Bear Girl

By JC Luxton
Directed by Cait Bodenbender
June 2013

“Likely one of the best locally written and staged works done by any company in the area…”
David Burke, Quad-City Times

“J.C. Luxton’s writing has a beautiful eloquence about it… an unmistakable feel of authenticity… His Bear Girl is a worthy addition to the troupe’s history of exceptional productions of exceptional works.”
Thom White, River Cities’ Reader

“…a riveting performance of bold acting.”
Ashley Gomez, Dispatch-Argus

Photo Gallery on Flickr
Beth Woolley in Bear Girl
Beth Woolley in Bear Girl

Part of the Prenzie Players New Works Series.

A world premiere written by Prenzie co-founder JC Luxton, Bear Girl is a story of women and war and the young man who will become Black Hawk.

Bear Girl, daughter of a Sauk chief, burns with the certainty her mother still lives as a prisoner of her people’s enemies.  After hearing a young man urging war, she begins manipulating family and friends to promote him as a leader, instigating an epic struggle for control of the Midwest. Bear Girl is a story of women’s power in a time of war.


Behind the Scenes of Bear Girl

For more information, note also the preview articles in the River Cities’ Reader (Mike Schulz), Quad-City Times (David Burke) and Dispatch-Argus (Jonathan Turner).

Poster for Bear Girl

Bear Girl was first performed by Prenzie Players at QC Theatre Workshop on June 14, 2013.  The production was directed by Cait Bodenbender; the field recordings and soundscapes were by Terry Skaggs, bird and beaver taxidermy were by Merideth Nepstad, fight choreography and weapon construction were by Aaron Sullivan, and the lighting design was by William Scot Grecco Bray; the stage manager was Chris Sanders-Ring.


The Cast

Cole McFarren 
Yellow Thunder

Angela Rathman  
Water Lynx
The Venerable Woman of the Eagle Name

Beth Woolley       
The Venerable Woman of the Fish Name
Already Fish
Peeks Her Head Out
Niabi, a Down Below prisoner

Maggie Woolley   
The Venerable Woman of the Bear Name
Molting Feather
An Anonymous Down Below warrior
Singing Bird
White Bear

Jake Walker  
Black Falcon
The Venerable Woman of the Thunder Name
An Anonymous Down Below warrior

Jarrod DeRooi  
Shining Shoulder
An Anonymous Down Below warrior
The Venerable Woman of the Fox Name

Jeremy Mahr 
Blessinghouse Man
The Venerable Woman of the Groundnut Name

Andy Lord
White Feather
The Venerable Woman of the Wolf Name
Swing Round Towards Me

Becky Wren
Flying Over
The Venerable Woman of the Buffalo Name

Matt Moody
Swollen Hand

And Introducing
Jen Brown as
Bear Girl

Creative Team

Costume Design: Jarrod DeRooi, Angela Rathman, Beth Woolley, Becky Wren, Cait Bodenbender
Costume Construction: Jarrod DeRooi, Becky Wren
Field Recordings & Soundscapes: Terry Skaggs
Set Design: Cait Bodenbender & THE CAST
Set Construction: Gini Atwell, Andy Lord, Lauren Moody, Matt Moody, Catie Osborn, Jake Walker, Beth Woolley, Becky Wren
Lighting Design: William Scot “Grecco” Bray
Lighting Engineer: Chris Sanders-Ring
Property Master: Angela Rathman
Fight Choreography & Weapon Construction: Aaron E. Sullivan
Mistress of Taxidermia: Merideth Nepstad
Publicity & Design: Denise Yoder & Catie Osborn
Sound Engineer: Jessi Beshears
Stage Manager: Chris Sanders-Ring
Director: Cait Bodenbender and THE CAST

The following persons provided either housing, nourishment, or support; offered wise critiques of earlier drafts; or endured persistent and niggling questions concerning minutiae:

  • Michelle Baugher, Stephanie Burrough, Kelly Collins, Kate Farence, Ives Goddard, Sara James-Childers, Danger Jarratt, Andy Koski, John & Sheryll Luxton, Jeb Makula,Catie Osborne, Dave Post, Regina Schantz, Tracy Skaggs, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, Hynden Walch
  • Beth Carvey & the Hauberg Museum at Black Hawk State Park
  • Tyson Danner & QC Theatre Workshop
  • Preston Duncan & the Meskwaki Nation
  • Stella Nullake & the Sac-Fox Nation
  • Regina Tsosie, Larry Lockwood, & the Native American Coalition of the Quad Cities