MayDay Staff

MayDay Artists

Serena Black: I have been an artist all my life. I enjoy working with people who can be creative. In 2017 I was able to participate in an art show. Also in 2017, I was hired to be apart of MayDay. October 2017 I participated in BareBones. I enjoyed all my experiences.

Gustavo Boada is a Theater-based multidisciplinary artist with more then 25 years working in professional Theater in Peru, Chile, Puerto Rico and New York, Vermont and Philadelphia. Since he moved to Minneapolis 2007, he has been working as a Mayday Parade Artist and an Associate Artist at HOBT. He also teaches artistic residencies about puppetry, mask-making, stilting, building big puppets and pageants, and touring his children puppet shows for diverse community organizations.

Malia Araki Burkhart is a teacher and community artist, activist, somatic massage therapist, and new mother. (pronouns She/Her). Her most recent productions include creating an original music video "Tremors", with Monkeybear's Harmolodic Workshop in June 2017, and directing "Sacred Garden" -- an outdoors performance art experience at Powderhorn Park in October 2016. Malia is looking forward to returning as a MayDay Parade Artist, and exploring Emergent Strategy in the ways we dream and create together.

Angie Courchaine is a community-based artist, performer, and teacher. Angie is a co-founder of Pinwheel Arts and Movement Studio, a member of the Chicks on Sticks stiltwalking collective, a BareBones Puppets board member and artist, and an Associate Artist at In the Heart of the Beast. You can also catch Angie flying on a number of aerial apparatuses, teaching kids' acrobatics, or biking around town. 

Adriana Foreman: Im a Healer and Creator based out of Minneapolis. My creative forms are but not limited to Film, Radio and Puppetry.

Graci Horne: Hapistinna [female given name; Dakota for third born girl] Grace Horne, better known at Graci, was born and raised in Mnisota [Minnesota]. Her bands are the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota people and Hunkpapa Lakota and Dakota people. She is an mutli-media artist, grass roots community organizer, Native Women Survivor's healing advocate, and activist for peace, sacred sites, and cultural appropriation. She has been a part of the World Peace and Prayer Day delegation since she was 15 years old. In 2003, at the beginning of the Iraq war, she travelled to Baghdad, Iraq for a peace event. Upon returning, she co-founded and co-lead an Indigenous youth run called Prayer Run for World Peace. Since 2008, she has accompanied her parents to travel to elder meetings for the protection of sacred sites. Horne is dedicated to the continuance of Indigenous knowledge, culture, and the arts. As an art practice, she uses various mediums for community engagement to educate and promote healing.
Horne holds a degree in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Her studio is located in Minneapolis, MN.

Laura Korynta is a multi-disciplinary artist in St. Paul who focuses on: painting, sculpture, comic books, and puppetry. She most recently worked for the 2017 Barebones Extravaganza where she created a growing tree. Korynta's background in teaching has led her to explore storytelling through crankies and shadow puppets at Highwood Hills Elementary and Sanford Middle School.

Theresa Linnehan is delighted to return to May Day. She was part of the ceremony team last year and will be working in that position this Spring. She also was on full time staff for Bare Bones and their extravaganza performed on the banks of the Mississippi last Fall. Having returned to the city of her birth after nearly 40 years on the east coast, Theresa is inspired by the work of wonderful local puppeteers and so pleased to collaborate with them.

Lindsay McCaw is an artist who lives and works in Detroit. She also works with Bread and Puppet Theatre and is part of a musical group called RoochieToochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings.

Allison (Al) Osberg is a Minneapolis-based multidisciplinary artist who has worked with theaters and festivals across the globe as a performer, puppeteer, and fabricator. They embrace spectacle and participatory art to facilitate question asking and wonder making. Bringing a gender-queer perspective to their work, they like to explore the absurd, the surreal and the giant. They received a Jerome Foundation Puppet Lab fellowship in 2016-17, co-created an immersive installation Afterglow Garden for Northern Spark in 2016, created and performed an 80-foot-long cranky shadow-puppet show as an artist in residence at the Freezer Theatre in Rifi, Iceland and designed and fabricated a 50-foot tall octopus for Caravan Stage Company’s traveling tall-ship theatre in 2015. Lately they try to instigate collaborations in various short performances for local puppet cabarets while studying carpentry and making a mask a month for the next year.

