News Alert

OF EQUALITY World Premiere Nov 19-21

Katha Dance Theatre Announces World Premiere of New Cross-Cultural Collaboration with J.D. Steele

At left, photo of several women dancing in classical Indian gowns. At right, a photo of J.D. Steele.

At left, KDT performers onstage. At right, J.D. Steele. Photo credits L to R: Ashwin Chopra, John Wagner.

Crystal, MN – Katha Dance Theatre (KDT) has announced the world premiere of Shaamya – Of Equality, their latest collaboration with composer J.D. Steele. The event will take place at the Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, MN on November 19 – 21, 2021. It is choreographed by Rita Mustaphi, KDT’s Artistic Director, and features original poetic contributions from artist and playwright Ifrah Mansour.

Inspired by the poetry of writer and activist Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976), Of Equality attempts to draw parallels between the experiences of today’s communities of color and those expressed by Nazrul Islam back in the early 20th century. Using a mixture of dance, music, and spoken word poetry, it juxtaposes past and present fights for racial, cultural and gender equity.

Through his writing and activism, Nazrul Islam shared his anger about and attempted to find solutions to various forms of oppression. By enacting his ideas decades after his death, Of Equality demonstrates that this great writer’s work is relevant to today’s artistic and political climates, transcending time and place.

Picture of Rita Mustaphi. She is wearing a green and gold gown and has her hands extended to the sides.

Rita Mustaphi. Photo courtesy of the artist.

With her choreography, Rita Mustaphi aims to seamlessly blend the various cultural and thematic ideas at play into a cohesive dance piece incorporating traditional Kathak idioms. Of Equality is just one in a long line of original works choreographed by Rita over the course of KDT’s three-decade history. Her work’s quality speaks for itself, having won her three McKnight Fellowships for choreography, a 2011 Lifetime Achievement award from the India Association of Minnesota, a 2012 Education award from the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and a 2021 Nari Shakti Award for Women’s Empowerment from the Urvashi Dance, Music, Art and Culture Society in New Delhi.

Equality will be set to a live rendition of original compositions by Twin Cities musical legend J.D. Steele, with whom KDT previously collaborated back in 2013 on the critically acclaimed Karna – The Abandoned Hero. Steele, an accomplished musician who has performed with Prince, Mavis Staples, and others, will be accompanied by pianist Billy Steele, drum artist Abhinav Sharma, and vocalist Tonia Hughes. Steele’s compositions include elements of North Indian, East African and African American musical styles. They were also inspired by taals, which are rhythm cycles used in North Indian classical music and dance. His intent as composer is for all of these elements to unify in support of the dancers’ performance.

Ifrah Mansour

Ifrah Mansour. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Equality will also include written contributions by Somali poet and playwright Ifrah Mansour, who will perform original works (including the poem “I am a Refugee”) onstage alongside Mustaphi and Steele. Mansour is perhaps best known for her autobiographical play How to Have Fun in a Civil War, which details her memories of her childhood in war-torn Somalia.

Contributions from dancers of multiethnic backgrounds will fill out the show, including ballet, flamenco, tap, and hip-hop. Incorporating cross-cultural artistic and narrative elements within a classical Indian dance performance is in keeping with Rita Mustaphi’s mission to expand upon the Kathak tradition while preserving its authenticity and cultural integrity.

The premiere comes following a 2020 work-in-progress showing at Minneapolis’s Southern Theater. For more information about this production and other KDT programming, please visit https://kathadance.org.

Shaamya – Of Equality. November 19 – 21, $16-35, 80 minutes, Park Square Theatre, Historic Hamm Building, 20 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul, 55102.

Tickets are available now at https://parksquaretheatre.org/box-office/shows/2021-2022/shaamya-of-equality/

Read about the Park Square’s health and safety policies before you attend.

About Katha Dance Theatre

Katha Dance Theatre (KDT) creates, performs and educates through the art forms of dance, music, poetry and storytelling. Rooted in Kathak, the classical dance style of Northern India, KDT is dedicated to making dance accessible, inclusive and relevant. It enhances the local community by bridging diverse cultures and audiences to contribute to life’s infinite artistic expressions. Learn more at https://kathadance.org

About Kathak Dance

Kathak (pronounced “Kah-tahk”) is an Indian classical dance tradition native to North India. Its origins can be traced back to as early as 400 BCE, when it began as a form of sharing stories, myths, and Hindu scripture in temples and royal courts. Characterized by both rhythmic and lyrical elements, it features graceful hand gestures, pirouettes, and complex footwork, performed with expressiveness and precision. Over the centuries, it has grown to incorporate diverse influences and viewpoints with KDT at the forefront of its artistic evolution.

