Check out the past disasters! 

Welcome to the TWP archives!
  Most recent productions are toward the top of the page.


by Nick Payne
directed by Ryan Michael Decker

August 10 & 11, 2018
Dubuque Area Arts Collective

This spellbinding, romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman. But what happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know--delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny.

Constellations is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

The Brothers Grimm


by Don Zolidis
directed by Nicholas Johnson

January 26 & 27, 2018
The Masonic Lodge

The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm are turned on their heads in this fast-paced, rollicking ride as two narrators and several actors attempt to combine all 209 stories, ranging from classics like Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel & Gretel to more bizarre, obscure stories like The Devil's Grandmother and The Girl Without Hands. A wild, free-form comedy with lots of audience participation and madcap fun.

The Brothers Grimm Spectaculation is presented by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc., New York, NY.

Production pics coming soon!

Hand to God

by Robert Askins
directed by Ryan Michael Decker

August 4 & 5, 2017
The Smokestack

This new American dark comedy is set in the devoutly religious small town of Cypress, Texas. Pastor Greg has asked the recently widowed Margery to run the Fundamentalist church's puppet ministry. The teenage members of the club are her son, Jason; his girl-next-door crush, Jessica; and neighborhood troublemaker, Timmy. The clubs is set to perform at church next Sunday when Jason's puppet, Tyrone, takes on a life of his own. Apparently possessed by the devil, Tyrone exposes secrets among the Christcateers they would rather leave unacknowledged.

NOTICE: This production contains adult themes and language.

Hand to God is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Photo credits: Ryan Decker; promo photo by Nicki Kohl/TH

Production pics coming soon!

March 32nd [No Refunds]

April Fools' Variety Show

April 1, 2017
Monk's Kaffee Pub
Trainwreck Productions brings the hijinks at this April Fools' Day variety show with musical numbers, scenes, comedy, and more.
Production pics coming soon!

All Hallows' Eve Revue

Halloween Variety Show

October 19, 2016
The Smokestack

Trainwreck Productions hosts a spooktacular variety show fundraiser with Halloween-themed musical numbers, scenes, and comedy!

Production pics coming soon!  

The Mistakes

Madeline Made

by Elizabeth Meriwether
directed by the cast, assisted by Ben Johnson

August 5 & 6, 2016
The Smokestack

What happens if you just stop showering? The Mistakes Madeline Made is a twisted and hilarious coming-of-age story about a girl who develops Ablutophobia, the fear of bathing. Struggling with a soul-crushing job as a personal assistant, she wages a furious, funny war against all things complacent, pampered and clean. As her smell starts to overwhelm her co-workers and many casual lovers -- a series of bad poets -- the play raises the questions: Is dirty living a political act? And is clean living even possible in these times of unrest? An unlikely story of love and dirty people.

The Mistakes Madeline Made is performed entirely by TWP's CORE Company, directed by the cast with assistance from Ben Johnson and stage management by Emily Anderson. The show features Gwen (Beatty) Werner (as Edna), Melissa Goranson (Beth), Luke Lawson (Wilson), Nicholas Johnson (Buddy), and Logan Wright (Jake, Blake, Drake). The production contains strong adult content and language.

The Mistakes Madeline Made is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Photo credits: Andrea Becker


Production pics coming soon!  

Mr. Marmalade

by Noah Haidle
co-directed by Nicholas Johnson & Ben Johnson

January 29 & 30, 2016
The Smokestack 

Lucy is a four-year-old girl with a very active imagination. Unfortunarely, her imaginary friend Mr. Marmalade doesn't have much time for her. Not to mention he beats up his personal assistant, has a cocaine addiction, and a penchant for pornography and very long dildos. Larry, her only real friend, is the youngest suicide attempt in the history of New Jersey. The play is a savage black comedy about what it takes to grow up in these difficult times.

Mr. Marmalade is co-directed by TWP CORE company members Nicholas Johnson and Ben Johnson. The show features Melissa Goranson (Lucy), Danny Fairchild (Mr. Marmalade), Ann Kress (Sookie, Emily, a sunflower), Logan Wright (George, a cactus, a man), Ben Lewis (Larry), and Luke Lawson (Bradley). The production contains strong adult content and language.

Mr. Marmalade is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Photo credits: Nicholas Johnson; promo photo by Mike Burley/TH


Production pics coming soon!  


Playground Injuries 

by Rajiv Joseph
directed by the cast
assisant directed by Amanda Adams

November 20 & 24, 2015
The Smokestack

The lives of Kayleen and Doug insect at the most bizarre intervals, leading the two childhood friends to compare scars and the physical calamities that keep drawing them together.

