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

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

Justice: Responding to the Chauvin Trial Verdict

The verdict has been handed down. Park Square and SteppingStone Theatres support and commend the work of the jury, prosecutors, and strong community that has fought for this step toward justice. We also know the work to end systemic racism has barely begun. Our failure to see, value, and protect Black lives, experiences, and stories diminishes our humanity. In this small moment of forward progress, may we recommit to building a just and inclusive world.  

Let us share the burden with each other and bolster Black voices in our continued work for change. It is time to create a new, and hopeful, story together. Here are some resources to help us all in our continued work: 

  • Tools for discussing race and systems of oppression by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 
  • Safety guides for de-escalation and protection of yourself and others, created by the Asian American Federation and the Center for Anti-Violence education. 
  • Youth Activism resources from Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance). 
  • Something Happened in our Town. An animated digital reading of a story for children by the Children’s Theatre Company and voiced by Park Square Theatre Artistic Associate Ansa Akyea. It aims to address children’s questions about traumatic events and help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.   

Stay healthy, safe and brave,
Park Square and SteppingStone Theatres 


Photo of a mural - a purple wall with paintings of raised fists and the words, "You Changed the World, George!"

In Memory of William Randall Beard (1956-2021)

St Paul and the greater theatre community lost a bright light last weekend with the passing of William Randall Beard. Randy served as literary manager for Park Square Theatre from 2000-2003, and Richard Cook directed his adaptation of The Odyssey in 2011. Twin Cities theatre followers will know him from his work with The History Theatre, Stages, Red Eye Theatre and the Playwrights’ Center among others.

Reprinted here is the obituary from St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church.

William Randall Beard
October 19, 1956 – April 17, 2021

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts…”
+Wm. Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2, scene 7

Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,

Our brother in Christ Jesus, Randy (William Randall) Beard died on Saturday, April 17 of complications from COVID-19. Randy was a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, a long-time member of St. Paul-Reformation, as well as being an active part of the arts community in the Twin Cities for many years. His staged play Come to the Table was a re-telling of the story of St. Paul-Reformation Church itself.

Randy was the co-author, with Matt Sciple, of Mary Stuart, an adaptation of the play by Friedrich Schiller, playing in both St. Paul and a production in Queensland, Australia. He was Literary Manager of the Park Square Theater from 2000 to 2003, and most recently helped to stage (for the second time) his most popular work Beyond the Rainbow, a musical biography of Judy Garland, commissioned by the Minnesota History Theatre in 2005. The play was produced in a dozen other productions around the country, including Florida Stage in West Palm Beach, Meadow Brook Theatre in Detroit and Des Moines Playhouse.

The Odyssey (2011)

Over the last 20 years, Randy wrote for theaters across the cultural spectrum, from the children’s theater Stages (three commissions, including a contemporary adaptation of Cinderella), to the avant-garde Red Eye Theatre (three productions, including a solo performance piece about Jeffrey Dahmer). He has also written educational theater for Hennepin County Library and the Hopkins AIDS Task Force. During his two terms as an Associate Member of the Playwrights’ Center, he served as president of the Board of Directors. As an arts journalist, Beard regularly contributed theater and classical music reviews to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and served as the theater and opera writer for Mpls/St Paul Magazine.

Randy was active in numerous capacities at St. Paul-Reformation Church, serving as Parish Council President and shepherding to completion the parish’s most recent Capital Campaign. For many years, Randy was involved with Wingspan Ministry’s work on behalf of GLBTQIA+ persons in the Church, and his faithful witness and effort toward this work touched countless lives. Randy was able to reconnect with – and eventually marry – the love of his life, Bruce Lively, in 2011.

Randy had an infectious humor, a keen wit, and a larger-than-life personality that fit perfectly with his life in the dramatic arts. He often said, “I love nature, as long as there’s a piece of plate glass between it and me.” In later years, his Christian spirituality developed to new levels of depth, and he particularly found value in the Psalms and the Rule of St. Benedict, which he used as his daily devotional practice. Randy recently moved to the Pillars of Minneapolis, and was in the final editing stage of his most recent book, Holiday Spirits, the story of a gay Christmas ghost. As well, he was continuing to edit a staged work on the relationship he held with his father that underwent previews several years ago.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, a memorial eucharist for Randy will be held at a later time when it is safe to do so. St Paul-Reformation will keep you abreast of these preparations as they finalize. Randy will be deeply, deeply missed.

Memorials can be sent to St. Paul-Reformation, and will be designated to support music and the arts at St. Paul-Reformation: 100 Oxford Street North, Saint Paul MN, 55104.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples , and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21:1-5

Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord, and may light shine on him forever.

