Iron Crow Theatre Company challenges assumptions, skews perceptions, and re-imagines theatrical forms to engage the voices of the diverse reality in which we live.
What we do
- We strive to entertain audiences as we challenge them.
- We seek to produce new works, re-interpretations (queering) of classic work, and work which is rarely seen or presented in more mainstream venues in Baltimore and the surrounding area.
- We hope our productions will stimulate dialogue and create common ground.
- As we grow we hope to become a presence in the lgbt/queer community of Baltimore, offering educational programming and workshops building understanding and creating connections through theatre and theatrical techniques.
About the Name
In the mythologies of many tribal cultures, crows, like ravens, are Tricksters. These are gods or spirits or sprites who effect change through mischief and subversion. They break rules. They defy order. They turn things upside down, but always with positive results. In many cultures it is the Trickster figure that brings fire or light to mankind.
The energy of the artist is Trickster energy. And, given the Trickster’s gender ambiguity, it is the energy of the queer artist in particular. So, as we embarked on creating a queer theatre here in Baltimore, we took the name of Crow.
But, there is more: an “iron crow” refers to a crow bar, a tool for prying open locked doors or blocked passageways. And so our name, like the work we hope to do, is multilayered. Iron Crow Theatre is full of fun and pranks and tricks but with a strong and undeniable purpose at its core: to pry open hearts and minds.
The founding members of Iron Crow came together in spring of 2009 to produce an evening of theatre, dance and music in honor of Baltimore’s Gay Pride celebration at the University of Baltimore’s student center. The evening was called Gay Expectations and it brought together artists from every discipline, community artists and artists with international resumes, Baltimore natives, foreign nationals, artists of color, Muslims, Jews, Christians and Yogis; women, men and drag queens; queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight artists; students, faculty and staff from UB, Towson and the Carver Center for the Arts. It also raised more than $1200 for local gay charity Moveable Feast. This production inspired us to continue to work together to produce queer-oriented theatre in Baltimore.
Steven J. Satta (Artistic Director) is one of the founding members of Iron Crow Theatre. He has worked in the Baltimore area as an actor, director and dialect coach for such companies as Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Cockpit-in-Court, Everyman Theatre, Maryland Ensemble Theatre and The Olney. His productions of Sondheim’sCompany (MET) and Angels in America: Perestroika (Towson U) were critically acclaimed and his recent production of Romeo and Juliet for Towson University Department of Theatre Arts received a Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Direction from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (Region II). His production of Tara’s Crossingfor Houses on the Moon Productions was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award. He has presented his gender-bending production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (which he called What You Will) at the Association for Theatre in Education’s LGBT Focus Group and conducted workshops in gender and sexual orientation for diversity conferences at Towson U, Susquehanna U, Wilkes U and the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.
Steven is also an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Acting Track for the Department of Theatre Arts at Towson University and has a background in arts-in-education. He received a 2009 National Teaching Artist Award from the Kennedy Center as well as a Faculty Development Grant from Towson U to support the development of Towson Theatre Infusion, a high school outreach program which he began in association with The Arts Integration Institute and which has partnered with Arts Every Day and Young Audiences Maryland. He has been a teaching artist and held administrative positions for Irondale Ensemble Project, Theatre for a New Audience and ENACT, Inc. Before coming to Baltimore he spent 15 years in New York as an actor and teaching artist. He has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regionally and on tour for such companies as National Actor’s Theatre, National Shakespeare Company and the Mill Mountain Theatre. He holds a BFA in Drama from NYU and an MFA in Acting from York University in Toronto.