Akiko Ostland is an immigrant from Japan. She came to Minnesota and became a stay home mom. She did very well for a while but eventually got fired and now she is a dancer, performing artist, curator, collage artist, and most importantly, an activist. 

Esther Ouray has been creating, performing, celebrating, and teaching with In the Heart of the Beast since 1980. As puppeteer, actress, director, dancer, and choreographer, she has been blessed to engage in creative work locally, regionally, and internationally. She has cavorted with other performance companies as well in the Minneapolis area -among them are: At the Foot of the Mountain, Barebones Productions, Illusion Theater, and Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts. Esther is presently a company member of Zamya Theater Project. She has been the recipient of grants from the MN State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Rimon, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Puffin Foundation, and Arts on Chicago. 

Leslie Parker, a St. Paul, MN native, is a contemporary dance artist, choreographer, improviser, performer and educator. Parker has a rigorous physical practice organically fusing Hip Hop, Blues, Jazz, W. African, Contemporary and Modern forms – a reflection of her urban and southern American heritage. Her embodied archive testifies to growing up with stories of Rondo and from dancing in a rhythm & drill competition team. Holding a B.F.A in Modern Dance & Choreography from Eshter Boyer College of Music and dance from Temple University and a MFA from Hollins University – a program in partnership with The Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and The Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company in Frankfurt, Germany, she has an extensive study of dances and sacred practices of the African diaspora. Parker is a Bessie award winner as a member of “skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds” as part of Danspace Project for Platform 2016: Lost & Found. She has performed works by the late Professor Nii Yartey of Ghana University, Reggie Wilson, Chris Walker, Dr. Kariamu Welsh, Keith Thompson, Ronald K. Brown, Tania Isaac, Marlies Yearby and apprenticed with Urban Bush Women. As an Independent artist, a few credits include the Pillsbury House Theatre for “late nite series: non-english spoken here” Soaking WET series, Center for Performance Research, Performance Mix29, New York Live Arts Fresh Tracks 2013-14 Artist in Residence, BAAD! Ass Women’s festival, Nia Love’s "Let The Eagles Scream", Harlem Stage’s EMoves13, Movement Research at Judson Church, THPAC’s 38th annual "Souls of our Feet: People of Color" festival, The Painted Bride Arts Center, and Women’s Roseville Correctional Facility. Parker has led Master dance classes and dance workshops nationally for Temple University, Carlton College, Queens College, (CUNY) Zenon Dance Company and School, Pangea World Theatre as well as various institutions, communities and programs widely dedicated to our youth. Currently, Parker is affiliate faculty at University of Minnesota Theatre Arts & Dance. She initiated and designed “Moving Dialogue for Non-Violence” – as a catalyst for integrating movement & dialogue to facilitate social change at Broadway Women’s House Shelter in Brooklyn, NY and Family Place in St. Paul, MN.

Mary Plaster is a Minnesota-raised, world-traveled, mixed-media artist and facilitator based in Duluth since 2000, where she is founder/artistic director of All Souls Night. Mary is an associate with HoBT and a collaborator with Barebones Puppets and Open Flame Theatre. Career Highlights include: Town Spectacle with Double Edge Theatre, Parliament of World Religions, The Cosmic Mass, Ordway International Children’s Festival, Austin MN ArtWorks, Duluth Children’s Museum, MN Ballet, and Burning Man, with Minneapolis Jungle Theater and Children’s Theatre Company internships. A HOBT/MayDay fan/kindred from its start, Mary first joined art staff in 2008 and spent that summer with the Bread and Puppet Theatre in VT.

Catie Ryan-Norton is a theatre artist inspired by the blending of the natural world and people's interactions with one another. Born in the Twin Cities, Caitie spent most of her childhood and young adulthood living on the east coast and in the southwest. She returned to the Twin Cities three years ago and and is excited to be working with this group of artists in 2018. 

