Pioneer Suite.

Freshwater Theatre is proud to present Pioneer Suite, a world premiere historical musical by local writer/composer Keith Hovis!

Pioneer Suite tells the tales of three women who lived in Minnesota in the late 1800s. These three short musicals, put together as one production, shine a light on the powerful stories of these fascinating, yet forgotten, women in Minnesota History.

Mrs. Houselpioneer suite full
The story of Margaret Housel, of suicidal fame. (As she was referred to in the St. Paul Globe coverage.) In this one-woman musical, Mrs. Housel addresses us from the Hennepin County prison and explains how her husband got away with murder, but she got all the ridicule.

Featuring Kelly Matthews as Margaret Housel 

Martha, Who’s Happy
Martha Angle Dorsett, the first woman admitted to the Minnesota State Bar. Martha confronts her-self at the moment of her greatest career triumph, from the perspective of a decade later. With a sense of humor, and her husband at her side, she reviews her fight to practice law, and her choice to leave it behind.

Kendall Anne Thompson as Martha Dorsett
Gracie Anderson as Martha Dorsett (10 years prior)
Philip C. Matthews as C.W. Dorsett

Mary Carpenter, a farm wife near Marshall who chronicled her fourteen year struggle with loss, the weather and the prairie before succumbing to it. In a time when there was no understanding of mental health, her cause of death was listed simply as “Melancholia.” At the moment we meet the family, Mary’s daughter decides to abandon the city for a farm, which is more than Mary can bear. This breath-taking piece illuminates just one of many women’s lives lost to the reality of life on the frontier.

Gail Ottmar as Mary Carpenter
Jim Ahrens as George Carpenter, Sr.
Libby Anderson as Mamie Carpenter
Zach Garcia as George Carpenter, Jr.
Lars Lee as Charlie Hurd

Directed by Ben Layne

Set and Props by Scott Gilbert and Corinna Knepper Troth, Costumes by Lucas Skjaret, Lights by Ariel Leaf, Sound by Anita Kelling, Stage Management by Alyssa Thompson, Dramaturgy by Ruth Virkus

Performances at Nimbus Theatre:
October 3, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, and 17 at 7:30
October 4, 11 and 18 at 3:00

Photo by Heidi M. Garrido, featuring (l to r) Kendall Anne Thompson, Kelly Matthews and Gail Ottmar