About Kazi Nazrul Islam

Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) was a Bengali writer, musician and activist whose advocacy for India’s economic and social independence from Britain made him widely known as “the rebel poet.” He was also prolific, having written thousands of poems and songs during his lifetime. Once named the national poet of Bangladesh, he is remembered for his staunch opposition against social and cultural oppression in all forms.

National Endowment for the Arts graphic logo - black & white with shooting star graphic and textThis project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov. It is also supported by a grant from St. Paul’s Cultural STAR program.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Information

Updated 8/30/21

Connect and Celebrate

Reopening Plans for Park Square Theatre and SteppingStone Theatre for youth

Park Square Theatre and SteppingStone Theatre for Youth are delighted to begin welcoming audiences, artists, and guest organizations back to the theatre for limited engagements this fall, and for full on-stage performances in the winter of 2021.

Our two theatres are prioritizing health and safety in our reopening plans, looking to the latest public safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health, as well as local requirements from the City of Saint Paul.  We are also observing the safety requirements put forth by the artist unions to ensure the safety of our artists, actors and musicians. 

Below are the steps we are taking to ensure we reopen in the safest way possible.

Vaccination policy

COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results are required to attend performances.

In light of the highly transmissible Delta variant and increasing case numbers in Minnesota, Park Square and SteppingStone theatre require that everyone 13 or older present proof of either full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to attending an indoor performance or event. Proof of vaccination or a negative test result must be shown when entering the theater. Children under age 13 will only be required to wear a mask.

  • Being fully vaccinated means completing your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the performance date. Proof of vaccination includes bringing a physical card or showing a digital photo of your vaccination card.  
  • Proof of a negative test result includes bringing a printed or digital copy of your test results.

In addition to audiences, the theatres are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for artists, theater staff, and volunteers.

Mask policy

All patrons, staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks inside the venue except while eating or drinking. This follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent recommendation that everyone should wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Masks must cover the nose and mouth. Masks with a valve, gaiters, scarves, etc. are not permitted.

Classes and camps

Young artists participating in theatre classes and camps are not required to show vaccination status or negative test results. Camps will follow the successful covid-safety policies developed for SteppingStone camps during the spring and summer of 2021. Should vaccines be made available for youth under 12, this policy will be updated to require vaccination. All adults ages 18 and older must show proof of vaccination per the guidelines above.

School Field trips

Young people attending daytime matinees (school groups, homeschoolers, day camp groups, etc.) are not required to show vaccination status or test results. All teachers, chaperones, and adults ages 18 and older will be required to present either proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to attending a field trip performance. All staff and patrons ages 2 and older will be required to wear masks inside the building.

If your school or classroom has an outbreak we ask that you notify us before your field trip so we can reschedule your trip. Please email education@parksquaretheatre.org to notify us and reschedule your trip.

Air quality

Park Square’s air system brings in fresh air from the outside to help limit the spread of airborne viruses like COVID-19. In addition, several updates have been made to further improve air safety inside the theatre:

  • The outside air handling system for all of the Park Square Theatre spaces was replaced in 2020 to improve outside air intake, mix, and filtration. Four separate air handling units maximize the intake of fresh air and independently control the air supply to each theatre and the backstage and lobby areas. This system is automated to maintain temperature, humidity and duct static pressure based on demand and scheduling.  
  • Upgrades to the Boss Theatre air exchange system have been recently completed and have improved the air exchange and refresh rate.

Capacity limits and Physical distancing 

At this time, no changes have been made to our audience capacity except at the request of partnering organizations. The Proscenium Stage seats 350 people and the Boss Stage seats 200 people. Shows through December of 2021 will be general admission seating. While there are currently no state or city indoor venue capacity restrictions in place, we will be monitoring information regarding capacity and will adhere to guidelines if they are updated.

Physical distancing will be encouraged in the lobbies, hallways, restrooms, and other areas.

