Desperate Fo​r Approval

Elise Whitesparks began acting in middle school in a production of Fiddler on the Roof, which has remained one of her favorite musicals. Theater talent runs in Elise’s family - her dad was once involved in a well reviewed prison production of A Christmas Carol.  Elise lends her talents with make-up, a teasing comb, costumes and accents to Desperate for Approval.  

Eric Johnson is a lover of smokey scotch, and a jack of many trades, but a master of none. You may see him performing on stage, working on the set behind the scenes, running lighting and sound in the booth, or awkwardly flirting with your friends and family at a local pub.

Liz Eccher Liz Eccher is much funnier and better at writing than Marino Eccher. Though she currently lives in Los Angeles, Liz is an invaluable member of DFA Productions. Much more so than Marino Eccher.

Troy Clinstsman is the only company member who can not only play the piano but tune a piano, build you a piano bench and haul your piano in his pickup. Troy is among Desperate For Approval's most versatile assets, and he looks very good in a sleeveless shirt.

So Meet The Gang...

Thomas Rude is a handsome vampire from the Civil War era.  By day, he manages a contact center; by night, he perfects his acting skills with Desperate for Approval and provides immaculate period costumes he’s acquired over his centuries of undeath.  Thomas’ first role was a game show host in a woman’s hallucinations, although his favorite role was Chrysale in The Learned Ladies.

Michael Labore either went to high school with most of us and studied theater performance and technology at St. John's University, or by the looks of this photo, is an ex-con who was recently released from Oak Park Heights Maximum Security Correctional Facility, and found our group through a generous jobs-for-felons program. 

Marino Eccher wrote his first play because he was bored in Fargo and realized you could pretty much fill 90 minutes with dick jokes. Not a lot has changed. His artistic passions include testing the limits of fair use as applied to Bill Pullman’s speech from “Independence Day.”

Who We Are

Heather Fisher's Butt is an important part of the group, and likely the main reason why Andy Slater does lighting work for us.  

Just a bunch of awesome people following our passion. Desperate For Approval Productions started as a collaboration of friends; a playwright and an impromptu gang of theater lovers, performers, and technicians from every walk of life.


We work hard. We play hard. And the result may be hilarious, precarious, or sometimes some pretty deep shit. So come check us out. You may laugh. You may cry. You may drink yourself into a stupor in some dark corner of the audience to try to forget.  But whatever happens, we know you won't regret it.  Certainly not as much as you regret some of the other horrible things you've done.

Kate Stevenson joined her high school drama club in 10th grade after not making the volleyball team, although she remains tall. After college, she moved to Los Angeles for a brief spell as a background actor. You can see her as a colorful blob in How to Get Away With Murder, Parks and Rec, and Scandal. Kate recently moved to St. Paul, where she enjoys being swaddled in multiple blankets, drinking grape juice, and looking at cat pictures.

Molly Miller has been acting since 5th grade.  As a registered nurse, Molly provides first aid to the cast and crew of Desperate for Approval in addition to acting and costuming. She prides herself on the lack of broken bones and electrocutions that have occurred during rehearsals.