About us


Brought together by a common desire to create and share theatre which transcends expectations, we formed in the Spring of 2016.  As a team, our involvement in hundreds of shows in dozens of theatres has led us to begin our new venture together with a specific focus on improving our craft.  The definition of absolute guides our work: existing independently, not qualified or diminished in any way; total, pure.  


Eric Decker, founding director

 Eric Decker

Eric Decker

Eric Decker has a Master in Arts degree in theatre directing from the Conservatory at the Chicago College of Performing Arts with Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL. Professors include Joel Fink, Luis Perez, June Compton, Steve Scott, Jason Loewith and David Kersnar. Eric has worked at many area theaters including Vertigo Theatre Company, Commonweal Theatre,  MN Centennial Showboat, Zumbrota Area Arts Council, Rushford Area Society for the Arts, Rochester Civic Theatre (Mainstage and Summer Theatre Institute), Rochester Repertory Theatre (Mentor-directed), Lanesboro Community Theater (co-founder), Masque Youth Theatre, Mantorville Opera, John Marshall High School, and Kasson-Mantorville High School. With over 82 directing credits, Eric is excited to explore new boundaries as one of Absolute Theatre's founding directors.


James Douglass, Founding Director

 James Douglass

James Douglass

James Douglass has been waiting for 20 years for an artistic opportunity like Absolute Theatre. As a double major in Theatre and Mass Communications/Public Relations from St. Cloud State University, James quickly combined his main areas of study professionally as a marketing intern for Actors Theatre of St. Paul. James has continued to work nonstop in both professions since arriving in southeastern Minnesota in 1988.  He has more than 150 acting, directing, stage managing, scenic, lighting, and costume design credits throughout southern Minnesota alone, including work for Jackson County Arts Guild, Limelight Productions, Rochester Repertory Theatre (artistic director and marketing director), Rochester Civic Theatre, Summerset Theatre, Albert Lea Community Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Vertigo Theatre Company and Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota. James also marketed and performed with Altered States Players, a touring improvisational theatre company based in St. Cloud and the Twin Cities.  He is currently the executive director of communications, media relations and marketing at Riverland Community College where he has also taught theatre and directed productions. James directed Absolute Theatre's inaugural production of FROST/NIXON and direct THE AMISH PROJECT in February. The National Council of Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) recently named James the 2016 National Communicator of the Year.

Email: James@absolutetheatre.org


Suzie Hansen, Founding Director

 Suzie Hansen

Suzie Hansen

Suzie's vast stage experience in the region is a highlight of our team.  With involvement in over 150 performances, including 48 directing credits, dozens of acting roles, 18 choreographs and as a playwright of twelve scripts, Suzie offers a wide perspective on telling stories to regional audiences.  She has previously directed with The Rochester Repertory Theatre, Brave Community Theatre, St. Killian's Art Center, Vertigo Theatre Factory, and Stewartville and Grand Meadow High Schools.  On stage, she may be familiar as Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire, Keely in Keely and Du, Molly Sweeney in the title role, Timothea in Sea Marks, and Lizzie Curry in Rainmaker.  Twice a year, she writes and directs the Elder Network Murder Mysteries at the Plummer House.  Finding a creative home with Absolute Theatre, Suzie looks forward to the opportunities ahead.


Our Board of Directors

Eric Decker (President)

James Douglass (Treasurer)

Patricia Barrier (Secretary)

Suzie Hansen, Missy Hagen

Contact: 507.722.2731; connect with us on social media or email through the links below.