Cleaning and sanitizing

In addition to the robust cleaning practices that were already in place, we have:

  • Added a complete space sanitization protocol after each performance
  • Increased the frequency of cleaning throughout the building for high-touch areas in the front of house and back of house areas throughout the building
  • Set up hand-sanitizing stations throughout the venue
  • Trained all employees in critical hand washing and cleaning guidelines

Guest responsibility

We ask that guests stay home if they are sick or exposed to COVID-19. Please contact the box office to transfer your tickets to another performance, donate your tickets, or request a refund. Contact the ticket office at tickets@parksquaretheatre.org.

Resources for scheduling your vaccination or COVID-19 test

We will continue to update this page as we gather new information and will share pertinent updates through email and social media. Please check back as the details and requirements for reopening are subject to change as we work through this uncertain yet exciting time.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to having you engage with Park Square and SteppingStone.

Run Wild with Madagascar-A Musical Adventure Jr.

Two young people, one is wearing zebra ears and the other a lion's mane.

Media Contact – Rachel Wandrei wandrei@parksquaretheatre.org

Saint Paul, Minn., July 1, 2021 – SteppingStone Theatre for Youth invites explorers of all ages to come along on a transatlantic musical escapade with DreamWorks Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR. Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture, the show follows an energetic group of crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to Africa. The show will be performed by SteppingStone’s summer camp students outdoors on West 7th Place, July 27 – August 8 (photo link below).

DreamWorks Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR. features original music and lyrics by George Noriega and Joel Someillan and a book by Kevin Del Aguila.  As the show opens, we learn that Marty the zebra may be celebrating his tenth birthday at the Central Park Zoo with his friends Alex the lion, Gloria the hippo, and Melman the giraffe, yet he longs to experience life outside of the zoo’s walls. When Marty eventually escapes, his animal friends from the zoo pursue him into New York City. After reuniting, the animals are chased down, and ultimately felled by tranquilizer darts. They awake, trapped in crates, on a ship, which – through a series of events – is thrown off course.  Upon reaching land the animals discover they have been shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar.  Ultimately, it is only in being so lost that they can begin to discover where they really belong.

“As the world unmasks and ventures back out into gathering, it is an honor to be a part of a summer of renewal and re-emergence,” says the show’s director, Dane Stauffer. “How fitting to share this tale of the desire for freedom, and the redemptive power of friendship and connection. I’m looking forward to being inspired by these young artists as we bring the tale to life. I love summer theatre camp, the happy hours spent in rehearsal learning the joy of collaboration and working hard to realize a vision. Plus, “I like to move it, move it!”

“It is really special for young audiences to see performers their own age or a little older on stage. It opens up the imagination in a whole new way,” says Mark Ferraro-Hauck, SteppingStone’s Artistic and Executive Director. “At SteppingStone, we believe that all young people are artists, makers, and doers and that they need to belong and contribute to the world. The themes of this show – friendship, teamwork, adventure and forgiveness – really resonate with that vision, particularly as young people are readjusting to a post-pandemic world full of the interactions that we’ve all been missing. We can’t wait for audiences to come and engage with these fantastic young artists and have some great outdoor fun this summer.”

CAST 
The cast includes Max Perdu (Alex), Mary Slowinski (Marty), Rue Burdette (Gloria), Mady Sjoberg (Melman), Ebrima Sarge (King Julien), Adeline Halverson(Private), Juan Fiz-Torezani (Kowalski), Lauren Hyatt (Rico), Zack Nelson (Skipper), and ensemble members Keira Deiman, Za’im Dennis, Natalia Jorgensen, Annika Lewis, Grace Lilla, Spencer Lilla, Soren Miller, Ella Myhre, Kai Stolpestad, Sadie Wallace, and Mara Wells.

ARTISTIC TEAM 
The artistic team includes Dane Stauffer (Director), Andrew Fleser (Music Director), Ricky Morisseau (Choreographer), Mark Ferraro-Hauck (Set Design), Rhiannon Fiskradatz (Costume Design), Charlotte Deranek (Sound Design) Alexi Carlson (Stage Manager), Johanna Johnson (Assistant Stage Manager), and Connor McEvoy (Production Manager)

TICKET INFO: Tickets are $12 child/student/seniors, $16 adults.
Group discounts available starting with groups of 10+.
Purchase at steppingstonetheatre.org or email boxoffice@steppingstonetheatre.org.

