Bain Boehlke to retire from the Jungle in 2015

Bain Boehlke in <em>A Life in the Theater</em>.

Bain Boehlke in A Life in the Theater.

Jungle Theater founder and guiding spirit Bain Boehlke will step aside after more than two decades in charge in June 2015. Boehlke, the company's artistic director, made the announcement Monday evening to the Jungle Board.

The veteran director and actor has been a part of the Twin Cities theater community for more than half a century, and has been seen in such diverse roles as the wicked stepmother in Cinderella at the Children's Theatre Company to a memorable bit part in the Coen brothers' Fargo.

Since founding the Jungle in 1991, Boehlke -- who turns 75 on Wednesday -- has guided the company from its beginnings as a storefront theater on Lake and Lyndale to a vital player in the local theater ecology. Along the way, there have been tremendous hits and strong artistry on the stage, which included a move to the theater's present location a block or so away from its original home. Boehlke was honored for his decades of high-quality work with a Lifetime Achievement Ivey Award in 2011.

Of course, the final transition is still a year in the future. In the meantime, the board will search for an interim and permanent replacement for Boehlke. He also won't be resting anytime soon. Boehlke is scheduled to direct and star in the Jungle's production of On Golden Pond, which opens November 7.

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