Joseph W. Ritsch (Associate Artistic Director) is a performer / playwright / director / designer / choreographer / arts educator from NYC who relocated to Baltimore in September of 2008 to pursue his MFA in Theatre at Towson University. He holds a BA in Theater & Dance from The School of Performing Arts at The University of Maine, and completed his initial graduate studies in acting at the Professional Program at Playwright’s Horizons in NYC. In 1994, Joseph became a principal ensemble member with Jane Comfort and Company, one of the industry’s premiere movement theatre ensembles. With Jane and the company he has toured the US on two national tours as well as a tour to Paris, France. He recieved critical acclaim for his work with Jane in both the Village Voice and the New York Times for his multiple roles in S/He and for the title role of Macbeth in Cliff Notes Macbeth. In Baltimore his work has been seen at Baltimore Theatre Project, The Loft, Theatro 101 (@ Mobtown Theatre), Everyman Theatre and Center Stage. With Iron Crow Joseph has portrayed Amanda Wingvalley in For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls, Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and will be portraying Richard in the 2012 production of A Soldier Dream’s. Ritsch’s play Apartment 213 was part of the Iron Crow 2010-2011 season and was named by City Paper as one of the Top 10 productions of the Baltimore 2010-2011 Professional Theatre Season. The project was developed at the prestigious WordBRIDGE Playwrights Lab June 2010. Apartment 213recently had it’s NYC debut as a part of the Modicums Theatre Festival of New Work hosted by Mabou Mines. Joseph’s most recent work includes Choreographer for the Towson Uuniversity production of RENT, Assistant Director on Snow Falling on Cedars at Center Stage, Choreographer for Everyman Theatre’s Pygmalion and Director of the critically acclaimed Iron Crow production of Brad Fraser’s Love and Human Remains.
Bryan Schlein (Company Manager) is excited to be back in the theatre and working with Iron Crow Theatre. Bryan is an Alumi of Towson University’s Theatre Design and Production program where he worked on multiple productions including, HAIR, Alchemy of Desire/Dean Man’s Blues, Three Sisters, and many others. Bryan represented Towson University at KCACTF for his puppetry design for HAIR. Bryan also has his Master’s from The Florida State University in Higher Ed Administration and Student Affairs, and currently works at Towson University for the Department of Housing and Residence Life.
Sarah Lynn Taylor (Artistic Associate) graduated magna cum laude from Towson University in 2006 with a B.S. in Theatre. While at Towson she had the pleasure of performing as Desiree in A Little Night Music, Margaret in The Marriage of Bette and Boo, and Ronny in Hair. In 2005 Sarah Lynn joined the cast of The Normal Heart at Towson for a staged reading to benefit World AIDS Day. Her thesis project – an original revue of Sondheim’s work entitled Just Another Love Story, explored the medium of the musical revue; eschewing the genre’s typical form as a series of disparate songs frivolously strung together, she, instead, approached it as a vehicle for allowing a new story with substantive value to emerge.After graduation Sarah Lynn appeared regularly on-air with WMAR as a traffic reporter. She has lent her voice to numerous television and radio advertisements, and also joined 100.7 The Bay, Baltimore’s Classic Rock – where she is entering her fourth year as a DJ with the station. Most recently she has appeared onstage in Run of the Mill Theatre’s Variations on Hope. Sarah Lynn is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Liberal Arts at Johns Hopkins University. She is thankful to be included in a company consisting of such accomplished, talented, and giving individuals.
Michele Minnick (Artistic Associate) is a performer, director, certified (Laban/Bartenieff) movement analyst, teacher and developer of performer training techniques in the U.S. and internationally – most recently Brazil, Poland and Israel. For ten years she worked with Richard Schechner and his company East Coast Artists in New York. As a master teacher of the rasaboxes and other approaches originated by Schechner, she also trains teachers of the work. (see www.rasaboxes.org)Since moving to Baltimore in 2008, Michele has been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at Towson University, including LGBT Theatre and Performance, Intro to Acting, rasaboxes-based movement courses and Theatre History (20th Century). With Iron Crow, she has performed in In Durang’s Shorts (Mrs. Sorken), and Brad Fraser’s Love and Human Remains(Candy), and directed Adam Bock’s Swimming in the Shallows. She will be performing in ICTC’s The Kathy and Mo Show/Parallel Lives at Baltimore Theatre Project in September/October. She has also performed with Naoko Maeshiba in Paraffin at Baltimore Theatre Project and Dance Space (DC).Michele expects to complete her PhD in Performance Studies (NYU), focusing on the relation between embodied performance practice and healing, in the coming academic year. An assoiate member of the International Society for Research on Emotion (ISRE), she is also a regular participant in Vertice Brasil, a Brazilian/South American contingent of the Magdalena Project, which is focused on developing and supporting the work of women theatre artists worldwide, and in Wordbridge, a U.S.-based laboratory for the development of new plays.