Announcing the Cast of Our Town


Linda Kelsey as the Stage Manager

Linda Kelsey as the Stage Manager

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One of the most enduring plays in American history, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town tells the story of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, and the simultaneously remarkable and quotidian lives of its inhabitants over the twelve long (and short) years from 1901 to 1913. Narrated by the omnipotent Stage Manager and anchored by the love story of young George Gibbs and Emily Webb, Our Town is a play about life: at once epic, ordinary, and fleeting. The New York Times writes: “Our Townpresents a long-gone way of American life, yet the eternal verities it embraces are as touching as ever.”


Linda Kelsey* is a veteran stage and screen actress best known for her television work in Lou Grant, for which she earned three Golden Globe and five Emmy Award nominations. Her other T.V. credits include E.R., The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and M*A*S*H*. Kelsey has appeared on almost every major stage in the Twin Cities, including the Guthrie Theater, Jungle Theater, and Park Square - where she played the title role in Mary Stuart, among many others. In 2009, the Star Tribune wrote: "Frequently we lose talent to the coasts...Rarely, following great success, do we see them return to the Midwest. How fortunate we are that Linda Kelsey is an exception."


Jelani Pitcher and Brianna Joy Ford are both Chicago-based actors making their Artistry and Minnesota debuts in Our Town. 2016 graduates of the competitive B.F.A. Acting program at Ithaca College, Jelani and Brianna have worked extensively across the East Coast and Midwest, and their combined credits include the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, EDGE of Orion, Ithaca Shakespeare Company, 4615 Theatre Company, The Kitchen Theater, Piven Theatre, Cider Mill Playhouse, and TimeLine Theater. A vibrantly talented on-and-off stage couple, Artistry is thrilled to introduce Jelani and Brianna to the Twin Cities theater community.


Ansa Akyea* is a Swiss-born Ghanaian-American actor and graduate of the University of Iowa's distinguished Masters of Fine Arts Acting program. He has worked as an actor and director at some of the best local and regional theaters throughout the Twin Cities and Chicago, including the Guthrie Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Mixed Blood, Ten Thousand Things, Park Square Theatre, Children's Theatre Company, and more. Ansa is the recipient of the 2011 Playwrights' Center McKnight Award for Acting, City Pages Best Actor award, the 2013 Minnesota Playwrights' Center Many Voices Fellowship, and an Ivey award for the Guthrie Theater's production of Clybourne Park.

Adelin Phelps is a darling of the Twin Cities theater scene, with credits including Trademark Theatre, the History Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Theatre Latté Da, WLDRNSS, Walking Shadow, Frank Theatre, Dark and Stormy, Swandive Theatre, Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, and Transatlantic Love Affair, where she is a core company member. She will make her Guthrie debut after Our Town, playing Annelle in Steel Magnolias.

Jason Ballweber is an actor and director with an emphasis on creating new work. His credits include Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Sod House Theater, Yellow Tree Theatre, Three Sticks Theatre, Jon Ferguson Theater, Live Action Set, Bedlam Theatre, Minnesota Orchestra, Manitoba Theater for Young People, Seattle Children's Theatre, Know Theatre of Cincinnati (Acclaim Award for his direction of Sideways Stories from Wayside School), Open Eye Figure Theatre (where he co-created and directed the Ivey Award-winning Milly and Tillie), and Children's Theater Company, where he directed the North American Premiere of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat. He is a founder and company member at Four Humors Theater.

Elise Langer was born and raised in Paris, France, and relocated to California at 15, and Minnesota in adulthood. A bilingual, bicultural actor with extensive experience in physical theatre and clowning, Elise's credits include Children's Theatre Company, Ten Thousand Things, History Theatre, and Open Eye Figure Theatre. She holds a bachelor's degree in Acting from UC San Diego, and trained at the famed Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Elise has been the recipient of an Ivey Award (for Milly and Tillie) and a McKnight Theatre Fellowship.

* Member AEA