LOCATION: Outside Park Square Theatre at 20 West 7th Place, St. Paul, MN 551042

DATES 
Tuesday, July 27: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Wednesday, July 28: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Thursday, July 29: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Friday, July 30: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Saturday, July 31: Noon & 4:00 PM
Sunday, August 1:  Noon & 4:00 PM
Saturday, August 7: 10:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Sunday, August 8: 10:00 AM & 2:00 PM

SUGGESTED AUDIENCE: Great fun for anyone 3 +

PHOTO LINK: Press Photos available at https://www.steppingstonetheatre.org/series/madagascar/
From left: Mary Slowinski as Marty the Zebra, Max Perdu as Alex the Lion. Photos by Rachel Wandrei.

ABOUT STEPPINGSTONE THEATRE 
We Believe: Young People are artists, makers, and doers. They need to belong and contribute to the world. When young people make art together, they change themselves, and the world around them, for the better.

We Do: SteppingStone Theatre for Youth ignites belonging, generosity, mastery, self-advocacy, and inspiration by creating art with young people to share with the world.

STEPPINGSTONE THEATRE FOR YOUTH. 20 W. 7th Place, Saint Paul. steppingstonetheatre.org  

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113 composers collective: Twin Cities New Music Festival

113 Composers Collective

Park Square Theatre is honored to be home to the 2021 Twin Cities New Music Festival,
presented by 113 composers collective.

For the full calendar of events and to purchase tickets, visit

113collective.com

This year’s Twin Cities New Music Festival aspires to change the concert music narrative by presenting live performative works that redefine the concert experience–blurring the boundaries between theater, visual media, gesture, and movement. Featuring portrait concerts of work by Steven Takasugi, Bethany Younge, Anthony R. Green, and Joe Horton.

Festival Program

Thursday, July 8

  • 7:00 pm in the Thrust Rehearsal Hall- “Zwei Acte” by Mauricio Kagel. Also featuring work by Alfred Jimenez and Dieter Schnebel. Warning: Nudity. Viewer Discretion is Advised. Children Not Permitted.
  • 8:00 pm at Studio Z – Bethany Younge Portrait Screening
  • 9:00 pm in the Thrust Rehearsal Hall- Joe Horton Portrait featuring the dream songs project
    (after-party to follow)

Friday, July 9

  • 7:00 pm on the Andy Boss Thrust Stage- Chamber Music featuring andPlay Duo, the dream songs project, T. J. Borden, Benjamin Downs, and Kyle Hutchins
  • 8:00 pm at Studio Z – Bethany Younge Portrait Screening
  • 9:00 pm in the Thrust Rehearsal Hall- Anthony R. Green Portrait.  Live ensemble in connective dialogue with an audience-generated sound installation, where the audience amplifies the voice of composer/performer Anthony R. Green

Saturday, July 10

  • 4:00 pm at Studio Z – Bethany Younge Portrait Screening
  • 7:00 pm on the Andy Boss Thrust Stage- Steven Takasugi Portrait featuring conductor Perry So
  • 9:00 pm on the Andy Boss Thrust Stage- Steven Takasugi’s “Sideshow”

Also join 113 composers collective for nightly viewings of sound art installation work by Benjamin J. Mansavage Klein in the Park Square Theater Boss Thrust Stage Lobby, and screenings of sound art films by Steven Takasugi, Anthony R. Green, Bethany Younge, Joe Horton, Elizabeth A. Baker, and the composers of 113 on Thursday and Friday night from 6:30-10:30 pm, and Saturday from 4-8 pm at Studio Z.

TICKETS:
Adults: $10 per event | Students and Seniors: $5 per event | Children: FREE
Festival Pass: $50
Purchase tickets at http://www.113collective.com/events

Note: Children will not be permitted to attend “Zwei Acte” by Mauricio Kagel.

Announcing Saint Paul Summer Sunlight

SAINT PAUL SUMMER SUNLIGHT PERFORMANCE SERIES WELCOMES WORKERS AND AUDIENCES BACK TO DOWNTOWN 

Media Contact – Rachel Wandrei wandrei@parksquaretheatre.org 

Saint Paul, Minn., June 22, 2021 – Park Square Theatre and the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance are celebrating the reopening of downtown Saint Paul with a free outdoor concert series aimed at welcoming returning workers, residents, theatre fans and music lovers back to the city’s cultural scene. SAINT PAUL SUMMER SUNLIGHT, a series of ten performances, will fill West 7th Place (the pedestrian mall between Wabasha and St Peter) with lunchtime and happy hour concerts from July 22 through September 23, 2021. 

