🎭 Irondale Drama Department 🎭
Janet Paone, Artistic Director
Janet is a professional actor, director, singer and voice over artist. She began directing at Irondale in 1984, bringing her knowledge and passion for theater to inspire and develop young talent. When she’s not at Irondale, Janet can be seen whipping up egg coffee as Vivian Snustad in “The Church Basement Ladies” series. You may remember seeing her dance the conga down Hennepin Avenue as Tina’s mom in Hey City Theatres “Tony and Tina’s Wedding. Janet was a co-host on FM 107.1 after winning the first Undiscovered Divas contest. As a classically trained singer, Janet has performed in various roles with the MN Opera and most notably NYCO. Fun Fact: if you find yourself in a parking garage in Columbus, OH you may hear her saying “Please take the ticket”! Janet is a graduate of Augsburg University with a degree in Theater and Vocal Performance.
John A. Woskoff, Set and Costume Designer
John has been involved with high school, community and professional theater for over 45 years, both on stage and behind the scenes. He has been part of the Irondale drama department since 1984, working alongside Janet Paone since her first year as director of the department. John has provided Irondale Theater with set and costume design for over 150 productions. Over the years, he has enjoyed working with Irondale students to introduce them to the creative aspects of theater production. In addition to working at Irondale, John also works at Theater in the Round and Sidekick Theatre in Minneapolis. At Theater in the Round he has designed sets and costumes for over 30 productions. He also serves on the Technical Advisory Board for TRP. Most recently he has designed for Sidekick Theatre, a relatively new company which produces theater in the Twin Cities and throughout the State of Minnesota. In his non-theater life, John has retired from years of working at a custom furniture showroom at International Market Square. A proud native of Iowa, John has been a resident of Minneapolis throughout his adult life.
Joshua Barnd, Technical Director
Josh is the owner and operator of River Bottom Productions LLC, where he offers services as a DJ and in lighting, sound, sets and props. River Bottom Productions also rents out specialty sets and props. He has been doing theater in some capacity since the day he walked! Josh has worked on both amateur and professional productions. He spent 10 years with Hey City Theater and was the Production Manager, Scenic Designer, Lighting Designer and Sound Desk Operator for the premier of The Ultimate Pajama Party at The Lab Theater in Minneapolis. Josh has worked with over 50 different organizations on their productions. He was awarded the Outstanding Young Jordanite award for his dedication to the arts in and around the Jordan area. Most recently his work has been seen and heard at Jordan High School, Kimberly High School (WI), The International School of MN, Edina High School, Valley View Middle School, Minnesota Thespian All State Show, Minnesota's Largest Candy Store and Valleyfair. In addition to his many theatrical hats, he is also a father to 3 kind and talented children, Xander, Maxwell and Zoey.
Bill Sucha, Pit Conductor
Bill has been instructing bands, orchestras, or choirs with the Mounds View District music staff since 1996—primarily at Irondale High School. He has been the recipient of several awards and honors including: the 2001 Minnesota representative for the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” feature in the School Band and Orchestra magazine, presenter for the Nebraska Band Directors Association Convention, and a 2000 WCCO Radio Good Neighbor. He has been on the Minnesota Percussion Association, Royal Guard Drum and Bugle Corp, and Minnesota Brass Senior Drum and Bugle Corp executive boards. Bill earned his Bachelor's in Music Education from UW-River Falls.
Matthew van Bruggen, Production Manager
As an alumni of our program, Matthew is thrilled to join the team to coordinate all aspects of our productions from start to finish. He has assisted with the administrative and technical demands of several arts organizations after graduating from Irondale, including the Spotlight Showcase at the State Theater, Minnesota Fringe Festival and The Glimmerglass Festival (Cooperstown, New York). Matthew graduated in 2020 with a BA in Live and Performing Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago and looks forward to working with Irondale's students this fall!
Roxanne Britz, Music Director
Roxanne recently retired from being a music teacher at Bel Air Elementary. She is a core cast member of the Church Basement Ladies series, where she has played the role of Karin for 12 years. Other credits include Sister Leo in the regional premiere of Nunsense (Plymouth Playhouse) and performances with Minnesota Opera, the Guthrie, Red Eye Theater, and The Medora Musical. She also played Mrs. Howell in the Minnesota Fringe show Gilligan: A Tropical Musical and has appeared in local commercials and films, including ABC’s In an Instant. She earned her Bachelor's at UMD and Master's at St. Thomas.
Ann Whiting, Music Director
Ann has been a professional actress and composer for over twenty five years. On stage she has appeared with Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Hey City Theater, Actors Theater of Minnesota, Troupe America, and Mystery Café among others. Ann has also worked regionally on-camera and as a voice-over talent. In addition, she has composed music for many corporate events including: Hormel Spam Jam, the Minnesota Art Museum, the Minnesota History Museum and the Queen’s Festival in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her original musical, "Come on Inn!" premiered with a cast of 450 in St. Paul in 2007. Ann is currently a teaching artist for Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis and the Performing Arts and Music Specialist at Highland Catholic School in Saint Paul.
Lexie Wollan Swenson, Choreographer
Lexie is the Choreographer and Assistant Director for The Medora Musical in ND, and previously spent nine seasons there as a Burning Hills Singer. Other credits include Assistant Choreographer and performer for Troupe America’s National Tour of A Christmas Carol, performing in ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas at Dolly Parton’s theme park, Dollywood and Ring of Fire at Circa 21. Lexie received her Bachelor's at Belmont University.
Neal McIntosh, Rehearsal and Performance Accompanist
Neal is a great part of our team, assisting us as our accompanist for both rehearsals and performances. He frequently works with Hill-Murray, Saint Anthony Village HS on top of Irondale. He has also been seen on stage with Mounds View Community Theatre and Lakeshore Players. Neal received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from University of Northern Iowa.
Becca Donley, Artistic Assistant
Becca recently graduated from UW- River Falls with a B.S. in Music and Stage and Screen Arts and also is an alumna of Irondale Drama. She’s done a bit of everything working with the technical, management, musical and performance aspects of many shows throughout her career. Recently Becca started a job at CLIMB Theater in their Outreach department and is working on more opportunities in the Twin Cities theater scene. She is excited to be a part of the Irondale team this fall and get to work with the great staff and students!