Gruesome Playground Injuries is a full-length, darkly humorous drama by Rajiv Joseph featuring Gwen Beatty (Kayleen) and Ryan Michael Decker (Doug). The cast directs with assistant direction and stage management by Amanda Adams, and original music and auditory atmosphere by Ryan McMasters. The production contains adult content and language.

Gruesome Playground Injuries is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Photo credits: Tim Mehlhorn; promo photo by Mike Burley/TH


Avenue Q

June 11 & 12, 2015
Eronel Art + Music Venue
music and lyrics by Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx
book by Jeff Whitty
based on an original concept by Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx
directed and choreographed by Ryan Michael Decker
assistant directed by Gwen Beatty
sponsored by i.enhance studio, PKP Films, Tori Anderson, Sue & Duane Decker

This rated R, puppet-filled, laugh-out-loud musical tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that although the residents seem nice, it's clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

Filled with gut-busting humor and a delightfully catchy score, not to mention puppets, Avenue Q is a truly unique show that has quickly become a favorite for audiences everywhere. Although the show addresses humorous adult issues, it is similar to a beloved children's show; a place where puppets are friends, Monsters are good and life lessons are learned.

Avenue Q is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).  Avenue Q has not been authorized or approved by the Jim Henson Company or Sesame Workshop, which have no responsibility for its content.

Photo credits: Amanda Adams; promo photo by Mike Burley/TH


Hate Mail

by Bill Corbett and Kira Oblensky
directed by Gwen Beatty

 February 14 & 15, 2015
Monk's Kaffee Pub

Hate Mail is an epistolary play something like Love Letters, with two actors reading letters and other correspondence, but it's a little wilder and more hysterically funny. It tells the story of Preston, a spoiled rich kid who meets his match in Dahlia, an angst-filled artist. Their worlds collide when Preston sends a complaint letter that gets Dahlia fired from her job, and then there's no turning back. The play satys with their increasingly crazed correspondence as they move from hate to love, and then right back again.

Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (www.Playscripts.com)

Photo credits: Gwen Beatty



by Scott Keys & Rob Hartmann
directed by Ryan Michael Decker
October 31, 2014
Nash Gallery

This terrifyingly pun-filled, half-hour vaudeville performance was presented as part of the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society's Halloween bash and costume contest.

Presented by special arrangement with Rob Hartmann.

Photo credits: Kylie Weitz



by John Logan
directed by Michelle Blanchard

September 24 & 25, 2014
Voices Warehouse

Famed abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko has just been offered the biggest commission in the history of modern art.  He and his young assistant Ken work feverishly and ask:  What is art?  And who gets to decide anyway?

Produced in collaboration with Voices Productions for Voices X: Make Your Mark.
Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Photo credits: Michelle Blanchard, contributed by Doug Donald


Production pics coming soon!

Reefer Madness

The 'Hit' Musical

July 17 & 19, 2014
Eronel Art + Music Venue
book by Kevin Murphy & Dan Studney
music by Kevin Murphy, lyrics by Dan Studney
directed and choreographed by Ryan Michael Decker
assistant directed by Kylie Weitz, vocal music directed by Whitney Arnold

Inspired by the original 1936 film of the same name, this raucous musical comedy takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the hysteria caused when clean-cut kids fall prey to marijuana, leading them on a hysterical downward spiral filled with evil jazz music, sex and violence.

You won't be able to resist the spoofy fun of REEFER MADNESS.  The addictive and clever musical numbers range from big Broadway-style showstoppers to swing tunes like "Down at the Ol' Five and Dime" and the Vegas-style "Listen to Jesus, Jimmy," featuring J.C. Himself leading a chorus of showgirl angels. This dynamic show will go straight to your head!

REEFER MADNESS is a highly stylized satirical political commentary containing adult humor, religious parody, drug use, suggested violence and sexual explicitness.

Reefer Madness is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). 

Photo credits: Amanda Adams (performance and bios); Kylie Weitz (rehearsal); promo photo by Mike Burley/TH


Concert & Reading of

Doctor Faustus:

April 4 & 5, 2014
Dubuque Area Arts Collective
A Devilish New Musical

book, music, and lyrics by Ryan Michael Decker 

Join us for the world-premiere concert and reading of this musical's first draft.

