Joe Hanrahan | St. Louis Public Radio

Joe Hanrahan

 Joe Hanrahan (left) and Shane Signorino co-star in Midnight Company's "Popcorn Falls," opening Thursday night and running through April 13.
Midnight Company

Even after 40 years on stage, St. Louis actor Joe Hanrahan still relishes the nervous anticipation of opening a show. Each time he prepares to step into the spotlight, he asks himself, “Can we pull this off?”

Hanrahan, who co-founded the Midnight Company theater ensemble in 1997, has spent much of his career starring in one-person shows or playing multiple roles in shows with small casts. He thoroughly enjoys the prospect of rapidly switching between different characters onstage, say, from a 12-year-old girl to a misogynist older man.

It’s thrilling and also terrifying, especially just before the curtain goes up, like taking that first step onto a tightrope.

St. Lou Fringe Festival Left, Em Piro; Middle, Alicen Moser; Right, Joe Hanrahan
Alex Heuer

Four years ago, St. Lou Fringe set out on a “passion project” to create an event that provided a networking platform for emerging artists to gain exposure. The project became known as the “St. Lou Fringe Festival,” which includes 10 days of performances from a diverse variety of art forms, including slam poetry, magic, fashion design and street performance. The overall goal of the organization is to promote St. Louis as a “hotspot for cultural and economic vitality” through arts culture.

Quirky 'Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll' Opens Tonight

Jan 2, 2015
Courtesy of The Midnight Company

Among the tales of quiet desperation, there’s “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll” written more than 20 years ago by Eric Bogosian.

“He speaks to my generation,” actor Joe Hanrahan told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. “He grew up at the same time. He speaks, especially in this show, to the rock and roll life. To the pleasures it offers and the pitfalls. To him, it represents America: Both the things that we think of ourselves and the things that we do.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 16, 2011 - In a tremendous boost for the local performing arts scene, St. Louis will debut its own Fringe Festival next summer.

Local actor and festival executive director Emily Piro announced Thursday that a five-day St. Lou Fringe will take place June 21-25. "Connecting brave artists with bold audiences" is the concept behind the more than 100 performances to take place along the intersection of the Grand Center and Locust Business District areas.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 14, 2011 - The local group awarding prizes for excellence in drama is embroiled in a drama of its own.

Simmering dissatisfaction erupted into full-boil brouhaha when the Professional Theatre Council (PTC), presenters of the Kevin Kline Awards, revised the rules for theater company participation last year. Now, with the sixth annual awards ceremony just more than one week away, opinions are flying about what's wrong with the awards, how to fix them and whether they can -- or should -- even continue.