The Odyssey (2011)

Park Square Favorite JAMECIA BENNETT at Crooners



Jamecia Bennett at The Belvedere at Crooners, April 23 & 24


The local theatre and music icon and three-time Grammy winner Jamecia Bennett inaugurates Crooners Supper Club’s tented lakeside concert venue, The Belvedere, on back-to-back nights Fri/Sat April 23 & 24.

Bennett was named the Ordway Theater’s first resident artist for the 2020-21 Broadway at the Ordway season.  She is a member of the Penumbra Theatre and the New Dawn Theatre and a Park Square Theater musical theater favorite for her portrayal of Sister Rosetta Tharpe in Marie and Rosetta. Jamecia is also an NAACP Image Award winner with Sounds of Blackness, the internationally acclaimed group for which she is lead vocalist.

At Crooners Bennett premieres her new blues show “The Evolution of Jazz and Blues,” which will feature a number of her favorite jazz and blues classics, several originals from her upcoming album, and a number of pop-urban hits that illustrate the continuing influence of the blues on contemporary music.

Backing Bennett is her local band J Movement, which includes LA Buckner, Samia Butler, Darnel Davis, Spencer Bradley, Layce Dreams, David Feiley, Lyndora Johnson, Josh Johnson, Michael May, and Brian Ziemniak.

Bennett plans on releasing her new self-titled blues album, “Mecie’s Blues,” later this year.  Her blues single, “Holiday Blues,” released to wide acclaim in 2019.  In January she released international single “Do What You Want,” a collaboration with Berlin hit-maker, DJ Dickey Doo.  She has Partnered with Tomme Beevas reintroducing the newly renovated Pimento Jamaican Rum Bar, part of the Eat Street District on Nicollet, and she’s the proud CEO of the artist development company Minnesota Movement Entertainment.

The Belvedere will feature tented table seating with choice views of Moore Lake, expanded patio flooring, a large custom-built stage.  A culmination of last year’s four popular outside venues, which presented a total of 247 ticketed shows from June to November of last year, the Belvedere will offer full dinner and cocktail table service, plated food and easy access to the Crooners building.  As is the case with Crooners’ two indoor venues (which opened on January 28) stringent Covid safety precautions are in effect outdoors, including table distancing and mandatory mask-wearing when not at your table.

Tickets, which are $30, are now on sale for Fri April 23 at 7pm at and Sat April 24 at 7pm at


Crooners physical and service Covid Safety upgrades include the following: READ MORE

For in-person and livestream tickets and information visit or call 763-760-0062. Crooners is located at 6161 Highway 65 NE, just north of Minneapolis and 694 in Fridley.


You are invited to join Park Square Theatre on Thursday April 8, for SPRING MISCHIEF!

The Spring Mischief Cabaret will be 45-minutes of fun with a mix of theatre artists you love and new talent to keep your eyes on! Plus, join in yourself for the Mask Parade! Don any Mardi Gras, Carnival (or covid) mask and turn on your camera for the parade. No judgement, all play! Pull out your favorite mask or get creative and decorate your own!

To receive a Zoom link to the event: Sign Up Here

For fantastic items, getaways and experiences, visit the Online Auction.
You can also stream the cabaret during or after the event on Park Square’s YouTube Channel.

Enjoy performances by:

REESE BRITTS is thrilled that he is making his Park Square Theater debut. He has performed on local stages like The Ordway, The Jungle Theatre, Lyric Arts, and The Guthrie. ‘We need the arts more than anything right now- thank you so much for your continuous support for the community and for Park Square!”




Twin Cities based actor and singer RAJANÉ KATURAH has graced the stages of The Ordway, The Children’s Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Penumbra Theatre and The Old Globe. Park Square audiences will never forget her outstanding performance as Marie in Marie & Rosetta or in Agatha Christie: Rule of Thumb.  She relocated Minneapolis in 2017-2018 as a Performing Apprentice at the Children’s Theatre Company, and is now their newest Company Member, last seen as the title role in Cinderella. “Better is on the way, and if you can’t see it, then be it!”


C RYAN SHIPLEY is a local theatre artist and educator who has performed at The Ordway, Artistry, Old Log, Park Square, Illusion Theatre, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Paul Bunyan Playhouse and many others. C Ryan is also a choreographer and director and is on the artistic staff of Cedar Summerstock Theatre Company in Iowa. As an educator he has worked at The Guthrie, The Ordway, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Stages, Steppingstone and Project SUCCESS.



LESLIE VINCENT is a singer, actor and musician recognizable to Twin Cities theatre audiences from her work at Artistry, History Theatre, Old Log Theatre and the Bryant-Lake Bowl among others. Park Square fans will remember her stand-out performance as Val in Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant, and she has played both Anna and Margot in The Diary of Anne Frank.  Leslie performs as half of the jazz duo The Champagne Drops and writes her own music. In 2020 she released her first album entitled These Foolish Things.