A post-performance talk-back with the cast and writer invites you to participate in the creative process of this work-in-progress. This original musical imagines the plight of a well-respected medical doctor, John Faustus, in Great Depression America. To prevent the death of his wife, Faustus makes a hellish bargain. As he struggles to reclaim his eternal soul, Faustus misses out on a life that quickly passes him by.

Inspired by The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe (c. 1592) and 'Faust' by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (c. 1808), two acts are set 24 years apart and feature original blues and swing music. Songs include "More," "Devil Outta Here," "Sinners Down," "Where Off / Where Now," "Goin' Down to the Valley," "Seven," and many others.

Photo credits: Kylie Weitz


Love/Lust Cabaret

a special Valentine's Day project

February 14, 2014
Nash Gallery

Trainwreck Productions joins fellow Dubuque County Fine Arts Society affiliates to throw a Valentine's Day Party, featuring the closing of Nash Gallery's "Erotica" exhibit, live '50s pin-up models by Rogue Collections, romantic and erotic readings by Dubuque Area Writers Guild, and a musical cabaret by Trainwreck Productions.

Photo credits: Ivonne Simonds Fals


Production pics coming soon!

No Exit

by Jean-Paul Sartre
adapted from the French by Paul Bowles
directed by Alex McCarthy

January 17 & 18, 2014
The Dubuque Bike Coop

Three strangers are locked up together for eternity in one hideous room in hell.  The wondows are bricked up, there are no mirrors, the electric lights never turn off, and there is no exit.  Hell is not the rack and fire, but the burning humiliation of souls stripped by the cruel curiosity of the damned.

Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Photo credits: Andrea Becker


Fresh Ink 2: Herstories

directed by Mary Zanger

June 29, 2013
St. Mark Community Center

The second installment of Trainwreck's original short-play festival premiered the works of young Iowa writers -- three feminist plays.

Her Lover's Name by Andrea Berns, Waterloo, IA
A woman's psyche and shows us what happens when the past and the present intertwine.

The Dream by Tera Edmunds, Cedar Rapids, IA
The tangible and intangible aspects of the American dream for two women in a complicated friendship.

Swimming Lessons by Meg Bradley, Dubuque, IA
A teenage girl faced with a tough life decision shows us that sometimes we need others to remind us how strong we can be.

Photo credits: Ryan Decker


Community Cabaret

a special project for the Washington Neighborhood

June 6, 2013
Orange Park

The City of Dubuque and the Washington Neighborhood Development Corporation hosted the first annual Neighborhood Block Party. Neighbors planted a garden and painted a mural in the street. Trainwreck provided a mini-cabaret of musical theatre selections.

No production pics available. 

Taming of the Shrew:

Greatest Hits!

by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by Ryan Michael Decker

May 18-19, 2013
Gazebo Stage,
DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival

The remnants of Trainwreck's attempted production of Taming of the Shrew, DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival goers were assaulted with these random acts of violence and the show's greatest hits.

Photo credits: Paula Neuhaus

[title of show]

music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen, book by Hunter Bell
produced by Ryan Michael Decker
staged by Paige Triervieler
music directed/choreography by Sarah Elise Szeibel

January 4-5, 2013
Monk's Kaffee Pub

Can just four chairs and a keyboard make a musical? Struggling writers, Jeff and Hunter, hear about a new musical theatre festival with a submission deadline just three weeks away. With nothing to lose, the pair decides to write a new, original musical with the help of their friends Sasan, Heidi, and Mary on keyboard. Jeff and Hunter begin a conversation about what to write about, ultimately deciding to write about what to write about. [title of show] -- taken from the festival's application form -- follows the friends on a journey through the gauntlet of creative self-expression. In the span of 90 minutes, they write and perform their show at the festival and learn lessons about themselves as people, friends and artists.

Photos: Contributed


 The Importance of

Being Earnest

by Oscar Wilde
adapted and directed by Ryan Michael Decker

July 27-29, 2012
The Formal English Garden,
Dubuque Arboretum and
Botanical Gardens

Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrief brilliantly assume the fictitious personae of Ernest in order to escape their burdensome social obligations.  Their false identity, however, causes them greater headache when the women they love realize they claim to be the same Ernest.

Originally staged in 1895 London, England, this production of the classic show is told in the Formal English Garden with contemporary (dare we say "hipster") dress, and alley staging providing two distinct shows for the audience watch around it.  Full of Wilde's wit and zingers, this production promises to be uniquely theatrical and engaging.

