The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox was created for the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival (August 2017), performed at the U of M Rarig Center Arena stage. It was remounted in conjunction with Imagined Theater's Fringe show, Facility in November 2017 at Sabes JCC Theater.
We would like to see it live again someday.
We would like to see it live again someday.
THE MEMORY BOX
OF THE SISTERS FOX
Amber Bjork: Medium (Director)
Megan Campbell Lagas: Catherine Fox
Kayla Dvorak Feld: Kate Fox
Kristina Fjellman: Margaret Fox
Boo Segersin: Maggie Fox
André Johnson, Jr (Stage Manager)
Usula Bowen (Lighting Designer - Fringe Production)
Julia Carlis (Lighting Designer - Remount)
Melanie Miller (Marketing Photographer)
Kris Heding (Graphic Designer)
Sara Erdman (Production Photographer)
Photo by Melanie Miller. Design by Kris Heding.
The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox, earned an encore performance at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2017, and was also a "Critic's Pick" from Twin Cities Arts Reader.
Director Amber Bjork is named a MN Theater Awards Exceptional Performative Direction Honoree for her work on The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Cherry And Spoon Reviews The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
"This is a haunting and beautiful show."
"A mystical, magical hour of theater, storytelling, and music."
Selected Fringe Audience comments:
“Beautiful and Bittersweet”
“A Heartbreaking True Story”
“Theatrical Stage Story Telling at its Best” “Hauntingly Beautiful”
“The Story Writing is Exquisite and the Acting Superb”
“Like All the Best Ghost Stories”
You can read more Fringe Audience reviews here.
Photo by Melanie Miller. Design by Kris Heding.
more information and references
The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox is a love letter to Margaret Fox Kane and Catherine Fox Jencken. As the accidental founders of the Spritualist Movement, their lives were fascinating and tragic, filled with spirits and loss. And while they were separated from time to time, their lives wound around each other, supported each other, beginning and ending in the same shared fates. The play is a blurring of past and present, of living and dead, and the kind of theater that transports you and one that reminds you exactly where you are sitting. There is sweetness, but mostly sorrow.
If you're interested in learning more about the Fox Sisters, here are some enjoyable references:
As children, Kate and Maggie Fox convinced their family, community, and ultimately the world that they could talk to spirits, essentially kicking off the Spiritualist Movement and creating the profession of Medium. In later life they announced that it was all a hoax. But their confession found them ousted by the Spiritualist community rather than toppling it, and they would die soon after, penniless and defamed. Inside this history is a tale of two sisters, their relationship to each other and to the dead. We tell their story in the form of a seance and give them time to speak.
In our telling of the Fox Sisters' story, we set the stage for spirits and seances. Is it horror? No. While those of us in the present day may look back at shrouded ladies and hand-holding circles in the dark as mysterious and spine-tingling, the Spritualists of the 1800s saw these things as a beacon of hope. Death was more common in those days--diseases, accidents, the Civil War--what people were really searching for was proof of life after this one and the assurance that death enlightens rather than silences us.
For those of you familiar with the history of these ladies, you'll notice a stark omission to our tale--the third sister, Leah Fox Underhill. Leah was more than two decades older than Maggie and Kate, and a sly entrepreneur. Once she heard about her younger sisters' abilities, she rushed to claim them and control them. Leah became their manager and manipulator, their constant companion and puppetmaster. She ushered them into the houses of the wealthy and encouraged them to drink the wine that was offered, which they became terribly addicted to. Their substance abuse eventually lead them to early graves in their 50s. Leah used the fame of her younger sisters to build her own renown, and she has her own amazing story to tell, albeit mostly embellished by herself. Because of all of this mischief, Leah has been banished from our production. If we must call Maggie and Kate back to re-live their humanity, we can spare them that much.
