If the Spirit Moves

Book and Lyrics by Germaine Shames; Music by Erin Murray Quinlan


A disillusioned expat Dadaist artist returns after World War I. Needing to earn a living, she sets out to impersonate a spirit medium—only to discover that she is the real deal.  A war hero, a charity matron mourning her daughter, and a young widow flock to the reluctant medium and are spontaneously healed. A wealthy male client falls in love with her. When her former love comes courting in the form of a directionless Dada poet, she must choose, not only between two men, but two radically different outlooks on life.  If the Spirit Moves is a tender tale of recovery and healing in which rich and poor, living and dead, transcend their differences through laughter, tears, and hope for a brighter tomorrow. 


Cherry and Spoon " . . . lovely songs and great performances by the cast."

Twin Cities Stages " . . . a beautiful show that continues in Theatre Elision's tradition of producing new or rarely seen musicals, usually around 90 minutes in length, that center around the stories of women."

Minnesota Playlist " . . . if you are a music fanatic, this cabaret-style evening will have you on the edge of your seat. All of the performers, but particularly the female performers, are unbelievably talented."



CCX News previews "If the Spirit Moves"

Cast & Creative

Germaine Shames (Book and Lyrics), winner of her state’s Literary Fellowship in Fiction, is author of the award-winning novels, Between Two Deserts and You, Fascinating You.  Writing under the pen name Casper Silk (Hotel Noir, Echo Year), she has been compared to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Graham Greene and P.D. James “on steroids”. A returning playwright, Shames majored in Theatre as an under-graduate. In 2017-18, the playwright celebrated the New York City premiere of her musical comedy, Anna Karenina Lives!, the selection of her drama-thriller, The Degenerates, for Williams Street Rep’s LAB New Play Series, her adaptation,The Virgin and the Gypsy, for the Festival of New American Theatre, and her musical, The Manifesto, for the Art of Adaptation Festival. Her bio-drama, The Higher Love, recently won three national workshop competitions. Her adaptation, The Lost Girl, won Starlight Theater’s 2019 Playwriting Award. Her opera, Last American Dream, will premiere at the University of Costa Rica later this year.


Erin Murray Quinlan (Music) is an NYC and London based writer of book, music and lyrics. Her latest Off-Broadway production, God Save Queen Pam, was published by Stage Rights in early 2019. In addition, her work has been produced around NYC, Boston, LA, London, and beyond. She is an alum of the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Advanced Workshop, Berklee College of Music, and the EAMA-Nadia Boulanger Institute in Paris. She is currently working on an investigative piece about a small-town English vicarage that harbored a war criminal during World War II. 


Serena Brook* as Daphne

Theatre Elision debut! Off-Broadway: Dear Edwina, National Tour: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical, Radio/TV: Live From Here w/ Chris Thile (3 seasons) Regional: The Guthrie’s Dowling Studio, Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, New London Barn Playhouse, 24 Hour Plays, Kennedy Center, Shadowland Theatre, Cape Rep Theatre. Serena’s voice can also be heard on regional and national commercials. www.serenabrook.com

Christine Wade* as Desiree

Christine is an actor, vocal director, and voice teacher in the Twin Cities. Her recent credits include roles with Theatre Elision in Ruthless, Sea Cabinet, Gone Missing, Melancholy Play - A Chamber Musical, Ragtime Women and Ghost Quartet. She spent eight months as a production singer aboard the cruise ship, Celebrity Equinox. A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, she teaches students as far away as Russia and Israel through her Skype Voice Studio. 

Janet Trow* as Lady Aspen

Janet Hayes Trow has lived in the Twin Cities for close to 30 years, working at the Guthrie, the Ordway, the History Theatre, and most often at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, where she has performed in over 50 productions. Favorite roles include Lena Lamont in Singin in the Rain, Marian in the Music Man, Polly in Crazy For You and Lizzie Curry in the Rainmaker. New York credits include Off-Off Broadway and Radio City Music Hall; regional work took her to  St Louis, Ft Worth, American Hawaii Cruises,  and her native Colorado where she wrote and performed at the Crystal Palace in Aspen. She is very happy to be working with Theatre Elision!!

Abilene Olson as Mrs. Barnes

Abilene Olson is thrilled to be back at it with Theatre Elision! She returned from Columbia, Missouri where she received her BFA in Theatre Art from Stephens College. You may have seen her in Gone Missing or as Ashley in Ain’t it a Grand and Glorious Feeling with Theatre Elision, or as Rita in Imagine Theatre’s A Part of Me. 

Ben Heer as Edward

Ben is thrilled to debut with Theatre Elision. Ben also works as an understudy and board operator with Stevie Ray's Comedy Cabaret and a tour guide at the Wabasha Street Caves. Recently, he has performed in the Zephyr Theatre's production of Comedy of Errors and Daytrippers Dinner Theatre's production of Spirit Level. 

Kyler Chase as Kurt

Kyler is very excited for his first production with Theatre Elision! Previous Twin Cities credits include Lyric Arts, Shoot the Glass, Actors Theatre of MN, Artistry, Aethem Theatre Company, Chameleon Theatre Circle, Box Wine Theatre, and Brave New Workshop’s Six Ring Circus.  

* Members of Actors Equity Association


Piano:            Harrison Wade


Production Team

Director:                     Lindsay Fitzgerald

Stage Manager:         Z Makila     

Music Director:          Harrison Wade

Vocal Director:           Christine Wade