NANCY NICKERSON LEE, Founding and Producing Artistic Director
Nancy has been a performing arts educator for over thirty years, which includes award winning
performing arts program at Minneapolis-Washburn and Southwest High Schools and as an adjunct professor at St. Olaf College. She has been honored by the Tony Awards for Excellence in Theatre Education (2016-2019), Hennepin Theater Trust SpotLight 2018 Educator of the Year Award, the WCCO 2017 Excellent Educator Award, and a Grammy Community Engagement Award (2010). Nancy is committed to bringing exceptional theatrical experiences to rural communities. Mitchell County, Iowa is Nancy's childhood home and a perfect location for Cedar Summerstock Theater.
CRAIG JOHNSON, Director
Craig is an actor and director based in Minneapolis with over 200 production credits at many area theaters including Park Square, History Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Latte Da, Torch, Gremlin, Minnesota Jewish Theatre, Yellow Tree, Commonweal (Lanesboro), Paul Bunyan Playhouse (Bemidji), and Pioneer Place on Fifth (St. Cloud). As a theater educator he has worked at St. Catherine University, Shakespearean Youth Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, and Washburn and South high schools in Minneapolis. Recognition includes Ivey Awards for acting (2013, Gross Indecency, Walking Shadow) and directing (2011, Street Scene, Girl Friday Productions) and Theatre Artist of the Year (City Pages 2014, Lavender magazine 2011 and 2015). Craig is also the former director of the James J. Hill House in St. Paul.
C RYAN SHIPLEY, Director and Choreographer
C Ryan is a Minneapolis-based theater artist and educator. He has performed with multiple theater companies in the Twin Cities, including Artistry, Minneapolis Musical Theater, Girl Friday Productions,
Skylark Opera, Second Fiddle Productions, and Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji, MN. As a teaching artist he works with young people to create inclusive communities by leading workshops, directing,
and choreographing for theater companies and schools in the Twin Cities metro area such as the Guthrie Theater, Hennepin Theater Trust, Stages Theatre Company, Stepping Stone Theatre, Mill City Summer Opera, Chanhassen and Minneapolis-Washburn High School.
JARED BARNES, Music Director
Taught instrumental music in north Iowa for the past ten years. Outside of teaching, Jared also works as a composer and musician. He has numerous theatrical credits to his name (acting, playing, conducting, scenic design), including conducting CST's 2017 production of The Music Man. His concert band compositions have received national recognition, and enjoyed performances around the world, including performances at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago.
SUE ELLEN BERGER, Production Coordinator, Light Designer
Sue works out of the Twin Cities where she is one of the country's busiest lighting designers. She is Production Coordinator/Resident LD at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres with nearly 200 shows there to her credit. Her work has been seen with The Finnish National Opera, The Palace Theatre - WI Dells, Historic Pantages Theatre, Ordway Center, North Star Opera, Music Box Theatre, Carousel Dinner Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Yellow Tree Theatre, Minnetonka Theatre, and the acclaimed Fireside Concert Series among many others. Sue is currently teaching Lighting and Sound Design at Concordia University in St. Paul. She has loved her work as a guest artist with several universities and high schools. Sue's also enjoyed spending her summers designing lighting and scenery for Valleyfair Amusement Parks while also teaching at Chan DT Musical Theatre Camp. In her spare time she designs for several churches and mentors students interested in tech theatre.
SCOTT EFFERTZ, Technical Director
Scott has been the theatre business for over 30 years as the primary Artistic, Technical,
and Managing director at Benilde-St. Margaret’s school along with working as a corporate
design/build specialist and consultant for groups like General Mills, Design Stages, and
Screamtown LLC. Under Scott’s direction, Benilde-St. Margaret’s students have gone on
to a variety of careers in theatre including: acting, directing, and technical work across
the country at many prestigious colleges and professional theaters.
Education: B.A Degree, Speech/Theatre – University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
BARB PORTINGA, Costume Designer
Barb is pleased to be designing for Cedar Summerstock for the first time. She hails from
Minneapolis where she has been making her living via her varied costume skills since
graduating from Augsburg College in 1990. With an emphasis on education, she is resident costume designer for Anoka Ramsey Community College, Minneapolis college,
Roseville Area High School, and Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera company. She had her
on-the-job training at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre where she is a cutter/draper for each
main stage show. Her design work has been seen at over forty theaters throughout the county from California to Door County, Wisconsin. Barb is the proprietor of Portable
Costumes and has recently partnered with Andrea Gross to form Rubble and Ash,
a design and production team.
MARTI STEELE, Company Manager
Marti resides in St. Ansgar, IA, where Cedar Summerstock Theater Company lives and rehearses each season. She started with the company in 2017 during their debut season. She is a wife, a mother of 6 and a teacher by trade. She has a heart for bringing professional theater to her small town in the midwest, a place that hasn't had much access to the arts. As a native of St. Ansgar, she facilitates the building of relationships between the Theater Company and the local communities. Without these relationships the success of Cedar Summerstock would not be possible.
ANTHONY WALK, Production Assistant
Anthony is excited to have an official title! He went to high school in St. Ansgar , IA.
He currently lives in Grafton, IA and runs a DJ Service. When Cedar Summerstock
needs a prop, equipment, transportation, a trailer, or help move equipment or sets? Anthony is the 'go-to' guy. You might catch him on a stage every now and