Meet Board Member, Gordy Handeland

Gordy Handeland is one of the newer members of MACT’s Board. He was raised on the family farm near Austin and has lived in the area all his life. He has 4 older sisters. His first memory of seeing live theatre was when his sister was in the high school production of “Lil’ Abner” when he was about 6 years old. He was in his first production in high school, “Brigadoon”. He didn’t get cast in the next show he auditioned for, so he took a little break from theatre … for about 17 years.

During that break Gordy got married, had two kids and finally retired, He reignited his love of theatre when he was cast as Bert Healy in “Annie” in 1989. Since then, Gordy has been involved with many theaters in southern Minnesota as an actor, director, set designer, and set builder. He was Austin High School’s theater director from 2014 until Covid hit. He currently works with several theatres, including Albert Lea Community Theatre, Summerset Theatre in Austin, Rochester Civic Theatre and Little Theatre of Owatonna. He also spends a lot of weekends doing autocross time trials and has won several regional class championships.

Gordy’s favorite show is when he directed “A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder” last fall in Owatonna. He fell in love with this show the first time he saw it. He was supposed to direct the same show at two different theaters in 2020, but there was not much going on in the theater that year! At Owatonna, he was working with a new theater, a new staff, crew and cast. What fun! He was so thrilled to get this production on stage. Someday he would like to be involved in “Les Miserables”. He have always loved the show. It had just a small pocket of time to get the royalty. He would be content to be in it in any role.

Gordy’s favorite story is from when he directed “Misery” in a small theater. Great cast. During one of the shows, the character, Paul Sheldon, was getting in his new wheelchair when one of the front wheels broke off! He was supposed to go to another room while Anne was out of the house. So, he plopped down and crawled to the next room and then had to hurry back when he heard her car approaching. He made eye contact with the backstage people but they were too busy laughing to help him. We still have great laughs talking about it.