Photo credits: Ryan Decker; promo photo by Mike Burley/TH


 Fresh Ink:
Barbies, Princesses, Starlettes

directed by Alex McCarthy
sponsored by the Loras Guild of St. Genesius

June 16, 2012
Gallagher Hall, Loras College

Better Off Dead by Kimberly Madden
After their happily-ever-after, this play imagines a fairy-tale prince and princess in couple's therapy.

One Shot by Alex McCarthy
When offstage actors hear an unexpected gunshot on the set of Hamlet, they plot how to take control of the situation.

A Barbie Story by Meghan Hartsell
Despite a dream-house, -car, and -career, Barbie lives anything but a dream-life with the demands of the modern world, her "boyfriend" Ken... and her sister Skipper.

Photo credits: Ryan Decker

 The Game

by Louise Bryant
directed by Alex McCarthy

August 20, 2011
American Trust River's Edge Plaza,
Port of Dubuque

A pair of approaching water's edge suicide attempts prompt the characters Life and Death to engage in their business-as-usual; a game for the live of musician Youth and dancer The Girl.  Life and Death make the competition interesting by allowing the two to meet, making the stakes of the game all-or-nothing.  Will the potential lovers choose Life, or will Death claim them both?  The game must be played.

Photo credits: Duane Decker


Edward Albee's

The Zoo Story

directed by Jadrien Schmidt

August 21, 2010
Washington Park

Jerry is a loner seeking companionship.  Peter is a business and family man seeking solitude.  A chance encounter of the two strangers, one stranger than the other, at a Central Park bench pushes the man on the straight and narrow to an act he didn't beleive himself capable of.

Catch the captivating one-act at either of the two showings -- one day only.  Don't forget to bring a folding chair - you're gonna need the edge!

Photo credits: Susan Decker


The 24-Hour

Theatre Project

A fundraiser for the 
Multicultural Family Center Drama Club

August 6-7, 2010
Mindframe Theaters

Teams drew a genre, character, prop, line of dialogue and were given 24 hours to write and rehearse a brand-new 7 to 15 minute play that performed in a world premiere workshop for an audience and judges the next night.

Thank you...
We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to everyone that made TWP's 24-Hour Theatre Project 2010 such a success. Congratulations to teams Magical Maple Syrup and River City Troupers for the outstanding plays! Special thanks to Mindframe Theaters for providing the venue and our judges Doug Donald, Lenore Howard, and Gary Arms for providing their expertise at the performance and workshop. The event raised our donation goal for Dubuque Multicultural Family Center's after-school Drama Club program!

The 2010 Plays...
Backtracking* by River City Troupers: Drama, splatula, rail conductor, "I don't suppose you have a better idea."
Adventures of Random Man by Magical Maple Syrup: Comedy, mirror, plumber, "Can we trust you?"

*People's Choice Award Winner

No production pics available.

Dr. Horrible's

Sing-Along Blog

July 30-August 2, 2009
Mindframe Theaters
book by Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, & Jed Whedon
music and lyrics by Joss Whedon & Jed Whedon
additional lyrics by Maurissa Tancharoen
directed & music directed by Sarah Elise Szeibel 

Dr. Horrible, an aspiring supervillian with his own video blog, is attempting to join the prestigious Evil League of Evil, but his efforts are thwarted by the egotistical superhero Captain Hammer. To make matters even worse, Hammer begins dating Horrible's crush - Penny, a beautiful and optimistic advocate for the homeless he meets at the Laundromat. Faced with the task of impressing the League and Bad Horse, the thoroughbred of sin, can Horrible overcome his own incompetence, ruin the day, kill the hero, and still get the girl?

A stage adaptation of writer-director Joss Whedon's sensational three-part web-series of the same title, the Trainwreck Production will include a touch of cinema and cinematic effects. The August 1st Midnight showing will also include a special audience superhero/supervillian costume contest. Don't miss out!

Photo credits: Kristina Nesteby

pool (no water)

by Mark Ravenhill
directed by Anna Troy
sponsored by Dubuque Senior Drama

May 15, 2009
Lamb-Hedeman Auditorium,
Dubuque Senior High School

A famous artist invites her old friends to enjoy her new pool.  Her friends have struggled to make a living as artists while she has acheived international success.  When the art world protegee encounters a horrific accident, her friends are pushed to a bold decision.  Could their friend, lying in a coma, become their greatest work of all?  Is this their chance for success?

Trainwreck Productions' inaugural performance, inspired by a true story, this shocking new play by British playwright Mark Ravenhill (author of Shopping and F**king) exposes professional rivalry, jealousies and the innermost thoughts nobody wants to confess.

Photo credits: Ryan Decker


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