Leah's Train: Meet Actor Kevin Fanshaw

Travel through three generations of adventure, grief and love. Co-presented by 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities and the Sabes Jewish Community Center, we are pleased to bring you Leah’s Train by Karen Hartman March 7-22, 2015 (all performances at the JCC).  Before and during the run of this show, we will be giving you a chance to learn a little bit more about the artists involved in our production. In this first interview, meet actor Kevin Fanshaw.


Actor: Kevin Fanshaw
Actor: Kevin Fanshaw

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? How/when/why did you get into theatre?

I am 24 years old and was born and raised near Madison, WI.  I got into theatre part way through high school as a result of relentless peer pressure from my band and choir friends.  Particularly those falling into the ‘attractive-female’ category.  It is true that you can become an addict after trying something only once, and I’m hooked.  I could go on about what I’ve come to find beautiful about theatre, but what captured me from the start was the people.  Splendid, wacky, thoughtful, explosive, ridiculous people.

Is this your first show with 20% Theatre Twin Cities?


Tell us what originally drew you to the Leah’s Train script. What interested you in auditioning for this show/company?

I was initially drawn into the script by the character Ben.  I was coming off a show where half of the 10 characters I played were senior citizens, so accessing someone so immensely similar to myself was a welcome relief. I was not familiar with the history of 20% Theatre until I received a callback and did some research.  I was all the more excited about possibly working with the company after learning how devoted they were to promoting the work of women, and trans* individuals.  Last year I was living in Chicago and working for the Human Rights Campaign and I am always thrilled when two of my passions cross paths.

Tell us a little bit about the character you play?

Ben’s having a tough time. He’s just beginning to get over the loss of his mother, and coming to understand he can’t fully do that while he’s with his current girlfriend. As he emerges from mourning he’s unsure of his place in the world, who he is, and who he wants to become. The time has come, however, to find out.

What else do you do in the world, outside of theatre and/or working on this production?

I wait tables to pay the bills, and I enjoy getting paid for being kind and hospitable.  In my free time I cycle through a slew of hobbies: playing music, painting, creative writing, etc.  I also have a great desire to travel and am already looking forward to the next adventure.

What is your favorite thing about the Twin Cities?

I love all the local food and (especially) beer!

What is your favorite type of transportation?

Generally speaking, biking is the greatest way from A to B.  However, if I ever get another chance to ride on the rooftop of a bus through the Himalayan foothills… that kind of takes the cake.