Musical Accompaniment by Natalia Peterson and Kate Brown.

Learn More about Spring Mischief: A Gala Mask-erade!

Park Square and SteppingStone Theatres’ response to the Atlanta shooting

Dear Friends,

Yet again, we are witnessing violence in our country, cities, communities, towards our friends and ourselves. Some are shocked, many are not, as fear and violence are daily realities.

Last week we witnessed a horrific hate-crime that took the lives of eight people in Atlanta —  six of them Asian American women. This targeted violence occurred amidst increasing threats and hate against the Asian American community.  Park Square and SteppingStone Theatres are grieving and longing for justice.

Less than a year after the murder of George Floyd, we find ourselves grappling with many of the same questions, now for our Asian American community: Why is the world still like this? How can we make it better for our children, neighbors, friends, and ourselves? How can we transform our history, riddled with racial oppression and exclusion, into a future where inclusion is embraced and differences are celebrated?

We don’t have the answers. As theatres, Park Square and SteppingStone are here to bear witness, to share stories that reveal harm, and to inspire us into a just future, joyfully celebrating the possibilities and promise in us all. As we work to share stories of our full community, in our realness, hurt, hope, and imperfect beauty, we have also compiled some resources to help create new narratives in real life.

Here are resources specifically designed for young people and for educators.

Here are resources for those in need of support and safety; and for people who want to learn more about issues of race and justice.

Here are some actions you can take right now to support our community.

We are all a critical part of writing our country’s new story and making our culture together. Your voice and action learning about and addressing stereotypes, bias, and hostility are the first step toward a better future. We need to push back against injustice, challenge the status quo of inequity, violence, and injustice, and generate optimism and fundamental change. What we do now, can create that change. Let’s grieve together, take care of one another, face discomfort, and make this injustice STOP.

Stay healthy, safe, and brave.

Park Square Theatre and SteppingStone Theatre for Youth

Arts Action Week is Feb 16-19!

You are needed to help show our values, recognize this community’s resilience, and make our voice heard at the State Capitol!

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shuttered Park Square’s stages as well as arts institutions across the country, government funding for the arts has never been more critical.

As a member of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA), Park Square is asking you to reach out to your Minnesota state legislators between Feb 16-19. Usually, MCA gathers more than 1,000 energized arts advocates at the Minnesota Capitol for Arts Advocacy Day.  This year, advocacy will take place online from your own computer. (Hey, we won’t need to worry about the annual Advocacy Day snowstorm!).

Register by Feb 14 to get the links for the Opening rally to be kicked off by Maria Jette. You’ll also be able to participate in a first-time advocates training session, and learn key facts about the Minnesota arts economy. During the week, you can participate as your schedule allows in small group Zoom calls with legislators. We’ll even have a happy hour wrap-up hosted by T. Mychael Rambo and featuring themed make-at-home cocktails.

The arts have been included as never before in special funding legislation at every level of government, from federal CARES Act funding that flowed to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and to states, who have set aside CARES Act funds for counties and cities to disburse as well.

In addition to amazing support from its many fans, Park Square is fortunate to have received some key government support from different programs created in response to the pandemic crisis:

  • Payroll Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
  • Saint Paul Cultural STAR operating grant (enhanced with CARES Act funding)

Park Square has also applied for special CARES Act grants through the Minnesota State Arts Board and Ramsey County (fingers crossed!).

The largest source of federal funds being made available soon will be through the #Save Our Stages / Shuttered Venue grants championed by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Betty McCollum. In fact, our Minnesota congressional delegation has the led way on national emergency funding for the arts across the country. Thank you!

The other important work our legislators at both the state and federal level have been doing is to extend and enhance unemployment benefits for individuals – including thousands of Minnesota artists. A special shout out to the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, who together with the National Council of Nonprofits, continues to lobby for the federal government to cover the extraordinary unemployment needs of individuals, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses.

Finally, a cheer for Governor Walz and the leaders at the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). They have been in regular communication with nonprofit arts leaders (who gather every two weeks on Zoom to coordinate our reopening efforts).

We need you to add your voice to all these efforts during Arts Action Week this month! Register today!

TEARS OF MOONS Released for February Streaming


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

School groups can contact for more information. 

The ticket office is temporarily closed due to corona virus. 
Please email with questions. 

CALENDAR INFORMATION: Streaming Feb 1-28, 2021 

PHOTOS : download at
Photos by Aaron Fenster.  

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. 

# # # 

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.


To ensure the health and safety of Park Square patrons and staff, the ticket office is temporarily closed for in-person and phone service.

Please email, or buy online anytime.

If you leave a message at 651.291.7005, please leave an email address where you can be reached.

Thanks, and stay well!

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