Join us This August for our latest Original Musical (name still in progress) at The U of M Rarig Arena!
More info to come. Follow us on social media for immediate updates.
What The Audience Is Saying
"Talent! Talent! Talent" "Future Stars" "Crazy Amazing!" "Enchanting"
"A MUST SEE" "Go See This Show!!!" "So freaking funny and cute!" "Grand Fun!"
"Blow Us All Away" "The Best Show I've Seen at Fringe" "On the road to brilliance!" "A Delight"
"A totally inventive take on Shakespeare!" "THE MUSIC!!!!" "Shakespeare would be proud!"
"No frills. Nothing fancy. Just actors and an audience." "#omg #THEBESTFRINGE" "Wonderfully fun!"
"Multi-talented Group of Young Artists!" "Energetic, whimsical bard-iness"
- 2016 Fringe Festival Attendees
"How am I going to tell people what I saw tonight? Because they won’t understand how big it was and how important it was and how incredible it was. You know, I’ve been 45 years, maybe, doing this, and I have a bunch of friends and we talk about how often you see something that is so good, you’re changed by seeing it. And it’s so different, and so unexpected, that you’re changed by seeing it. We figured it’s like once every seven years you see something like that. I’ve got three or four of them and I’ve just added one."
- John Viars, Former President of AACT
"We can't decide if Skirmish is better during the loud choruses or the soft, tender duets, but we wouldn't change a thing. The fact that this show holds its own among seasoned professionals is proof that even greater things are still to come."
- The Elgin Review
What Is Skirmish of Wit??
SkyVault's latest original musical plays with the forces that cause inexplicable, contradictory motivations and self-destructive actions of characters on and off stage. Skirmish of Wit, accompanied by its original folksy-jazz score and songs, re-tells the age old story of boy meets girl, but what obstacles must they overcome? Using source material from William Shakespeare, SkyVault has updated, reconstructed, and written anew Much Ado About Nothing, with musical inspirations from contemporary folk artists such as The Oh Hellos, The Avett Brothers, and Johnny Flynn, to the jazz singers of the golden age like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday.
Want to learn more about our award-winning original musical On the Road to Verona?? <==
SkyVault originated in 2013, as an advanced acting workshop for seasoned members of Words Players Theatre, a community theatre centered in Rochester, Minnesota. Since then, it has turned into something much, much bigger, going on to win the 2014 Bottomless Hat Award for Best New Act at The Minnesota Renaissance Festival, as well as performing their original musicals at The Kansas City Fringe Festival, Chicago Fringe Festival, and The Minnesota Fringe Festival every year since 2016.
But don't think that's where it ends. No one currently in SkyVault is over 18. In fact, the oldest active member in the SkyVault records was only 23 when he decided to leave. What an old timer! In May of 2016, a group of nine teenagers collaboratively created On the Road to Verona, a musical-comedy adaptation of Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare, which went on to be nominated for and win more than a dozen awards, including Best of Fest at both the state and the regional level of the 2017 AACT*Fest where they received an overwhelmingly positive response from the judges and audiences alike. The following year, that same group, minus two members, collaboratively created Skirmish of Wit, another musical-comedy adaptation of another Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing, which in turn received very good reviews at both the Minnesota and Chicago Fringe Festival.
In addition to creating and touring their own original shows, SkyVault has an itching to play their music live for people all over the midwest. Dozens of theaters and coffee shops have had the pleasure of enjoying SkyVault's heartwarming and gentle ballads, as well as their raucous, foot-stomping jigs.
At The Renaisance Festival
The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is the largest renaissance festival in the United States, with an annual attendance of 300,000 people. SkyVault has been performing at there since 2014, where they were presented with the Bottomless Hat Award for Best New Act. The following year, after being asked to run the Sherwood Forest section of the festival, the small ensemble of 9 had to expand to a cast of more than twenty, occupying the cast of merry men, archers, and musicians, and has become one of the largest areas within the Festival grounds.
From their first year there, and many, many times since, performers who have been performing at the Festival longer than any of the SkyVault members have been born have shown encouragement, respect, and pure excitement for the group. From The King of the grounds to The Danger Committee, and almost every act in between, has taken a moment out of their day to give words of advise and encouragement to the eager-to-learn group.
SkyVault: The Cast
Olivia O’Neil has collaborated in writing four original musicals, and created the award winning character of Julia in On the Road to Verona in 2016. Since then she has toured the Midwest with both plays and live music, in addition to numerous experiences in various production roles including teaching and costuming. She was also a part of the original cast of Sherwood Forest at The Minnesota Renaissance Festival in 2015, where she and the cast were nominated for Best Street Act.
Instruments: Clarinet, Guitar, Ukulele
Alexis O’Neil originally joined an acting class at the age of 7, not knowing what she was herself into, and has never left. Almost a decade later, she's been a key component in SkyVault, especially recently in live music events, where she contributes her beautiful voice. Although still fairly new to SkyVault "proper", she has had several years of experience at The Minnesota Renaissance Festival, and is now a core member of the troupe, while working on their newest production.
Nickname(s): Lexi, Willie
Eamon Driscoll could be classified as the class clown, but underneath his goofy facade, is a 15 year old kid with more than a decade of theatrical and musical experience. Since his premier at the age of 4, he's collaboratively created plays, filled in roles last minute, and instructed several physical combat classes. In addition to contributing his acting skills, he has also created and co-created several logos and graphic designs for SkyVault and Words Players productions. At this point for Eamon, there's no end in sight.
Instruments: Percussion, Mandolin
Nickname: Wally, FluffMuffin
Josiah Novinger, with over 10 years of theatre experience under his belt, has been involved in over a dozen company productions, including being on the creative team that developed the original musical On the Road to Verona for which he was a part of bringing home the Outstanding Achievements In Ensemble Performance. Since 2016, he has had work at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival as part of the core performing ensemble and has also had directing, set design and musical roles since joining SkyVault in 2015.
Instruments: Harmonica, Guitar
Aidan Driscoll made his first appearance at age 6 in an amateur version of A Charlie Brown Christmas and has been part of collaboratively creative ensembles since 2012, when a group wrote an original, onstage, silent "movie", The Sky is Falling! which Included sight gags and slapstick comedy and was performed with the set surrounding the audience. Since then, he has acted in dozens of productions, and has written music for and acted in plays such as On the Road to Verona(Best Supporting Actor Nominee), Skirmish of Wit, and Book Travelers. As a seasoned musician and writer, he has performed throughout the Midwest in several Fringe Festivals, countless coffee shops, expansive stages and auditoriums where he has received national awards for Outstanding Achievement In Live Original Music at both the state level as well as Region V and a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in a Featured Role for Mike in On the Road to Verona at the 2017 AACT*Fest.
Instruments: Guitar, Balalaika, Ukulele
Logan Guo has collaborated on writing original shows and music for several years now, and has written numerous songs with SkyVault. He contributed largely to the Outstanding Achievement In Live Original Music award for MACT*Fest 2017 due, partly, to his creation of a brand new instrument, the 1/2 buh. Playing at numerous live music events and having toured the Midwest with SkyVault, his performance experience stretches over 8 years, and at this point, has no intention to stop.
Instruments: Banjo, Bass, Trumpet
Morgan Guo is one of the newest additions to the current SkyVault troupe, but has been very subtly contributing to the group for years. Although her official acting debut is yet to come (this August) she has performed improvisationaly with SkyVault numerous times in the past, as well as filling in for other parts. There's no doubt she has the potential to be an incredibly influential member to SkyVault
Instruments: Saxaphone, Melodica
Nickname: The Qjirnal (Colonel)