Peter Schulze is an artist and community art organizer who currently is chair of Barebones Productions’ Board of Directors. As a founding member of the Illuminated Reef Collective, he was instrumental in 2016’s highly Illuminated Reef at Northern Spark and Indianapolis’ In Light In festival. The Illuminated reef currently on display at Can Can Wonderland and is part of Hennepin Theater Trust’s Energy: Made Here - Urban walking Gallery. He has been active in the Twin Cities’ public art community participating and leading projects in The Art Shanty Projects (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018), Barebones Halloween Extravaganza (2010 – 2017), In the Heart of The Beast Theater’s Mayday Parade and Ceremony (2010 – 2016 volunteer, 2017 - 2018 artistic staff), Northern Spark (2012 – 2017) and the Twin Cities Art car (and bike) community. Trained in the sciences (Chemistry BA ’91) and arts (Studio arts minor ’91), he found working with his hands to be more rewarding and worked as a building contractor and carpenter for 20 years always finding time for creative endeavors on the side. Add two years coursework in architecture and lifelong commitment to sustainable living and creative development and who knows what the future may hold.

Sandy Spieler (MayDay Director) Sandy‘s work includes tiny suitcase shows, , main stage productions, public art commissions, streetscape designs, residencies/collaborations in communities, schools and universities, and 30 years of work about Water. She’s one of the founders of In the Heart of the Beast Theatre and Mayday. She currently wonders what it means to enact a “theatre of inter-being.” Sandy holds an MA of Cultural Performance from Bristol University England, studied puppetry arts at Bread and Puppet Theatre and at NYU. She’s grateful for supportive awards over the years including two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence and the 2014 “Distinguished Artist of the Year” from the McKnight Foundation.

Andrew Young was born of three countries but was raised in one. An artist and a generalist, Andrew spends most of his time exploring the world inside and outside of himself, trying to find meaning and making it where he can. Andrew finds inspiration from natural forms, the beauty in each of our stories, and the occasional whispered secret on the wind.

Artist Team

Sandra Spieler — Artistic Director
Adriana Foreman — Stage Manager
Molly Tilsen — Production Manager
Kia Thompson — Assistant Production

Gustavo Boada — Bloom!
Angie Courchaine — Growing Momentum
Adriana Foreman — Ceremony Stage Manager
Madeling Helling — Tas'ina Wicahpi
Graci Horne — Tas'ina Wicahpi
Theresa Linnehan — Ceremony
Lindsay McCaw — Bloom!
Allison Osberg — The Ground On Which We Stand
Akiko Ostland — Ceremony
Mary Plaster — The Ground On Which We Stand
Peter Schulze — Ceremony
Andrew Young — Growing Momentum

Part Time Artists / Workshop Assistants

Leslie Parker — Ceremony Choreographer (moved from time)
Marcelo Aruajo — Growing Momentum
Serena Black
Malia Burkhart — Growing Momentum
Laura Korynta — Tas'ina Wicahpi
Caitie Ryan Norton — Ceremony
Esther Ouray —Ceremony Co-Director
Dee Henry Williams — Nourish The Garden/Bloom!

HECUA Intern

Ashlie Paulson — Bloom!

Workshop Staff

Lucinda Anderson —Mask Room Coordinator
Marcelo Araujo — Mask Room Coordinator
Bart Buch — South High Coordinator
Shelley Chinander — Sewing Room Coordinator

Workshop Assistants

Stacy Lee King (South High Artist)
Alan Olson — Tool Room
Sharon "Repo" Meister — Paint Room
Celia Swanson — Tool Room
Laurie Witzkowski (South High Artist)

Phillips Project MayDay Artists

Nicole Amaris
Bart Buch
Angela Olson
Laurie Witzkowski

Festival Staff

Festival Staff

Steve Ackerman — Site Director
Suzanne Cross — Arts Coordinator

Claire Curran — Marketing and Communications Director

Katherine Glover — Assistant Festival Coordinator, Festival Site Coordinator

Candida Gonzalez - Accessibility Coordinator
Journey Gosselin — Food Vendor Coordinator
Alison Heimstead — Sun Flotilla Coordinator
Jenny Kedward — Green Team
Kathy Klink — Green Team
Elina Kotlyar — Festival Director
Mayumi Park — Volunteer Coordinator

Mark Rausch — Park Traffic Coordinator
Mary Rivard — Community Voices Coordinator
Dillon Sebastian - Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

TBD – Parade Coordinator

Parade Marshals

Grand Marahal
Lynette La Rue

Nicole Stanoch
Alika Williams
Acadia Giffey-Brohaug

Interpretive Services

Gretchen Toay — MayDay Workshop ASL Interpreter