Elephant’s Graveyard

By George Brant
Directed by Amber Bjork
Feb 15-Mar 2, 2014
Performing at Nimbus Theater

Nobody else in the world is hanging an elephant tonight.

1916. There was a town, a circus, and Mighty Mary–the largest land mammal the nation had ever seen. The new trainer couldn’t control her, and Mary killed. The townspeople called out for her destruction, and the circus complied. What followed was a tragic execution—an elephant hung on a railway crane—which silenced a population. Based on the historical events that still stain the town of Erwin, Tennessee, Elephant’s Graveyard is the cautionary tale of American ingenuity in all its amazing and terrible splendor.

The Cast

Ringmaster – Wade A. Vaughn
Tour Manager – Sarah Broude
Trainer – Neal Skoy
Ballet Girl – Emily Dussault
Strongman – Alex Stene
Clown – Ben Tallen*
Engineer – John T. Zeiler
Marshal – Nathan Tylutki
Preacher – Ethan Bjelland
Muddy Townsperson – Kelli Gorr
Hungry Townsperson – Joy Dolo
Young Townsperson – Jillian Jacobson
Steam Shovel Operator – Brian O’Neal
Guitarist – Theo Langason
Drummer – Shannon Foy

The Crew

Director – Amber Bjork*
Stage Manager – Clara Costello
Music Director – Theo Langason
Costume Designer – Mandi Johnson*
Lighting Designer – Julia Carlis*
Prop Designer – Amy Pirkl*
Directing Observer – Missy Hildebrandt
Costuming Observer – Kelsey Cramer*
ASL Interpreters – Katie Johnson and Rebecca Rick

*Theatre Pro Rata Company Member


The Press

“incredibly moving”, “a masterful example of ensemble storytelling”
“The strength of Brant’s script is matched by each of the actors, creating distinctive characters in just a handful of moments.”
“It’s a compliment to both the play itself and Pro Rata’s production that they’re both able to keep things so precise and detailed. It’s easy to see why the company fell in love with this script, and their presentation of it honors that affection.” –TC Daily Planet

“A remarkable tragedy that raises a lot of compelling themes.”
“[T]he power of the acting is what drives the show […] Fortunately, the fine cast is up to the task.”
“Wade A. Vaughn is a marvelously flamboyant showman with a hint of darkness.” –Pioneer Press

“It’s storytelling at its best – completely captivating and so vivid that you feel like you’re actually seeing the events play out.”
“This is a true ensemble piece… including Wade A. Vaughn with an electric performance as the ringmaster, Neal Skoy as Mary’s heartbroken trainer, and young Jillian Jacobson representing the children of Erwin.”-Cherry and Spoon

“Theatre Pro Rata’s production is genuinely engaging. A lot of that is down to the staging from Amber Bjork and the solid work done by the company.” –City Pages

Minnesota Playlist includes the show in its article about the 6 best moments from the 2013-14 theatre season.

The Star Tribune features the show in its Spotlight.

Mpls St Paul Magazine named the show an Editor’s Pick.

City Pages recommends Elephant’s Graveyard in their Spotlight section.

Broadway World gives a shoutout to the show on its opening night.

Broadway World interviews director Amber Bjork about Elephant’s Graveyard and why it might just make a great Valentine’s Day weekend date.

Performance Dates
February 15 – March 2, 2014
Fridays & Saturdays @ 7:30 P.M.
Sunday, February 16 @ 7:30 P.M.
Monday, February 17 @ 7:30 P.M.
Sunday, February 23 @ 7:30 P.M.
Sunday, March 2 @ 3:00 P.M.

Fun Stuff

Elephant’s Graveyard Study Guide
Pro Rata’s interview with George Brant about the play

The Gallery


Photography by: Charlie Gorrill


This activity is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.