. “Since moving to Lanesboro,” says Ruen, “I have seen the Commonweal grow from its very beginnings to become an integral part of our community. Serving on the board of directors is important because I want to help sustain the artistic excellence of the Commonweal. It is very important to keep the arts viable in southeast Minnesota for those that live in or visit Lanesboro and its beautiful bluff country.” Ruen and her husband David (former Commonweal Board President) have two grown daughters and reside in rural Lanesboro.

Louanne Hamann is a business analyst at Mayo Research Labs. She and her husband, Paul, own and run a farm in rural Lanesboro. “The theatre is a wonderful, prized resource in our area,” says Hamann, “and I’m excited about being a volunteer and giving back to the community which has given me so much already.” A past volunteer in the Commonweal costume shop, Hamann, along with her husband, are long time supporters of the company as members of the Commonweal’s Million Dollar Club.

The Commonweal Theatre is a non-profit professional company with year-round mainstage and educational programming located in historic downtown Lanesboro. The theatre company is entering its 26th season as southeast Minnesota’s premiere professional theatre, drawing audiences from across the Midwest for its annual offerings of modern classics, world premieres, and family favorites. In 2013, more than 21,000 patrons attended Commonweal performances.

For more information, visit www.commonwealtheatre.org or call 800-657-7025.

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