Meet the Team

Lampost has always been more a team
of people than an organization. Over the years
more than 100 full-time staffers have formed
touring ensembles and resident teams, and
dozens of others have participated in
particular productions and projects.

Here you’ll meet the faces behind the curtain…

It began with a vision
& continues with a dream…

Lampost’s vision is to explore the artistic and communal process of theatre within the context of a creative, faith-based community to shed light on the struggles, lessons, defeats, and triumphs we call life. Our hope is to engage audiences in a deeper dialogue about meaning, purpose, and the journey we all share. Our delight is the discoveries that emerge from this dialogue– discoveries that transcend social, economic, or demographic separations.

Starting in 1980, Lampost operated a variety of touring ensembles performing original works ranging from sketch comedy to physical theatre and  musical productions. Their unique shows toured from coast-to-coast for audiences of all ages in any imaginable venue ranging from public schools and universities to country churches and state penitentiaries.

Training projects quickly became an essential part of our work. Helping others to overcome inhibitions and empowering them to express themselves creatively has an impact far beyond stage performance.  In addition to workshops, Lampost has prepared teams for summer street performance experiences in more than 20 countries, and developed training resources for a variety of settings.
Creative partnerships became another means to expand the Lampost experience beyond our own performance teams. Augmenting the goals of various organizations with the tools of creative expression and team formation, Lampost partners with schools and colleges as well as churches, professional groups, and mentoring organizations.

In 2003, Lampost embarked on a grand adventure: acquiring a retired funeral home, they converted it to a resident theatre combined with a full-service coffeeshop as well as studio and living space for resident team members. Drawing from the broader community and a nearby state university, we developed a wide variety of creative programming and honed our signature full-scale musical theatre productions.

In 2019, Lampost launched their “Oakwood Studio” based in Holland, MI. Here they have refocused on developing new material and exploring innovations in creative performance and media. They continue to launch periodic full-scale community productions in partnership with hosting organizations, and offer training and consultation in addition to their ongoing creative work.

Marsha Hanson

Marsha was part of our original national touring ensemble in 1981, and continues to bring delight to performances with her lively characterizations and comic timing. She is primarily responsible for developing Lampost’s unique mentoring and training program for dozens of short-term team members over the years, and has managed logistics ranging from community living to coffeehouse operation. She is frequently part of writing and developing performance material, and many of our major productions have come from her “middle-of-the-night hair-brain ideas.” Her design skills put the icing on the cake whether it’s converting a funeral home into a welcoming theatre space, creating an inviting coffehouse atmosphere, or dressing a mainstage production with her costume designs and set pieces.

Jeff Hanson

As creative director, Jeff is primarily responsible for bringing Lampost creations to life not only on stage but first on paper through writing and musical composition. He joined our team in 1981 and shortly after made the best decision of his life in marrying Marsha. Together they have been the creative team behind most of our undertakings on stage and off through training and outreach projects. Jeff is also the primary architect behind our media projects, ranging from creative use of video and projection in live performance to the creation of training videos and short-subject films. When not making things move on stage or on screen, he attempts to ignite creative inspiration in others through teaching and speaking.

Rae Starkenburg

Rae made her debut on stage before her first birthday, but never had time to become a stage brat — always ready with a hammer on set or creative use of a glue gun and colored paper to create something of visual delight. She studied theatre at Nortwestern College, and not only brings to Lampost her skills in movement and vocal performance, but contributes in choreography and directing as well. With her husband Jordan she shares a passion for improv as both a performance medium and a tool for releasing creativity and teamwork. On the other side of the creative spectrum, she enjoys manipulating digital imagery, creating animation, and editing video to engage viewers.

Jordan Starkenburg

Jordan has a knack for delivering a punchline whether it’s from a script, or one of his own improvised zingers. At Northwestern College he met Rae, and together they toured with the college’s improv team. They continue to train and direct improv teams with Lampost, and offer improv workshops as a way for others to discover and release their creativity in a context of community. Jordan has also influenced Lampost mainstage productions with his comedic writing and improv ability in shows like The Waiter. His skills extend far beyond comedy not only in a wide range of performances, but also as a musician, writer, and teacher.

– About Our Vision –
– Get Some History –

Click a link to get an ear full… Find out more about what makes us tick.

For more information on creative partnerships,
training opportunities, or hosting a production,
contact us here.