An man in shiny red pants dancing and singing into a microphone.

Ready Freddie

“We have a varied and energetic lineup of concerts, from the glam rock-and-roll of Ready Freddie – A Queen Experience and the powerful R&B vocals of MsArnise, to Full Circle Theater Company’s recontextualization of The Mikado, a Gilbert and Sullivan opera classic,” says Park Square producer Kim Vasquez. “The Twin Cities has an array of eclectic, talented theatre makers and musicians who are ready to get back on stage, and audiences who are ready to come out and party a little. Our new team at Park Square Theatre and SteppingStone Theatre wants to play a collaborative leadership role in reconnecting community members and artists and adding to the vibrancy of downtown together.” Other acts in the series include Annie and the Bang Bang, The Champagne Drops, TaikoArts Midwest, an old-time radio show by the Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society and more (photo link below).  

A woman in red bluse and white blazer calmly looks into the distance. An industrial scene in the background

MsArnise

“As people return to downtown, we’ll be there to welcome them back and remind them of all the joy and excitement there is to be had in a vibrant urban center,” says Joe Spencer, president of the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance. “From our restaurants and shops to our music and theatre venues, our city is poised to bounce back better than ever.” Music will continue into the evenings with acoustic sets on the Loon Cafe’s patio on Thursday evenings throughout the summer.  

Park Square will be announcing their full reopening plans later in the summer, with a commitment to gradually producing shows that were canceled due to the pandemic (including a remount of the 2018 sold-out hit, MARIE AND ROSETTA), as well as sharing the Historic Hamm Building facility with other arts organizations. “The theatre may have been dark for over a year, but we’ve been busy behind the scenes and

Three drummers in blue tunics with drumsticks in the air surround three drumbs

TaikoArts Midwest

can’t wait to reconnect with people,” comments Mark Ferraro-Hauck, interim executive director of Park Square and artistic director of their partner theatre, SteppingStone Theatre for Youth. SteppingStone will be producing MADAGASCAR – A MUSICAL ADVENTURE JR, on West 7th Place from July 27- August 8. “Summer on the plaza is gonna be hoppin!” continues Ferraro-Hauck. “There will be an entertaining show for you here whether you are 3, 33, or 83. And then we’ll bring that energy inside and into the future. Join us!” 

TICKET PRICES: Free and open to the public. Limited chairs will be available, audiences are invited to bring their own chairs. Email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org with questions. 

CALENDAR INFORMATION*:

The Champagne Drops

The Champagne Drops

Thurs Jul 22, 12:00 pm – Full Circle Theater Company 
Thurs Aug 5, 4:30 pm – Ready Freddie: A Queen Experience
Thurs Aug 12, 12:00 pm – Legacy Arts Group
Thurs Aug 12, 4:30 pm – The Champagne Drops
Thurs Aug 19, 4:30 pm – MsArnise
Wed Aug 25, 4:30 pm – Victor Zupanc
Thurs Aug 26, 12:00 pm – TaikoArts Midwest

Thurs Sep 9, 4:30 pm – Annie and the Bang Bang
Fri Sep 10, 12:00 pm – Ben Cook-Feltz
Thurs Sep 23, 4:30 pm – The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society 
*All performances subject to change. For continuous updates, visit parksquaretheatre.org. 

PHOTO LINK: Press Photos available at:
https://parksquaretheatre.org/media/photos/#1603933207367-806db2dd-4e8f 

Man in black fedora playing a red electric keyboard, a man at his side plays upright base.

Ben Cook-Feltz

SAINT PAUL SUMMER SUNLIGHT is sponsored by the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance, as part of its #WelcomeBackStPL campaign to safely celebrate reopening and welcome people back downtown. From outdoor trivia and art installations to pop-up events and concerts, the Downtown Alliance is partnering with downtown institutions, businesses, artists, and musicians to host more than 300 events and activations through the fall. Follow the Downtown Alliance on Facebook and Instagram or check out the hashtag #WelcomeBackStPL for updates. For the full calendar of events, visit WelcomeBackStPL.com. 

