Irondale Drama

"Setting the stage for your life"

Artistic Team

 Janet Paone, Artistic Director

Janet has a BA in Theater and Vocal Performance from Augsburg University. She began directing at Irondale in 1984 bringing her unique skills to foster interest in theater for students. Janet is a professional actress, singer, director and voice over artist. She created the role of Vivian Snustad in the original Church Basement Ladies series, which is now in 48 states and Canada! Janet was thrilled to be acting opposite of one of her childhood crushes, Barry Williams (Greg Brady from The Brady Bunch) at New Theater in Kansas City! In 2015, Janet was cast to play Rosie O’Donnell’s role in Love Loss and What I Wore on the national tour under the direction of Karen Carpenter, who helped develop and direct the original show. Janet got her first New York break singing with NYC Opera Company. Locally, she has sung with the MN Opera for over 30 years. She sung in the World Premiere Production of Grapes of Wrath where she worked with Oscar-winning Director Eric Simonson. Hey City Theater cast her as Josephina Vitale in both the MN and Baltimore productions of Tony and Tina’s Wedding. Janet has also appeared in productions at The Jungle Theater, Theater Latte Da, Ten Thousand Things Theater, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and was in the cast of the IVEY-winning production, Gabriel (Walking Shadow Theater Co). Film credits include “The Scream Queen” in Vampires! Horror! Janet got her own radio show on FM 107.1 after winning the first Undiscovered Divas contest. In 1984, Janet started Mounds View Community Theater and is thrilled that the theater is still going strong today! Janet was featured in "Who's Who Among American Teachers" and was given the "Mounds View Citizenship Award" for bringing the arts to Mounds View! She considers working with the drama students at Irondale one of her greatest accomplishments.

 

 

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 Director of the Marching Knights since his arrival at Irondale and supervises all marching activities. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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. Recently, he was hired to vocal direct at Hill-Murray. Neal frequently works with both Saint Anthony Village HS and Irondale simultaneously, and last fall he was the vocal director for Saint Anthony Village High School's Fall Production Beauty and the Beast, while accompanying 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at 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.