Since the Fall of 1999, Commedia Beauregard has been dedicated to creating “Theatre that is Beautiful in Expression”. That’s the meaning of our name, after all.
For the first few years of the company’s life, we produced comedies that celebrated the beauty and absurdity of life.
Commedia Beauregard was founded in Saint Paul, Minnesota, by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom (then, Christopher O. Kidder). The company’s first production was staged at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Cabaret Theatre in January 2000. Later that same year productions moved to the Phoenix Playhouse on Nicollet Ave in Minneapolis. CommBeau (what we often call the company for the sake of brevity) became a resident company of the Phoenix Playhouse, and relocated with them to the Union Depot in Saint Paul. The closure of the New Phoenix Playhouse in early 2002 led to the company becoming an intinerant and Fringe company for several years.
In 2006 the company shifted to a new mission, performing translated works. The first production of the new era took place at the Loading Dock Theatre in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It was The Jeweler’s Shop, a Polish play by Pope John Paul II. Subsequent works derived from Spanish, Czech, German, Russian, and French.
2007 saw the birth of a project that would raise CommBeau’s profile to the national and international scene. A Klingon Christmas Carol was first performed as a One-Night-Only gala event at the University of Minnesota-Saint Paul Campus’s Student Center. The public reception was so positive that the show has been remounted every year since, first as a short-run production, and then as a regular 5+ week part of every season.
Commedia Beauregard continued to explore other types of translation, as well. In 2009 the company launched its Master Works series in which playwrights are commissioned to “translate” paintings into works for the stage. That same year, CommBeau hosted a Midwest Translation Theatre Festival at the Paul & Sheila Wellstone Center in Saint Paul. The festival brought 5 companies together to present translated works from Guatemala, Argentina, Russia, Spain, Germany, and Sweden.
After 11 years in Minnesota, the company expanded its operations and produced one show in Chicago in 2010, as well as three productions in Minnesota. This effort resulted in the only time that we had shows playing simultaneously in two cities in December of 2010.
In early 2011 the Minnesota branch of the company suspended operations in the Twin Cities. A new corporation, Commedia Beauregard Chicago NFP, started up in Illinois, and the company relocated permanently to the Windy City. After a few productions at venues such as the Greenhouse Theatre Center and Gorilla Tango, the company has now settled in at the Raven Theatre, where we are proud to be a resident company of their West Stage.
Over our history we have endeavored to produce theatre with a high level of production standards and professionalism. We will continue to create theatre that lives up to our 3-point ideal to “Interpret. Understand. Perform.”