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. www.parksquaretheatre.org 

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ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening – Streaming from Park Square

The Sota Movement: Rooted x UprisingThe SOTA Movement is a 3-day festival dedicated to connections, dance, and culture featuring the award-winning ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening and the highly anticipated Krump battle, Uprizing.

Join in, June 11-13, 2021, as artists, creators, and supporters from Minnesota and across the country come together for this one-of-a-kind event.

Park Square Theatre is excited to be hosting the first night of the festival, ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening, streaming from the Boss Stage. 

Date: June 11, 2021
Time: 6 pm & 8 pm CT
Cost: Free

Brought to you by Maia Maiden Productions & Uprizing Creators, Herb “FairWarning” Johnson III & Ololade “O” Gbadamosi-Alashe.

Learn more and register for for the link to the show at maiamaiden.com/the-sota-movement

Press Release for The Sota Movement

Applications open for 2021/2022 cohort of Youth Ambassadors

Applications open for 2021/2022 cohort of Youth Ambassadors

Key elements of Steppingstone’s Core Company and Park Square’s Teen Theatre Ambassador programs can now be found in the Youth Ambassadors. This new collaboration aims to support young people as they grow into theatre leaders through professional mentorship, shared learning experiences, and the exploration of a multiplicity of stories and viewpoints in American theatre

During the 2021-2022 school year, fifteen young people in 10-12 grades will gather regularly to watch, critique, and discuss performances, participate in workshops, and be mentored in their individual areas of interest. The program is accepting applications through May 30 with a cohort announced later in the summer.

New to Park Square, the program is Pay As You’re Able, allowing families to pay partial fees as needed, or to cover the cost for someone else. This model has been used by SteppingStone for a year with great success – increasing access to arts programs while supporting the fiscal stability of the theatre.
Youth Ambassadors: Applications Now Open

TEARS OF MOONS Released for February Streaming

‘TEARS OF MOONS’ RELEASED FOR STREAMING BY PARK SQUARE THEATRE  

Saint Paul, Minn., January 28, 2021 – Next month, Park Square Theatre will offer its production of TEARS OF MOONS, by Antonio Duke and directed by Ellen Fenster, for a full month of streaming access. The play was filmed on Park Square’s Boss Stage and shown through Zoom in November of 2020 along with live post-show conversations. The rerelease, along with a recorded conversation between Duke, Fenster, and Rie Gilsdorf of Embody Equity, will be available at a reduced price for streaming on Park Square’s website from February 1-28, 2021. 

A young black man sits in a bus stop. He has an African mask and backpack with him.

Antonio Duke, photo by Aaron Fenster.

TEARS OF MOONS moves quickly through history – aboard the number 5 bus – bearing witness to the pervasiveness of violence against Black people in our shared history. Structured around The Poet, a Homeric narrator wrestling with his own rage and ineffectuality, Duke deftly weaves in other characters, victims of racial violence, some recognizable from news headlines and others representing the lost stories of many. Both personal and expansive, the play combines African spiritual figures and mythology with Greek epic theatre to reckon with the past and share a vision of strength. “The heartache and resiliency of the black spirit is as old as time itself,” says playwright and performer Antonio Duke, “Unfortunately, it is newly being tested time and time again. I want to ignite a fire within the audience’s spirit.” 

The streaming release corresponds with the long-planned offering of the play to Park Square’s large middle and high school audience during Black History month and the theatre expects a national reach as well. “A sociology teacher in Baltimore brought some of her students to the original shows, recounts director Ellen Fenster, who is also part of Park Square’s artistic planning cohort, and director of the theatre’s acclaimed zoom production of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. By offering on-demand streamingTEARS OF MOONS can better serve people in and beyond Minnesota.” 

“This is a time of recognizing and reckoning,” she continues. “This play is a witness not only to our history, but how we might grapple with this moment. It is a witness to the truth and the challenge we have before us.”  

TICKET PRICES: Streaming access $10, intended for one household. 

Tickets are availalbe at www.parksquaretheatre.org.

School groups can contact education@parksquaretheatre.org for more information. 

The ticket office is temporarily closed due to corona virus. 
Please email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org with questions. 

CALENDAR INFORMATION: Streaming Feb 1-28, 2021 

PHOTOS : download at https://parksquaretheatre.org/media/photos/
Photos by Aaron Fenster.  

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. www.parksquaretheatre.org 

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Park Square play honored by BroadwayWorld

Karen Landry and Edwin Strout in 33 Variations.

