Inspired by the creators’ personal narratives around mental health and mental illness, Persephone is an original devised piece that is equal parts story and movement. With a versatile and interdisciplinary cast and creative team, we deny any divide between “dance” and “theatre.” Instead, we engage the audience in a nuanced exploration of life with mental illness in the most truthful way possible, whatever genre that may look like. We hope to push past the typical tone that can befall stories of mental illness and offer an alternative fueled by levity and heart.

The Ritz Theater | 345 13th Ave NE

Sat, 8/5 @ 7pm
Sun, 8/6 @ 10pm
Wed, 8/9 @ 5:30pm
Fri, 8/11 @ 7pm
Sat, 8/12 @ 1pm

Concept: Torre Edahl
Direction: Mariah Larkin​

Video Design: Nadia Honary

Featuring: Julia Bither, Torre Edahl, Alina Fatieieva,
Kayla McCaffrey, Jennifer Pray, Kathleen Willard

Jennifer Pray is a dance artist and yoga teacher who has performed throughout the United States, and in the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Her professional performance credits include Dance & Other Behaviors, Threads Dance Project, STRONGmovement, the Minnesota Opera, Ballet Minnesota, Live Action Set and Kinetic Evolutions, and as a professional guest artist with James Sewell Ballet and Iowa Dance Theatre. She is a summa cum laude graduate of The University of Iowa and holds a B.A. in Dance & International Studies with Honors. Jenn’s choreography has been presented by Tanzwerkstatt Europa in Munich, at the Henny Jurriens Stichting in Amsterdam, and the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. She has created commissions for Threads Dance Project, Iowa Dance Theatre, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. She is increasingly interested in blending dance with other performance mediums and is grateful to be a part of Loom Lab.

Jennifer Pray is a dance artist and yoga teacher who has performed throughout the United States, and in the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Her professional performance credits include Dance & Other Behaviors, Threads Dance Project, STRONGmovement, the Minnesota Opera, Ballet Minnesota, Live Action Set and Kinetic Evolutions, and as a professional guest artist with James Sewell Ballet and Iowa Dance Theatre. She is a summa cum laude graduate of The University of Iowa and holds a B.A. in Dance & International Studies with Honors. Jenn’s choreography has been presented by Tanzwerkstatt Europa in Munich, at the Henny Jurriens Stichting in Amsterdam, and the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. She has created commissions for Threads Dance Project, Iowa Dance Theatre, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. She is increasingly interested in blending dance with other performance mediums and is grateful to be a part of Loom Lab.

Alina Fatieieva currently resides in Minneapolis, but was born and raised in Dnipro, Ukraine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Dance and Business Management from Minnesota State University-Mankato, and holds multiple honors from MSU-Mankato, including multiple awards for outstanding choreography and performance, and a spot in the cast of Shapiro & Smith's "To Have and to Hold." Alina also presented her work “Earth, tomorrow?” at the American College Dance Festival mainstage in 2016, and performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC in 2016. 
Alina is an active member of the dance community in the Twin Cities area. For two years she has been dancing with Curio Dance at their annual “Drop The Mic” shows, and restaged her choreography in the 2017 show. She is currently choreographing a piece for Zenon Zone Program, as well as holding an apprentice position with Crash.Dance.Production.

Kathleen Willard is a small, tenaciously passionate queer femme gaysian-american who wants to be a cat lady when she “grows up”. She has been immersed in theatre and lived with mental illness for as long as she can remember, but has very rarely seen mental illnesses represented (well) in theatrical spaces. She is happy, humbled and honored to be part of a beautifully representative production so close to her heart, and thus frequently almost cries during rehearsal. 
Offstage, Kathleen combats Seasonal Affective Disorder during Minnesota’s long winters by dyeing her hair bright colors; makes gay mixtapes; and takes excessive selfies with other people's cats. She is currently studying Theatre Arts; Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota. Ask her about her plant army.

Kayla McCaffrey is over the river, through the woods, and over the moon to be working on Loom Lab’s debut production! She is currently an actor in the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater’s BFA Actor Training Program Class of 2018. There, she has worked on pieces such as The Misanthrope, Agamemnon, Much Ado About Nothing, the Henry VI Trilogy, Heartless, and various scene projects. Most recently, Kayla has ventured around the twin cities with Open Eye Figure Theatre’s Driveway Tour. Currently, she also volunteers to help deaf immigrants and refugees learn self-advocacy while harnessing her fear of graduating from college. Her roots are in Connecticut, but if home is where the heart is, she’s never too far off in Minnesota.

Julia Bither is a movement artist based in Minneapolis, MN. She makes queer, time-based work as one fourth of Babezone Film Collective and creates improvisational dance works with collaborator Laura Levinson. She has performed with Chris Schlichting, HIJACK, Emily Johnson/Catalyst, GENDER TENDER and DaNCEBUMS.