RAYE BIRK (WELLER MARTIN) has been a professional actor for more that 43 years and has worked at numerous regional theatres including the Milwaukee Rep., the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Rep., South Coast Rep. in Costa Mesa, CA and the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Birk is a native of Flint, MI and his theatre training includes degrees from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and an MFA from the University of Minnesota. He was the recipient of a McKnight Fellowship and a Fox Foundation Fellowship. He performed for nine season with the American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco, playing leading roles in The Browning Version, The Three Sisters, Pantagleize, Equus, Travesties, Hotel Paradiso, A Christmas Carol, A Moon for the Misbegotten and The Taming of the Shrew. He returned to ACT for five years to recreate his highly-acclaimed performance as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. During the 20 years he lived in Los Angeles he appeared in nearly 150 television show, including recurring roles on LA Law, The Wonder Years, Coach, Cheers, Silk Stalkings, Dear John, The Popcorn Kid and The Black Scorpion as well as episodes of Babylon 5, X-Files, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Touched by an Angel, ER, Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, Star Trek, Picket Fences, Alf, Perry Mason and numerous TV movies. His feature films appearances include Doc Hollywood, Throw Momma From the Train, The War of the Roses, Naked Gun & Naked Gun 33 1/3, Class Act and Burglar. Since moving to the Twin cities he has done four feature films here: Factotum, North Country, Sweetland and A Serious Man. In spring of 2003 Birk and his wife Candace Barrett moved back to the Twin Cities where he has since appeared in 27 productions at the Guthrie Theater, including The Sunshine Boys, Long Days Journey Into Night, Othello, A Delicate Balance, Faith Healer, Pride and Prejudice, 1776, The Great Gatsby, Third, The Winter's Tale, Pygmalion, His Girl Friday, MacBeth, The Crucible, West Side Story and four seasons as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Other Twin Cities appearances include Old Wicked Songs with Theatre Latte Da, The Last Word with the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, and King Lear at Park Square Theatre. He joined Mark Rylance and the cast of Nice Fish at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, continuing the run at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End. Birk created and teaches an ongoing training studio at the Guthrie for professionally oriented performers, The Actors Work Out.
CANDACE BARRETT BIRK (FONSIA DORSEY) has been involved in many facets of the arts community throughout her career as actress, teacher, director, designer and administrator. She has been a member of the acting companies of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the American Conservatory Theatre and has performed locally at Live Action Set, Hippocrates Café, Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, Theatre in the Round, The Open Eye Figure Theatre, PRIME Productions (where she recently appeared as Gertrude Stein in Little Wars) and the Guthrie (where she has appeared in several productions including most recently as The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet.) She is the former Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles and of Mythica: The Center for World Mythology. Candace has also directed for the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, SecondWind, University of Southern California and the American Conservatory Theatre. She has served as Director of the Young Conservatory at the American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco, CA), Founder and Director of The Academy of Theatre and Media Arts (San Francisco, CA), Associate Professor of Theatre at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX); Adjunct Professor of Theatre at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA); and Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing at San Francisco State University. Other projects have included serving on numerous boards and national panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Humanities; developing design and content for an equine theme park in Dubai, developing the primary concept for a Peace Center in Korea and writing K-12 mythology curriculum for the Joseph Campbell Foundation. She recently completed a post-baccalaureate certificate program in Integrative and Healing Therapies at the University of Minnesota. She practices health coaching at Portals. She teaches acting at the Guthrie.