The 2020 BroadwayWorld Minneapolis awards were announced January 12, 2020, and Park Square was honored to have its 2015 production of 33 Variations, named “Production of a Play of the Decade.”  The public submitted the nominees and voted for their favorites. Thank you to everyone who supported Park Square!
33 Variations, by Moisés Kaufman and directed by James Rocco, followed the journey of a musicologist, Katherine, to understand why Beethoven was compelled to write thirty-three distinct variations on a simple theme. Park Square’s production featured the late Karen Landry as Katherine and Edwin Strout as Beethoven, with piano by Irena Elkina.
Among other artists and companies recognized, Park Square fans will recognize Jeffrey Hatcher (Riddle Puzzle Plot, Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders) for his Glensheen at the History Theatre, James Rocco, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts!

See the full list of winners.

Upcoming Radio Shows Announced!

MYSTERIOUS OLD RADIO LISTENING SOCIETY ANNOUNCES UPCOMING SHOWS FOR MONTHLY PARK SQUARE THEATRE RESIDENCY 

Four Zoom squares with actors taking bows. They are in their homes surrounded by sound effects tools and twinkling lights.

Clockwise from upper left: Eric Webster, Tim Uren, Joshua English Scrimshaw, Shanan Custer

Saint Paul, Minn., Dec 3, 2020 – Theatre people of all stripes may miss the buzz of a full house, but the dedicated MYSTERIOUS OLD RADIO LISTENING SOCIETY continues finding new ways to entertain. Coming up, they have five new radio shows, continuing their monthly Monday night residency with Park Square Theatre. Themes will include evenings dedicated to cold weather, H.P. Lovecraft, and to dreamsPerformances are on Zoom on Jan 25, Feb 22, Mar 15, Apr 19 and May 24 at 7:30 p.m. 

The group originally pivoted to the pandemic by producing audio-only radio plays, but after applause for a zoom-recorded recreation of Orson Welles’s A Christmas Carol, all upcoming shows will be videos of the actors performing both their lines and creating the sound effects. “This is us in our homes performing on zoom,” says company member Eric Webster, “we do all the characters and all the foley and then edit it together. One audience member commented on how fun it was “seeing Tim literally change his hats to play different characters.”  

“Creating video, not just audio, gets us closer to the on-stage experience we were creating pre-pandemic,” says company member Joshua English Scrimshaw. “More than just remaking our favorites, we create something fresh from the golden-age shows that we all love so much, like Escape and Suspense.” The upcoming shows will be a combination of recreations of classic works, like a 1949 episode of Quiet Please in which scientists discover a gateway to a strange frozen dimension, and homages written by the company themselves, such as their ongoing series, Dead Men’s Tales. Full descriptions of the upcoming shows are available on the Park Square website. 

Another unforeseen benefit from the groupmove to virtual programming has been the ability to reach a national audience of mystery and radio fans. The December show reached audiences in 16 states including many delighted first-time attendees. “We knew we had some followers out there from our podcast, but it is amazing to have folks tuning in from D.C. to California,” says Webster. While some audience members are deep devotees of radio excited to have the opportunity to watch the show, otherhave shared their appreciation of being able to connect to remote friends and family through watching the shows together.  

Each evening includes live trivia-worthy introductions by the company and two prerecorded half hour radio dramas, followed by a live chat Q & A. “The Q & A’s are the best part,” says Webster. “We could just let the audience go sometimes, they are so smart and funny. We laugh and have a great time together.”  

 Members of The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society include local theatrical favorites: Eric Webster (Shade’s Brigade), Shanan Custer (2 Sugars, Room for Cream), Joshua English Scrimshaw (Comedy Suitcase) and Tim Uren (Ghoulish Delights). Online technical support and video editing by Aaron Fiskradatz.

TICKET PRICES: 
All Tickets $18. Intended for a single-household.
3-show packages also available for $36.
Tickets are on sale at parksquaretheatre.org 

The ticket office is temporarily closed due to corona virus. 
Please email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org with questions. 

CALENDAR INFORMATION: 
January 25, February 22, March 15, April 19, May 24. 
All performances at 7:30 pm. 
Streaming access to the pre-recorded portions of each show are available to ticket holders for one month following the initial release. 

PHOTOS: download at https://parksquaretheatre.org/media/photos/ 

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. www.parksquaretheatre.org 

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