Some Notable Alumni
DENNIE GORDON graduated from Gustavus in 1974 and went on to receive an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in directing. After directing in theatres in New York, Dennie moved to California where she has directed for many major television series, including The Office, 30 Rock and Samantha Who? and Sports Night. In 2000 she received a Director’s Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical/Variety for HBO ‘s Tracey Takes On. Her first feature film is the teen cult classic Joe Dirt. She has also directed What A Girl Wants with Amanda Bynes. Dennie’s recent project has taken her to London and Afghanistan to film, A Special Relationship, a screenplay Dennie wrote based on the bestseller by Douglas Kennedy.
DAVID ESBJORNSON received a B.A. (English/Theatre) From Gustavus in 1975 and earned his MFA from New York University.
David is currently the Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory Theatre and has directed The Great Gatsby, Tuesdays with Morrie and the world premiere of Ariel Dorfman's Purgitorio for the theatre.
Recent credits include the inauguration of the New Guthrie Theater with the world premiere of The Great Gatsby, the Theatre Royal Haymarket (London) production of A Few Good Men, Much Ado About Nothing at New York Shakespeare Festival/Delecorte Theatre, world premieres of Tuesdays With Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, Neil Simon's Rose and Walsh at the Geffen Theatre, and Homebody/Kabul by Tony Kushner in London.
David has worked with Arthur Miller on two premiere productions: The Ride Down Mt. Morgan at the Public and on Broadway, and the world premiere of Resurrection Blues at the Guthrie Theater. He has also had a longstanding relationship with Edward Albee, directing the Tony Award-winning play The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? on Broadway.
David has helmed three Fund for New American Plays world premieres: Another Part of the House after Lorca, by Migdalia Cruz, the trilogy New Music by novelist Reynolds Price at the Cleveland Play House, and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner.
For seven years, David was the artistic director of the Classic Stage Company (which received the Lucille Lortel Award for Body of Work). He directed many of the company's productions including Thérèse Raquin (Obie Award, best direction), The Entertainer (Drama League nomination Best revival), Iphigenia and Other Daughters by Ellen McLaughlin (Drama Desk nomination for direction), Endgame by Samuel Beckett (Drama Desk nomination best revival), and Entertaining Mr. Sloane by Joe Orton (Lucille Lortel Award, best revival). He has collaborated with many other writers including John Belluso, Anthony Clarvoe, Maria Irene Fornes, Beth Henley, Kevin Kling (Gustavus 1979), Romulus Linney, Patrick Marber, and José Rivera.
David has been in residence at the O'Neill Festival, Iowa Playwrights Festival, received a Quinn Martin Honorary Chair at University of California, San Diego, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Gustavus.
KEVIN KLING received his B.A in Theatre in 1979. He is best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and his storytelling stage shows like Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log, delivers hilarious, often tender stories. Kevin’s autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are.
Kevin has been awarded numerous arts grants and fellowships; The National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, The Bush Foundation, The Jerome Foundation and others have recognized Kling’s artistry.
Kevin continues to write plays and stories in a rigorous fashion, and travels around the globe to numerous storytelling festivals, residencies, and has been invited to perform at the acclaimed National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee for many years. Kevin has released a number of compact disc collections of his stories, published a book of short stories called “The Dog Says How”. His second book, “Kevin Kling’s Holiday Inn” was released in 2009.
Based in Minneapolis, Kevin collaborates with local theatres including the Guthrie, The Playwright Center and the Children’s Theatre. Kevin returned to Gustavus in 2007 to perform in the 75th Anniversary production of The Cherry Orchard.
STEVEN EPP received his B.A. (theatre/History) from Gustavus in 1980. Steven is an actor, writer, and director and was co-Artistic Director at Theatre de la Jeune Lune from 1983-2008. In his 25 years with Jeune Lune, Steven collaborated on the creation and performance of over 50 productions. Acting credits include the title roles in Tartuffe, Hamlet, Figaro, and The Miser; and major roles in Yang Zen Froggs, Cyrano, Don Juan Giovanni, The 3 Musketeers, The Magic Flute, and The Little Prince. Steven adapted and directed Medea by Euripides and co-authored Children of Paradise, winner of the 1993 Outer-Critics Circle award for best new play. Steven has toured nationally and off- Broadway with Jeune Lune. He appeared most recently at The Guthrie in The Caretaker. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and three children.
TIM LATTA received his B.A. (Theatre) from GAC in 1980 and his MFA (Choreography) from CalArts in 1982). He has toured and choreographed with internationally recognized companies, including Pilobolus and Momix. Tim is the founder of Koku Dance Theatre and has been a guest artist with many companies including ISO and the Bobs, Royal Danish Ballet and The Deutsche Opera Ballet in Berlin.
SARA BROWN earned her B.A. at Gustavus in 2001 and her MFA in scenic design at the University of Virginia in 2005. She continued at UVa for two years as a lecturer and a guest artist. As a scenic artist, she has painted for The Guthrie Theatre, The Children’s Theatre Company, and the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre and other Minneapolis theatres. She has designed scenery in Minneapolis for Stepping Stone Theatre and Starting Gate Theatre and in Charlottesville, Virginia at The Ashlawn Opera Festival, Heritage Repertory Theatre, and Live Arts. In 2006, she designed the scenery for the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Company production of Images from the Embers that premiered at Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC and then toured to sites in the U.S. and Peru.
NANCI OLESON received her B.A. (Theatre) from GAC in 1981. She has produced a radio arts review called Artifacts for NPR and is the creator of another regular program about mothers and children. Nanci has worked as a musician and actor in Twin Cities theaters (Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Illusion Theatre, and Theatre de la Jeune Lune).
PETER KRAUSE received his B.A (English) from Gustavus in 1987, where he performed in many plays including All My Sons and Cloud Nine. He went on to earn and MFA in acting from New York University. Peter appeared on the critically acclaimed Sports Night on ABC, Dirty Sexy Money (ABC) and HBO’s Six Feet Under. He has also guest starred on many television series including Beverly Hills 90201, Ellen and Seinfeld and was featured in the film, The Truman Show.
Peter has been nominated for three Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and two SAG Awards for his performance on Six Feet Under. He has also received two SAG Awards as part of the Six Feet Under ensemble.
In 2004 he made his Broadway debut starring in Arthur Miller's After the Fall. He then starred opposite Naomi Watts and Mark Ruffalo in We Don't Live Here Anymore.
Peter was last seen starring in the Sci-Fi miniseries The Lost Room and in the independent feature Civic Duty. In 2009 he retuned to television on NBC’s Parenthood.
PHILIP FLICKINGER graduated from Gustavus with a Bachelor of Artsin Dance and Sociology /Anthropology in December of 2001 and with a Master of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography from the University of Colorado at Boulder in December 2005. While at Gustavus, Philip spent two years dancing in the Matching Tights Dance Company. While in Colorado, Philip danced for Nancy Smith and Frequent Flyers Productions, and Katie Elliott and Third Law Dance Theater as well as pick up projects with the Hannah Kahn Dance Company and Speaking of Dance. In the summer of 2006, Flickinger joined Diavolo Dance Theater and is starting his fourth season of touring Nationally and Internationally. He has had the chance to perform at the National Arts Center in Ottawa, Canada, throughout Italy and Brazil as well as performing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Philharmonic as a original cast member of "Foreign Bodies."