Combustible Company began life as “FTF Works” and we produced our first show, Herocycle, as part of the 2008 Fringe Festival. In 2013, Herocycle was re-made as an evening-length work at Old Arizona. Then, in 2015, we changed our name to Combustible Company and gained non-profit status. We staged our second evening-length production, Bluebeard’s Dollhouse in 2016 at the historic James J Hill House and our third production, The Imaginary Invalid, in 2018 at the brand-new Gremlin Theater.
April 14 – April 28, 2018
The Imaginary Invalid tells the story of Argan, a miserly hypochondriac who hatches a scheme to get free healthcare by marrying off one of his daughters (Angelique) to a young doctor. Dependent on extravagant cures and desperately worried about his ability to continue to pay for his medical care, he will do anything. Angelique however, having already fallen in love with someone else, has other plans for her life. Argan’s clever servant (Toinette) and gregarious brother (Beralde) come to her aid as they seek to unwind both his nefarious plot and his unhealthy obsession with quackery.
Though written over 300 years ago, The Imaginary Invalid is a strikingly-relevant, passionate farce that shines a light on the wounds we inflict upon ourselves, the scars of life, and the lengths that some will go to achieve "affordable" healthcare in a seemingly-incurable system. This fresh translation by Oded Gross features original Motown- and pop-inspired songs by Paul James Prendergast, commedia dell'arte roots, and sharp modern language.
This production was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
"This is only the third piece from Combustible Company, but it's enough for me to know not to miss a rare chance to see their work. They only come along every couple of years, but it's worth the wait, and it's obvious how much thought and detail is put into every show that they do."Jill Schafer, Cherry & Spoon
Jonathan Beller, Isaac Bont, Lauren Casson, Julianna Drajko, Antonio Duke, Joni Griffith, Erik Hoover, Katelyn McLane, Ricky Morisseau, Anna Pladson, Daniel Sakamoto-Wengel, Ashawnti Sakina Ford, and Jonathan Saliger
Kate Bender, Cody Biggerstaff, Paul Epton, Renee Hatton, Paul Herwig, C Andrew Mayer, and Jim Peitzman
Written by Moliere
Adaptation by Oded Gross & Tracy Young
Original music by Paul James Prendergast
Original lyrics by Oded Gross, Paul James Prendergast and Tracy Young
Directed by Kym Longhi
September 30 – October 15, 2016
Bluebeard’s Dollhouse merges Charles Perrault’s murderous fairytale Bluebeard with Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House to create a haunting immersive theater event at the James J Hill House about marriage, violence, and the power of secrets. Winding through the unique and intimate spaces of the Hill House a murder-mystery unfolds using theater, dance, puppetry, and live music.
Audiences delve into the suffocating marriage of Torvald and Nora, which is underscored by the brutality of Bluebeard’s murderous compulsion. Combustible Company draws audiences past the velvet ropes to give them a fresh look at a familiar St Paul landmark –an experience that will lure them deep into the heart of the story and challenge them to think differently about historic space, the nature of love, and each person's quest for intimacy.
"As a physical production, Bluebeard’s Dollhouse is ambitious in its scale and speed...everything is so well synchronized, you are able to still wander from room to room with a sense of discovery and spontaneity."Lydia Lunning, Twin Cities Arts Reader
Isaac Bont, Beth Brooks, Karla Grotting, Paul Herwig, Erik Hoover, Renee Howard, Rachel Nelson, Lillian Noonan, Pearl Noonan, Anna Pladson, and Jonathan Saliger
Caleigh Gumbiner, Alissa McCourt, Jim Peitzman, and Nico Swenson
Concept by Kym Longhi, directed by Kym Longhi, and written by Kym Longhi and the ensemble.
Vocal Direction by Kalen Keir
Bluebeard's Dollhouse was developed as part of the Red Eye's Works in Progress 2014 series.
June 20 – 29, 2013
Herocycle: a death-defying leap across American pop-culture that crashes into the life of notorious daredevil Evel Knievel. Steel twists together with Knievel's conquests and writer Joseph Campbell's monomyth to create a heroic tale of Evel's exploits, a frenzied search for the elixir of life and a daring quest for the man behind the action figure.
Herocycle was developed as part of the Red Eye's Works in Progress 2008 series and was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
"Robust masculinity and exquisite grace are splendidly integrated."John Townsend, Lavender Magazine
Beth Brooks, Erik Hoover, Sasha Inez, Jacob Miller, Jim Peitzman, and Jonathan Saliger
Sam Brooks, Batume Gingery, Maliya Gorman-Carter, Kalen Keir, and Ike Russell
Daniel Benoit, Charles Craun, Deb Ervin, Lucinda Holshue, and Jim Peitzman
Concept by Erik Hoover and Kym Longhi, directed by Kym Longhi, and written by Kym Longhi and the ensemble.
©2017 All Rights Reserved
Combustible Company is a tax-exempt 501c3 organization and registered non-profit in the State of Minnesota