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The Gymnasium
Studio 206
2637 27th Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55406

Originating Artists

Irve Dell is a tinker-er extraordinare.  He  likes to make ordinary objects, spaces and actions extra ordinary (extraordinary). Irve has exhibited both locally and regionally including exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Rochester Arts Center and St. John’s University.  He was awarded a Bush Artist Fellowship in 1988.   Commissions include work for the Ohio State University, Grinnell College, Inver Hills Community College and the Minnesota Department of Transportation plus numerous private commissions.  He’s also a performer and puppet maker; his puppets have been around the world and he himself has performed those puppets at Open Eye Figure Theater in Minneapolis.  Irve has a BA in biology from Williams College and an MFA in sculpture from the University of Minnesota.  He has been teaching art at St. Olaf College for over twenty years.

Shawn McConneloug speaks movement and studies the neural foundations of creativity.  As artistic director of Orchestra, a nationally recognized dance/theatre company, she has created and produced original, multidisciplinary works presented throughout the United States, in Central America and Japan. Awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers Fellowship, Bush Artist Fellowship, several McKnight Choreography and Interdisciplinary Fellowships, National Dance Project support and a Sage Award for Outstanding Design. In addition to her live performance work, McConneloug has collaborated with filmmaker Greg Cummins, creating short films that have been presented at over fifteen festivals across the US and Europe, including the Sundance Festival in Utah, Dance Screen in Vienna and La Nuit du Court Métrage Américain à Monaco Festival. Her most recent collaborations with cinematographer Andrew Welken include sight specific performance work and explorations in projection design and interactive media. As a teaching artist, she has conducted residencies and workshops in movement/theatre practices and interdisciplinary collaboration locally, nationally and internationally since 1994. McConneloug received a BS in ARTScience: Interdisciplinary Performance and Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota in 2014.


Kira Obolensky tells stories on stage, and off.  Currently a Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence with the award-winning theater Ten Thousand Things, Kira imagines  theater for everyone.  Imagining Ten Thousand Things’ big, diverse audiences of non-traditional theater has inspired plays that ask big complicated questions like–What is it like to return home to a changed world?  Or how do we undo the past?  Kira is a Guggenheim Fellow and has also received fellowships and grants from the Henson Foundation, NEA and Irvine Foundations, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, le Comte du Nouys Foundation, and a Pew Theatre Initiative Grant. Her play Lobster Alice was a Kesselring Prize winner. She attended Williams College and Juilliard’s Playwriting Program and recently completed an MFA in Fiction Writing at Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She is the author of three published books about architecture and design and is the co-author of the national bestseller, The Not So Big House.  Her novella, “The Anarchists Float to St. Louis,” won Quarterly West’s 2009 novella contest.  She is a core writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and is on faculty at Spalding University’s low residency MFA Program for Writers.


Robert Rosen is a clown, really. Rosen  received his training at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris and at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California.  His early performance experiences include street theatre and circus work in Europe.  In 1979 he assisted in founding Theatre de la Jeune Lune where he served as co-Artistic Director from 1985 through 2005 and is credited as an actor, writer, director or lighting designer in more than 75 productions. Bob has conceived and directed many original works including: Circus, The Golem, The Description of the World, Circus of Tales, and several works for the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has also collaborated on the creation of new work with Live Action Set, Barbra Berlovitz, and Shawn McConneloug. He recently directed the world premier of Middle Brother, a new work by Eric Sharp at Mu Performing Arts and appeared as the evil stepmother in The Juniper Tree at Open Eye Figure Theatre. Bob is an adjunct faculty member in the theater departments of the University of Minnesota and Macalester College and was a 2010-11 Playwrights’ Center McKnight Theatre Artist Fellow. As an independent teaching artist he leads workshops in improvisation, devising, physical comedy, Commedia Dell’Arte and mask work both locally and nationally.