Happenstance Theatre

HAPPENSTANCE THEATER is a professional company committed to devising, producing and touring original, performer-created visual, poetic Theatre. Our six-member ensemble is made up of multi-talented performers who craft all aspects of our work from concept to realization. Under the artistic co-direction of Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell we harvest imagery from the past and re-contextualize it in works that address eternal themes of life and death. With the simplest means – humor, music, movement, silence, text and beauty – we seek to elevate the moment when the performers and audience meet, to lift the encounter beyond the daily and pedestrian into the realms of dreams, poetry, and art. Meaning is often discovered by happenstance.


Happenstance Theater Happenstance Theater

Madeline McNeil

Madeline MacNeil’s audiences hold their collective breath as the last notes of her songs drift into the tableau of stages large and small. Since 1972, when she began performing in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, Madeline’s goal has always been to bring listeners into the song. Her interest in stories first brought the mountain and hammered dulcimers to her attention, for they are part of this country’s musical history. This is part of Madeline’s treasure as a performer: she sings and tells the stories with her beautiful voice and exceptional dulcimer skills.

www.madelinemacneil.com www.madelinemacneil.com

John Durant, Troubadour

From half a dozen kids at the single-street New Market Day’s Festival to an audience of several thousand at the Children’s Festival for the Chesapeake Bay, (Pier Six Music Pavilion, downtown Baltimore), the “Old World Troubadour” John DuRant has performed for children of all ages with his old-favorites-songs and more recent tunes, as well as his many stories – acted out as much as told.


Donna is a classical pianist and hammered dulcimer player. Donna teaches piano privately and plays the hammered dulcimer at various venues and events.
These airs possess a certain charm of years long gone by, and are still enchanting to our souls today.

Music is many things for me… it is something I do for enjoyment and relaxation, and I also perform on various occasions. My instruments are a gorgeous Dusty Strings D650 and the D45 hammered dulcimer, with very rich tone and a long sustain. .

Terry Bender

Organ Grinder, Terry Bender, is a popular entertainer at fairs and other outdoor community events in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC and in the District of Columbia. At events where families are expected, such as art and craft shows, seasonal fairs, and community events, the organ grinder is both festive and historical.

Douglas Jimerson

Jimerson began his career singing with the Washington Opera and gave his debut recital at Carnegie Hall in January 1996. He was well received in New York and obtained his first major accolade with a positive review of his Carnegie Hall recital by The New York Times. He has performed various times at the Kennedy Center and is a regular performer for the National Park Service for historical events and national and state holidays.

Jimerson is a Lincoln scholar. He has recorded several CDs of the music enjoyed by Abraham Lincoln, has been interviewed by National Public Radio about Lincoln and music, and is publishing a biography about Abraham Lincoln. He sings in the tenor range and rarely has been known to sing in falsetto.[1]

Dominion 4

The Dominion 4 barbershop quartet formed late in 2003 to sing 4-part harmony when Loudoun County’s newly formed barbershop Chorus of the Old Dominion needed people to deliver Singing Valentines in February of 2004. The first time that Bob Rodriguez (Tenor), Ray Sitter (Lead), Frank Shipp (Baritone), and Dave Updegrove (Bass) met to practice, they found they had the all-important blend of personalities, and a good vocal blend. With similar ideals of entertaining and a “leaning towards humor”, they set to work to become a top-notch barbershop quartet, and the first to emerge from the Loudoun County chorus.


Sunnyland Band

For over 40 years, Slim has performed at Schools and Festivals, Hoedowns & Throwdowns all over North America and around the world. Slim has had the privilege of performing with Pete Seeger, Bud & Ola Belle Reed, John Jackson, Patsy Montana, Blind Rev. Pearly Brown, Ella Jenkins, Jean Ritchie, John “Kinderman” Taylor, Ralph Lee Smith, Guy Davis, and numerous other musicians at festivals, conferences, hoedowns, house concerts & street corners.