New York Times Critics' Pick

When Marley brings her new fiancé to her childhood home in small-town Texas, she finds herself stranded in the past. Hoping for a quick visit to her estranged father’s liquor store, she’s soon forced to deal with her football hero ex-boyfriend, a single mom insistent on a girls' night out, and the ghost of the town’s bear-wrestling pioneer founder.

A rollicking good ghost story.

— The New York Times

Audiences love LONE STAR SPIRITS!

Scenic and Costume designer Sarah Bahr gives us a sneak peek into her process and what you'll see on stage during LONE STAR SPIRITS.

There are many reasons why we're excited to have Lone Star Spirits at the Jungle - but here, our actors, director, and playwright to share their thoughts on comedy and why this is a show you can't miss!.

Terry Hempleman returns to the Jungle in Lone Star Spirits as Walter, a father clinging to the ghosts of the past while his daughter wants to shake off that weight in favor of her future. Hear more from Terry about his relationship with the Jungle, what working on comedy is like, and his take on ghosts in this exclusive interview!


Sarah Rasmussen, Director

Sarah Rasmussen currently serves as the Artistic Director at the Jungle Theater; there, she has directed In the Next Room, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Oldest Boy, Lone Star Spirits, and Fly By Night: A New Musical (upcoming, June-July 2017). Other directing credits include shows at the Guthrie, Dallas Theater Center, Actors Theater of Louisville, Humana Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Marin Theater Company, Women’s Project Theater, Zach Theater, Hangar Theater, Ten Thousand Things, and Mixed Blood. Rasmussen is a Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and SoHo Rep Lab alum, and served as Resident Director for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab, a new work development program. Rasmussen is the former head of M.F.A. Directing at U.T. Austin. She is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, Austin Critic’s Circle Best Director, two Ivey Awards for Overall Excellence, Drama League and Fulbright fellowships. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego, and a B.A. from St. Olaf College.

Josh Tobiessen, Playwright

Josh Tobiessen started writing plays in Galway, Ireland, with a theatre company he co-founded called Catastrophe. After several of his plays were performed at such venues as the Galway Arts Festival and the Dublin Fringe Festival, he returned to the States to get a playwriting M.F.A. at the University of California, San Diego. Recent plays include Lone Star Spirits, Crashing the Party (Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis), Spoon Lake Blues (The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta), Election Day (Second Stage Theatre, NYC), and Red State Blue Grass (AiShangChu Theatre in Hong Kong). He currently lives, writes, and teaches in Minneapolis.

Sarah Bahr, Scenic and Costume Designer

Sarah Bahr’s recent costume design credits include Anna in the Tropics (Jungle Theater), Macbeth (Park Square Theater), Romeo & Juliet (Minnesota Opera), The Passage (7th House Theater), Go Ask Alice (Mixed Blood Theatre), Donald Giovanni: A Picnic Operetta (Mixed Precipitation), and Juniper Tree (Open Eye Figure Theatre.) Recent scenic design credits include Threepenny Opera (University of Minnesota) and Circle, Mirror, Transformation (Yellow Tree Theater.) Sarah serves as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota. She holds a Design and Technical Theatre M.FA. from the University of Minnesota, a Studio Art M.A. from New York University, and a Design and Technical Theatre B.F.A. from University of Minnesota Duluth. More info at

Barry Browning, Lighting Designer

Barry has been a freelance lighting designer in the Twin Cities for 30 years. He has been the lighting designer for over 80 Jungle Theater productions. He has also designed lighting for the Guthrie Theater, Theater Latté Da, Children’s Theatre Company, Mixed Blood Theatre, Bloomington Civic Theater, Walking Shadow Theater Company, the Ordway, Zenon Dance Company, Danny Buraczeski’s Jazz Dance, North Star Opera, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Arizona Theater Company, and Prince’s production of Ulysses, among others. He has also worked with New York’s Joyce Theater, Switzerland’s STEP Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Aruba International Festival, and Central Children’s Theater in Moscow. In 2012, he received an Ivey Award for Best Lighting in the Jungle’s production of Dial ‘M’ for Murder. Barry is currently a McKnight Theater Artist Fellow, at the Playwrights’ Center.

Sean Healey, Sound Designer

Recent credits include The Oldest Boy, Le Switch, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Annapurna, Gertrude Stein and a Companion, On Golden Pond, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and The Heiress, (Jungle Theater); Choirboy, Vanya And Sonya And Masha And Spike (Guthrie Theater); Seedfolks, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, The Wizard of Oz, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat, and Cinderella (Children’s Theatre Company); The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Learning Fairy, Something Is Nothing, Strumply Peter, The Clumsy Man, Milly and Tillie, Refreshments, Dummy, and To the Moon (Open Eye Figure Theatre); “C.”, Steerage Song, Aida, Song of Extinction (Theatre Latté Da). Mr. Healey is the recipient of an Ivey Award for his work on The Jungle Theater’s production of Shipwrecked! and holds a B.F.A. from The California Institute of the Arts.

John Novak, Stage Manager/Properties

John has worked at the Jungle since 1997. He enjoys the roles of Season Stage Manager, Prop Manager, and Sound and Lighting Operator for four shows every season. Prior to working at the Jungle, he was a stage manager and assistant director for regional opera companies in Minneapolis, St. Louis, Dallas, Boston, Tulsa, and Pittsburgh. He has also worked as a technician at many Twin Cities venues.

