"The Storms of November" media kit

Five Degrees Port: The difference between safe harbor and a cold, deep watery grave
nimbus to premiere new drama set on the high seas of Lake Superior

October 12, 2015

For Immediate Release

Fifteen Degrees Port: The difference between safe harbor and a cold, deep watery gravenimbus to premiere new drama set on the high seas of Lake Superior


nimbus announces the premiere of The Storms of November. Written by Josh Cragun and directed by Liz Neerland, opening October 31 and running through November 22nd.


The Storms of November brings to the stage the larger than life story of a captain of a great lakes bulk carrier. Marianne Carter’s long history with the lake started with the death of her mother in a shipwreck. Set during a bust period for the iron ore mining industry, she is battling not only corporate cost-cutters and a doomed economy but the biggest storm of her life.


Cragun and Neerland first conceived of the project as a way bring the rich tradition of the maritime narrative to the Great Lakes, and in particular, Lake Superior. “I grew up in Duluth and the North Shore, so the lake has always been a character in my life,” says Cragun. “These are some of the most deadly waters in the world. Thirty thousand people have died on the lakes, and a thousand boats are at the bottom of Superior. And yet every day, brave men and women make their way across these inland seas. We felt they deserved a legend of their own.”


While the show itself is fictional, The Storms of November pulls on actual historic events as a jumping off point for the story. “The Armistice Day Blizzard in 1940 was one of the worst storms ever in the entire midwest,” said Cragun. “Our show begins there, using the real storm to begin the story of our captain, Marianne Carter.”


“November is the deadliest month on the Great Lakes,” added Neerland. “This year marks the 40th anniversary of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald, on November 10. There were major storms in 1905, 1913, 1966, 1975...technological advances mean lives are not lost very often any more, but sailing on Lake Superior in November is still a very dangerous thing, even in a 1000-foot ship.”


The play was developed using the company’s playwright-led devised process. The playwright, director, designers, and cast have spent months digesting maritime lore, learning about Great Lakes shipping, and doing field research. The group journeyed to Duluth and Two Harbors to tour boats, view the ore loading process, and digest local culture. “We were inspired not only by the Great Lakes and the North Shore, but by maritime literature in general. We found nuggets of inspiration in works like The Tempest and The Old Man and the Sea,” added Neerland.


One of the biggest challenges faced with this production was how to portray the scale of the huge freighters, and the lakes they sail on. “We are dealing with impossibly huge things in this show,” commented Cragun. “A single deck hatch cover is longer than our stage and half as deep. The average ship has 30 of them. Just the wheelhouse of a 1000-footer is larger than our whole stage. It was tough to figure out how to create this world without turning them into toy versions of themselves.”


The show features an all-star cast of nimbus veterans, including Heidi Berg as Captain Marianne Carter and Zach Morgan as First Mate Bobby Peterson. The ensemble includes Erin Denman, Brian Hesser, Derek Meyer, Brian O’Neal, Alyssa Perau, Sara Schwabe, and Daniel Vopava.


The Storms Of November opens October 31 and runs through November 22 at Nimbus Theater in Northeast Minneapolis.

The Storms of November

October 31 - November 22

playing at Nimbus Theater, 1517 Central Ave. NE


Tickets: www.nimbustheatre.com


Written by Josh Cragun

Directed by Liz Neerland

Featuring Heidi Berg, Erin Denman, Brian Hesser, Derek Meyer, Zach Morgan, Brian O’Neal, Alyssa Perau, Sara Schwabe, and Daniel Vopava

Designed by Ursula K. Bowden, Jacob M. Davis, Mitchell Frazier, Andrea M. Gross, and Eli Schlatter

Stage Managed by Matt Alto and Alyssa Thompson

For more information email Josh Cragun or Liz Neerland at info@nimbustheatre.com