Steve hails from Hollidaysburg, PA (home of the Slinky). He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in English from Penn State in 1974. After working for a year in Kansas City as a librarian, he carefully researched areas of the country he thought would be suitable to live in and moved to the Twin Cities.
He began work here as a writer, with pieces published on local history, electric cars, and more. To supplement his freelance work, he decided to look for a temporary job and walked into the Acme Employment Agency in St. Louis Park, which he chose because its name was straight out of a Roadrunner cartoon. There he met an employment counselor named Sharon Selberg, who helped him find some jobs with an ad agency and as an office manager for Wheelock Whitney. They kept offering him full-time work, but he didnt want to commit to anything long-term . However, his connection to Sharon did turn long-term, and theyve been together now 40 years.
Steve started doing backstage work at Centre Stage in the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis Park, including running the act curtain for Chicago. Since there was a lot of cross-pollination of talent between Centre Stage and Theatre in the Round, he found his way to his first show at TRP in 1979, running the backstage crew on Auntie Mame. It was also the first TRP show for Sharon, who has been a regular presence at TRP ever since, along with working as a freelance prop designer, production assistant and location scout for films, commercials, industrials and other theaters.
Theatre in the Round Players had incorporated in October 1952, the same month and year Steve was born. Karen Knudsen was TRPs first administrator, coming on board in the mid-60s and subsequently serving as board member, Board president, and managing/ exec director. She and officers of the Board Dick and Kay Fliehr presided over signal milestones in TRPs history such as a move to Cedar Avenue in 1969 into the former Bimbos Pizza Parlor and Dance Emporium, which was redesigned by the architectural firm Ralph Rapson & Associates into a unique arena stage, where 245 seats surround the action. Karen was also at the helm when TRPs 1973 production of The Unknown Soldier by Warren Frost won the state and national community theatre festivals and then played to acclaim at the international festival in Monaco.
From his backstage work, Steve joined the theatres Technical Board and then, by 1983, president of the Board of Directors. After Karen Knudsens departure in 1984, he became executive director.
During his tenure, Theatre in the Round has:
* transformed the century-old building at Seven Corners into the magnificent resource it is today. The 1985 blueprint paint job gave it an iconic look and national recognition on the cover of Theatre Craft magazine.
* created the 1988 Radio in the Round Series with KFAI Radio broadcast live shows from the arena, including live sound effects, artists from the community, and professional directors.
* began a youth program in 1989 under artistic directors Jacie Knight and Laura Rudy. This Youth Performance Company proved so successful that it established itself as an independent theatre group in 1993, performing since then at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.
* served as one of the West Bank theatres to host the first Minnesota Fringe Festival in 1994. It continues to be a venue the first part of August each year.
* produced two half-hour original plays as telecasts in 1995 under the program TRP-TV that were shown over cable TV.
* celebrated its 50th season in 2001-02, marking this milestone with a special slate of titles and directors and the largest capital campaign in its history, transforming its home into one of the most attractive and accessible theatres in the area for audiences while improving technical shops and adding facilities for its artists.
* begun transforming its exterior with murals created by the renowned artist John Pugh.
TRP-related stats include:
* 2017-18 is TRPs 66th Anniversary Season.
* It is the longest-running theatre in Minneapolis, second only to Old Log in Excelsior as oldest non-academic theatre in the Twin Cities.
* TRP produces 9 shows each year on its arena stage.
* Its listing of 3,000+ actors, as well as artistic directors, designers and technicians, is often used by theatres, casting agencies, filmmakers, and others.
* In the biennial Festival of American Community Theatre (now AACTFest), TRP has won first-place at the state level seven times, first-place at the regional level twice, and a national title.
* TRPs library of scripts has computerized indexes of more than 3,900 play titles, as well as books on theatre crafts and history.
* Its 27,500+ square feet houses the stage, rehearsal space, makeup and dressing rooms, scene shop & storage, costume shop & storage, props storage, lighting/sound work areas & storage, a recording studio, offices, a library, meeting rooms, and more.
People: The theatre maintains a paid staff of three full-time and two part-time positions. Besides Steve as executive director, they include
Greg Johnson, Assistant Administrator;
Pat Moses, Graphics / Webmaster / Media Contact.
Toni Solie, Technical Volunteer Coordinator;
Eric Gustafson, Technical Director.
This small staff is supported by more than 300 volunteers every season. The theatre has more than 600 registered members, and more than 600 actors audition for shows every year. TRP does not have an artistic director but hires professional directors for each production and selects plays by committee.
Theatre in the Round volunteers have been researching the history of TRP for the past 5 years in an effort to create a video documentary that is now in the editing stages. Some highlights are online at http://www.theatreintheround.org/about-trp/history-of-trp/.
According to TRP volunteer Mary Kaeding, Steve Antenucci is wellconnected in the arts ommunity, and well-loved by directors, actors, designers, techies, and audience members. Watching him move through the building and interacting smoothly, warmly, efficiently with people of all roles and needs is like watching a finely-calibrated machine do what it was engineered for.
Further, Steve brings his librarians sense of organization to benefit the theatre greatly, maintaining a robust database of shows and other background information to augment his own capacious memory. Finally, she says, He is also stubbornly, wonderfully analog, maintaining our impressive archives of show materials and photos going back to our very first show, Life with Father. Hes one of a kind.
Steve has acted in exactly one show at TRP Six Characters in Search of an Author in 1987, in which he played the cameo role at the top of the show as the theatres manager.
Its fitting that after MACT has had its official mailing address at Theatre in the Round, and the Fliehr Award was established here in 1998, four Theatre in the Round Players have been recipients Kay and Dick Fliehr, who were incredible inspirations for the growth of community theatre across the country; 2007 recipient Bob Healy, a past TRP and MACT board member; and now Steve Antenucci.
In recognition of his exceptional service to Theatre in the Round, to the Twin Cities and statewide theatre communities, and for the organizational processes he has developed and maintained that have kept his theatre in the black for most of its 66 seasons, on this 19th day of September, 2017, we present Steven Antenucci with the 2017 Fliehr Award for Exceptional Service to Minnesota Theatre .