Keely Wolter, Vocal Coach

Keely Wolter holds an M.A. in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has served as a voice and accent coach with HBO, the University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program, Theater Latté Da, Children’s Theater Company, Old Log Theater, History Theatre, Walking Shadow Theater Company, Torch Theater, 20% Theatre, St. Olaf College, Classical Actors Ensemble, Theatre Pro Rata, Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, North Hennepin Community College, Mounds Park Academy, Minnetonka Theater, Minnehaha Academy, and many others. Keely is also a member of VASTA, and a regular contributor to the VASTA Voice publication. Lone Star Spirits marks Keely’s third production with the Jungle.

"A rollicking good ghost story” — Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

"...playwright Josh Tobiessen knows how to spin a surprise like a master.” — Nancy Cohen-koan, Huffington Post

YOUR NAME HERE: Tell us what you think of the show! Email us at, comment on our Facebook, Tweet us @JungleTheater, and follow us on Instagram @jungle_theater.


jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

Terry Hempleman (Walter)

Terry is thrilled to begin a new chapter at the Jungle and work with Sarah Rasmussen. Jungle fans have seen Terry in plays going back to the first season in the storefront on Lake Street, when Jungle founder Bain Boelke cast him in Dial ‘M’ for Murder. That show began a twenty-five year relationship between Terry and the Jungle, with highlights that include Annapurna, Fool for Love, Last of the Boys, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Torch Song Trilogy, and Orange Flower Water. Here’s to (at least) another twenty-five years of excellence at the Jungle! Other local credits include: Grace at Yellow Tree Theater (which he also directed), The Parchman Hour at the Guthrie, Buried Child with Red Bird Theater, Orphan Train at the History Theater, The Seagull with Theater Novi Most, Huck Finn at Children’s Theater Company, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at Penumbra, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Park Square. Terry’s film work includes Dear White People, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Factotum, and Mall Rats.

John Catron (Ben)

Credits include The Jungle Theater (The Heiress), The Guthrie Theater (Sense and Sensibility, Trouble In Mind, The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound, The Crucible, Othello, Hay Fever, The Winter’s Tale, Uncle Vanya, Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Winter’s Tale, A Christmas Carol), Pillsbury House Theatre (In The Red and Brown Water, Bulrusher, Bug), Frank Theatre (Misterman, Metamorphosis, By The Bog of Cats), Park Square Theater (School for Lies, Laughter on The 23rd Floor, Othello), as well as Walking Shadow Theater, Illusion Theater, Mu Performing Arts, Carlyle Brown and Co, History Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Playwright’s Center, tours with Theater Latté Da and TigerLion Arts, and collaborations with Jon Ferguson. John was recognized by City Pages as “Best Actor” of 2014 for his solo performance in Frank Theatre’s Misterman, and recently shared an Ivey Award with the ensemble of The Guthrie’s Trouble In Mind.

Christian Bardin (Jessica)

Christian is an actor/creator and sometime musician from Houston, Texas. Performance credits include work with Minnesota Opera (Doubt), Guthrie Theater (The Crucible, The Primrose Path, The Oresteia Variations), Park Square (Romeo and Juliet, August: Osage County), History Theatre (Working Boys Band), The Moving Company (The War Within/All’s Fair), Girl Friday Productions (The Matchmaker), Workhaus Collective (The Mill), Sandbox Theatre (The Little Pilot), Four Humors (The Importance of Being Earnest, Candide, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha), and The Strange Capers (As You Like It, Twelfth Night). You can catch her this summer at the Guthrie in Sunday in the Park With George, and back at the Jungle in time for Christmas as Mary Bennet in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. Christian has lately been pursuing an interest in directing as well as acting, with recent Assistant Director credits at Mu Performing Arts, Theater Forever, Artistry, Wonderlust Productions, and Four Humors. As a child of teachers, Christian wants to thank many wonderful educators for igniting her imagination and passion for performing.Many special thanks to Ken Washington and Karen Landry, may they rest in power.

Nate Cheeseman (Drew)

Lone Star Spirits marks Nate Cheeseman’s debut with The Jungle Theater. Nate has previously worked with The Guthrie Theater (Juno and the Paycock), Park Square Theater (33 Variations, Romeo and Juliet), Walking Shadow Theatre Company (The Three Musketeers), The Minnesota Jewish Theater Company (A Strange and Separate People), Theatre Pro Rata (A Lie of the Mind). Chicago credits include: Jackalope Theatre (Octagon), Chicago Slam Works (Incendium). Nate is proud to have also worked with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks for two summer tours performing in Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Richard III and The Comedy of Errors. Nate is returning to Montana this summer to play the title role in Macbeth and Valentine in Shaw’s You Never Can Tell. Nate is a graduate from the University of Minnesota Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program. Finally, Nate would like to thank Sarah Rasmussen for this incredible opportunity. Enjoy the show!

Thallis Santesteban (Marley)

Thallis Santesteban is from Cuernavaca, Mexico. She grew up in a very theatrical family, and has loved theatre from an early age. She came to Minneapolis to train at the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program. She is thrilled to be making her debut at the Jungle Theater! Her other credits in Minnesota include Guthrie Theater (The Lion in Winter, Pride and Prejudice, Charley’s Aunt), Mixed Blood Theatre (Theory of Mind (two tours), DJ Latinidad’s Latino Dance Party, Minnecanos (two tours), Hijab Tube, In the Time of the Butterflies, Because). She lived in New York City for a couple years where she worked at Repertorio Español in the following shows: Su Nombre Será Su Sombra Para Siempre, El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera, La Gringa, and En El Tiempo de las Mariposas. Last summer she worked in Mexico City at UNAM playing Joan of Arc in La Alondra (a translation of The Lark by Jean Anouilh). She was a fellow at Sundance Theatre Labs 2015 for the play Clandestino. She also works as a Spanish English interpreter. She has had such a fun time working on Lone Star Spirits and hopes you enjoy the show!