the HF team

Lizz Windnagel, Director/Jeska (they/them)

Lizz has been performing both femininity and stage-work their whole life. Performance has been a part of their life sometimes by choice and sometimes just as a compulsion. Central to their work as an artist is an exploration between art forms, analyzing the languages used by each to create performance. Lizz works and plays as a performer and director in puppetry, opera, experimental music, clown, choral music, and just plain old theatre. Lizz also values artist-led work and has the pleasure of exploring it in their original work as well as in their time spent teaching theatre at the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota and at Interact Center as a puppetry instructor. From 2018-2020, Lizz lived in Calgary, Canada where they received an MFA in stage directing with a focus on devised and interdisciplinary theatre. They have had the pleasure of working professionally with many theater companies in the US and Canada since 2013. Here are some arts organizations they’ve worked with who have treated them well and paid them fairly for their work as an artist: WAM, Mixed Precipitation, the Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry, Disobedient Femmes, Border CrosSing choir, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Exposed Brick, and Artemis Ensemble.

Shelby Richardson, Creator/Shel Beam (they/them)

Shelby is a trans theater maker and actor in the twin cities. They obtained a BFA from the Guthrie Theater actor training program in 2013 and have since been an “actress”  at the jungle theater, live action set, theater noviMost, heart of the beast, open eye figure theater, and park square theater, and has self-produced six full shows in that time. They were even declared “best actress in the twin cities” in 2017, but all of these facts have been no help in securing a living wage for them as an artist and actor. Shelby is the co-founder of WeAreMarried performance group, a trans family of theater makers who are committed to paying artists living wages. Shelby really didn’t want to write a bio for this piece because they hope the work speaks for itself, and hopes you can enjoy it on its own terms even without knowing who they are.

Jay Eisenberg, Creator/Phil Bungalow (he/him)

Jay is an actor, writer, teaching artist, and one of the co-founders of WeAreMarried (WAM). Regional acting credits include work with Theater Latte Da, Penumbra Theatre Company, Jungle Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre, Pillsbury House + Theatre, Open Eye Figure Theatre, and more. As an actor and dramaturg, Jay has helped develop over one hundred new plays with theaters and arts incubators around the country, including the Playwrights' Center, the Guthrie Theater, 600HIGHWAYMEN, New York Theatre Workshop, Ars Nova, and The Lark. He is still receiving residuals of $2.00 or less for an ABC rom-com he shot in 2013, back when he knew only one other openly trans actor and his agent was sending him out for sad lesbian roles. Ten years into his career, many institutions still seem hesitant to put Jay’s body on stage, but according to several cisgender actors he has shared dressing rooms with he sometimes gets work as a “diversity hire.” Jay hopes that one day, WeAreMarried can give some of his trans students their first acting jobs, so they know they don’t have to settle for anything less. He was the recipient of a 2017 MSAB Artist Initiative Grant and he holds a BFA in Acting from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts (Experimental Theater Wing). He recently purchased a house with partner and HOUSEFUCKER designer Alex Pears. Together, they enjoy being intimate with the home.

Alex Pears, Tooty's Bar & Grill Designer (up to you)

Alex is a recent graduate of the home buying process. As a Gay Woman in the Trades, Alex has a finger on the pulse of the The Home and wouldn’t have it any other way. Remodel Carpentry will do that to you. Alex has many lovers in this lifetime, including, but not limited to, The Mall of America, the Hennepin County Library’s Special Collections, The Precious Moments Chapel, and a prized collection of old stuff lost and found in wall cavities at work. Alex’s artistic training comes from the School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan, and Alex's theater training comes from the 2003 musical theater summer camp at Chanhassen Dinner Theater. Stay in touch to see if Alex fulfills the goal of spending a lifetime in a model railroad town and mass-producing papasan chairs that resemble baked potatoes.

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