While the path Victoria Main has traveled includes performing on stages throughout the Midwest and New York City, the journey all began at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Seeing a production of Peter Pan the UW-Superior Theatre Department had produced and hearing many positive things about former instructor John Munsell led Main to enroll.
“It was really good,” she said. “John was really good about treating you like he knew you would be treated when you got out. It wasn’t a coddled sort of environment. It was really good.”
In the Theatre Department, Main was able to take part in all aspects of the productions.
“In a program like UW-Superior’s, you have the opportunity to basically do everything,” she said. “We learned about directing, marketing, the box office and promoting your shows.”
Main was able to strengthen her acting abilities in numerous productions by the department. She was even part of an original children’s show that toured area schools.
“It prepared me beautifully,” she said. “I felt a lot more prepared than I think a lot of people did when they graduated college. I felt like I had a much better handle on being a professional in theatre than people from other programs.”
That preparation included learning skills that are applicable in more areas.
“My first professional job out of college was in theater in Milwaukee,” Main said. “But my second professional job was in politics. It lends itself very well to communicating with a variety of different people, teamwork and the ability to manage people in different task areas.”
The tasks of running a campaign office and managing volunteers shares a variety of similarities with a theatre company.
“All the skills I learned were really applicable,” Main said. “It prepared me beautifully. We had people door-knocking and phone banking and several campaign appearances all in one day. It was chaos. It was an absolute miracle that it all worked, but I had a skill set that transferred very well to politics and I don’t think I would have had that skill set had I graduated from anywhere else.”
Career stops for Main included the Twin Cities where she lived and performed in several shows before moving to New York City and acting in shows there.
Main returned to Superior in 2011. In 2013, Munsell, the influential theater faculty member and mentor to so many, died after a brief illness. Main and his wife, Suzie, soon formed the John D. Munsell Legacy Fund, which is often better known as Twin Ports Stage.
“Everything I learned at UW-Superior set me up to do the Minneapolis and New York part and that part led to me forming a company in honor of John,” said Main.
Twin Ports Stage provides theatre, film, music, web content and creative collaborations, and has recently opened a new art gallery Art on the Plaza, located in the Belknap Plaza in Superior. While the organizers are still searching for a permanent home, Twin Ports Stage performs theatre and radio shows which helps contribute to a growing theatre scene in the Superior and Duluth area.
“One of the great advantages of the program here, is that there are five or six companies you can work with while you’re in school or when you graduate,” Main said. “In towns of this size, it’s pretty amazing to have that many options.”