Photos by Melanie Miller
Megan Campbell Lagas - Catherine Fox Jencken, and shadowy others
Megan is the Mother of two boys and a lot of pets, a Teacher, and a Theatre Artist. She has performed with 15 Head: a theatre lab, Children’s Theatre Company, Illusion Theatre, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Theatre Unbound, Theatre in the Round, The Winding Sheet Outfit, and Sandbox Theatre where she has been a collaborator since 2004, and a company member since 2012. Sandbox credits include Aphasiatica: Duet, Zelda: Wonderland, War with the Newts (2007 and 2015), Suitcase, This Is A World To Live in, Marie-Jeanne Valet Who Defeated La Bête du Gevaudan, Killer Inside (Project Lead), and 600 Years (Music Director/Composer). Sisters Fox is Megan’s third collaboration with The Winding Sheet Outfit. Megan earned her BA in Theatre and MA in Education, both at the College of St. Catherine. She teaches English at Adult Basic Education, Minneapolis Public Schools.
Kayla Dvorak Feld - Kate Fox
Kayla is an actor and teaching artist in the Twin Cities. Formally of God's Country (Iowa), she received her B.A. in Theatre Arts at Simpson College. She is quite pleased to be performing with The Winding Sheet Outfit for a second time, having been previously seen in The Theatre of the Tiny Clandestines. Kayla has also worked with companies such as Daleko Arts, Theatre Pro Rata, Hero Now Theatre, Theatre Unbound, Theatre in the Round, among others. When she's not making theatre, Kayla enjoys reading, sleeping, being outdoors with her husband, and looking lovingly at her perfect dog, Mira.
Kristina Fjellman - Margaret Fox Kane, and shadowy others
Kristina is a visual artist and performer, and is drawn to projects that combine these passions. She has exhibited sculpture in the Midwest and Twin Cities, is a 2010-2011 recipient of a Jerome Fiber Art Project Grant at the Minnesota Textile Center, and has performed with The Winding Sheet Outfit, Red Eye Theater and Sandbox Theatre. Her work with The Winding Sheet Outfit’s Theater of the Tiny Clandestines received a Knight Arts Challenge grant in 2014. Recently, a retrospective of her work was exhibited in Apparent Magnetism at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA, and Reflection and Refraction exhibition at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI. She was last seen on stage in 600 Years with Sandbox Theatre. Kristina is a graduate of St. Catherine University with a Master of Arts in Education in both Art and Theater Education. She is an ensemble member of Sandbox Theatre and a founding member of The Winding Sheet Outfit.
Boo Segersin - Maggie Fox
Boo is freelance performer (acting, singing, moving, devising) who has been working in and around the Twin Cities since the age of 6. She has worked with many wonderful companies including Fearless Comedy Productions, Impossible Salt, Really Spicy Opera, Swandive Theatre, SteppingStone Theatre, Six Elements Theatre, Ghoulish Delights, Sod House Theater, Silver Slipper Productions, Cross Community Players, Lyric Arts, Children's Theatre Company, History Theatre and the Minnesota Opera. She is also a teaching artist with Stages Theatre Company and performs at birthday parties as a certain princess. Boo graduated Summa Cum Laude from Augsburg College with a B.A in Theater Arts: Performance and Directing/Dramaturgy/Playwriting with a minor in Musical Theater (and Norwegian).
Amber Bjork - Director / Medium
Amber is a Twin Cities-based actor, director, writer, and producer. She is the founding member of The Winding Sheet Outfit, recipient of a 2013 Irrigate grant and a 2014 St. Paul Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for the production of the travelling tent show, The Theatre of the Tiny Clandestines. She is a recent recipient of a 2017 MRAC Next Step grant funded by McKnight Foundation that will allow her to take The Winding Sheet Outfit outside of theaters and into more surprising and non-traditional spaces. From 2009 to 2016, Amber was a company member and artistic associate of Theatre Pro Rata, where she directed T Bone N Weasel, Elephant’s Graveyard, and The Knight of the Burning Pestle, and appeared in several productions including The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Lovers & Executioners, and The Taming of the Shrew. She has also appeared onstage with Transatlantic Love Affair, Savage Umbrella, Theater Unbound, nimbus, and Guthrie Theater, and collaborated and directed for Sandbox Theatre, Freshwater Theater, and Tedious Brief Productions, among others.
André Johnson Jr. - Stage Manager
André Johnson Jr. is a theatre artist in the Twin Cities stage managing, designing, acting, and creating works. Though he has only been in the cities two years, it has been a whirlwind of shows, great people, and fantastic theatre. He is excited to do his first show with The Winding Sheet Outfit, and getting the chance to work with such amazing artists.