The Knight of the Burning Pestle

by Francis Beaumont
Directed by Amber Bjork
June 3-19, 2016
Performing at Dreamland Arts

Wicked mirth true pleasure brings.

In the first full-length, English-language theatrical parody, a company of actors prepares for a performance of “The London Merchant.” But a pair of wealthy patrons demand their apprentice Rafe be inserted into the play. He becomes the errant Knight of the Burning Pestle, tasked to prove his bravery amidst the plot of a love story that does not need him. Written at the peak of the Jacobean era in the early 17th century and lampooning the best of the bygone Elizabethan playwrights, The Knight of the Burning Pestle stands as proof that players, patrons, and the theatre-going experience have changed little over the centuries.

The Castpestle_postcard

George (a citizen) – Ben Tallen *
Nell (his wife) – Rachel Flynn
Rafe (their apprentice) – George Dornbach

Prologue, Master Venturewell, Michael – David Schlosser
Jasper – Grant Henderson *
Lucy, Mistress Merrythought – Julie Ann Nevill
Humphrey, Master Merrythought – Andrew Troth
Musician and Apprentice – Becca Hart

The Crew

Director – Amber Bjork +
Stage Manager – Clara Costello *
Set Designer – Gabriel Gomez
Costume Designer – Mandi Johnson +
Props Designer – Abbee Warmboe
Lighting Designer – Julia Carlis +
Dramaturg – Christine “Kit” Gordon +
Producer, Fight Choreographer – Carin Bratlie Wethern +
Directing Observer – Shannon Twohy

+Theatre Pro Rata Company Member

The Press

“a sharp and pleasing parody which demonstrates that the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
“director Amber Bjork and her company commit fully to the comedy.”
“the humor and the heart of the show are broadly, happily and readily accessible.” –Pioneer Press

“delightfully campy performances”
“Under the direction of Amber Bjork, everyone in the cast completely commits to the fun, light-hearted, and campy tone of the show.”
“This is much lighter fare that the dark and complex plays usually seen at Theatre Pro Rata. And as much as I love dark and complex, it’s fun to see them let loose and be silly for a change. Knight of the Burning Pestle is quite silly indeed, and delightfully so.” –Cherry and Spoon

“The casting is perfect, as is the direction.”
“a very funny, timely and smart comedy. This is one you may not ever see again so take the chance now.” –Minnesota Theater Love

“The entire cast is wonderful and on point”
“This production is really a delight and a perfect way to spend a tranquil summer evening.” –The Room Where It Happens

“loud and lusty… and making us howl. … Ben Tallen and Rachel Flynn give hootful performances.”
“Director Amber Bjork goes for baroque, and the performances are creative and wonderful and highly energetic. … George Dornbach, who gives the knight a lovely Buster Keaton quality”
“the actors have a terrific time, and their joy is infectious.” –


Online Program
Knight of the Burning Pestle play guide
Photo Gallery

Photography by: Charles Gorrill

This activity is funded, in part, by appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund, and its arts and cultural heritage fund that was created by a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.