Press Release

Park Square Announces 45th Season

Park Square Announces 45th Season

First Season for new Artistic Director Flordelino Lagundino Features Big Scale, Big Heart, Three Musicals and One World Premiere

MEDIA CONTACT

Connie Shaver, shaver@parksquaretheatre.org

 

Saint Paul, Minn., Feb. 14, 2019 – Park Square Theatre announced its 45th theatre season for 2019-2020 today. This is the first season to be created by Artistic Director Flordelino Lagundino, who took the reins of the theatre on August 1, 2018, after a national search. Flordelino will direct two shows in his first season, both by Korean American playwrights: AUBERGINE by Julia Cho and UN (the completely true story of the rise of Kim Jong Un) by John Kim.

Flordelino is building on Park Square’s commitment to new work with regional premieres, as well as one world premiere. He is also continuing former Artistic Director Richard Cook’s legacy of guaranteeing that every season includes at least one directing debut by introducing Park Square audiences to nationally recognized directors Mark Valdez, Ilana Ransom Toeplitz and Madeline Sayet, as well as local powerhouses Marcela Lorca and Lisa Channer.

“I wanted my first season to have an emphasis on community and to show as many people as possible that they have a place at Park Square and that they belong here,” said Flordelino. “I’ve been listening carefully to our community my first five months in town and am working to provide us all with stories that uplift, entertain, prod, and ultimately help us understand each other as fellow humans. And I think this is a moment in time when we all need to get up and dance!”

The season opens with that exact counterpoint: a delicious human drama on the Boss and plenty of dance moves on the Proscenium.

First on the Boss Stage will be the area premiere of AUBERGINE (Sept 20 – Oct 20, 2019) by Julia Cho, author of The Language archive, directed by Flordelino Lagundino. In this poignant and lyrical new play, a son cooks a meal for his dying father to say everything that words can’t. Since this first-generation Korean American speaks English and only limited Korean, the making of a perfect meal is an expression more precise than language, and the medium through which his love gradually reveals itself.

“This was one of the most beautiful plays I have ever read,” says Flordelino. “When I encountered it for the first time, I felt it was the best play I had read by an Asian American author in the last ten years. The writing feels so personal. It is a humorous and sensitive play about memories, food, and a relationship fractured by the loss of native language and the distance created between families because of war and the resulting Korean diaspora.”

The season continues on the Park Square Proscenium Stage with the Tony Award-nominated campy rock musical THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW by Richard O’Brien (Sept 27 – Nov 2, 2019), directed by Ilana Ransom Toeplitz. “I really want to rock the house and upend the way that people think of Park Square,” says Flordelino. “This is a great show to bring the generations together – those that stood in line as teenagers to see the original movie in 1975 (coincidentally the year Park Square opened), and young people experiencing it for their first time. I want the walls to shake and for people to get up, dance, laugh and have a good time!”

Ilana Ransom Toeplitz

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW will be Toeplitz’s Park Square and Twin Cities directing debut. She has served as associate director for the national tours of DIRTY DANCING: THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE and A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL!, as well as being a Drama League Director’s Project Alum (2017 Leo Shull New Musicals Directing Fellow). “The whole night should feel like a party that’s been locked up in a time machine for years, begging to come out and play,” says Toeplitz. “It all culminates in Frank-N-Furter’s epic floor show, which has all the glitz of a David Bowie concert combined with all of the glam of an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Audience participation is encouraged.”

A special one-week only presentation of PAIGE IN FULL by Paige Hernandez will take to the Boss Stage (Oct 25– 27, 2019). This unique experience blends poetry, dance, media and music to share a multicultural girl’s journey through hip-hop to self-discovery. Since its premiere in 2010, this “visual mix-tape” has sold out performances throughout the country and garnered praise from critics and audiences alike for its energy, intelligence, and originality.

Paige in Full

Warren Bowles

Park Square will offer just one weekend of general audience performances of its critically acclaimed production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN, directed by Warren Bowles (Boss Stage, Dec 6-8, 2019), with student matinees playing (Nov 18 – Dec 20, 2019).

Lisa Channer

For the holidays on the Proscenium Stage, Park Square continues its tradition of “counter programming” by featuring the regional premiere of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Nov 15 – Dec 22, 2019) adapted from the Jane Austen classic by Kate Hamill (SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, LITTLE WOMEN) and directed by Lisa Channer in her Park Square debut. This clever comedy offers a decidedly progressive take on the trials of Lizzy, Mr. Darcy, and the whole Bennet clan, with a few dance breaks thrown in for good measure. “I love it because of the emphasis on the actor and the emphasis on theatricality,” says Flordelino. “Many of the actors play multiple roles and there is a sense of joy and abandon. Like the original Austen, it also gets to the depths of what it means to really fight for love and family.”

Mark Valdez

2020 kicks off on the Proscenium with a brand-new take on the Broadway musical EVITA by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber, directed by Mark Valdez in his Park Square debut with musical direction by Denise Prosek and choreography by Joe Chvala (Jan 17 – Mar 1, 2020). “Mark is blowing the dust off this classic,” says Flordelino. “He is taking on how populism meets politics. What does it take to rise up in today’s society and make a name for yourself? And at what cost do we make our way up the ladder of success and power in any political environment?”

Valdez, who directs frequently at Mixed Blood Theatre, just received the Americans for the Arts 2019 Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities, a $65,000 award that will help Mark continue his ground-breaking work in community-based theatre engagement.

The world premiere of UN (the completely true story of Kim Jong Un) by John Kim (Feb 7 – Mar 1, 2020) will be directed by Flordelino Lagundino, who was involved in the early development of the play at Pan Asian Rep in New York City. The play is a hilarious, irreverent, and brutal take on the life and rise to power of Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. It chronicles his life as teen who loves basketball, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, through the shaping of his mythology as the Supreme Leader. “John Kim and I have known each other for about 20 years,” shares Flordelino. “We met when I directed him in David Henry Hwang’s THE SOUND OF A VOICE when John was an undergrad actor at George Mason University. His script looks at the often-insane ways in which power is given and taken, and how the western world looks and frames power from countries that do not share its Eurocentric origins.”

FACE TO FACE: OUR HMONG COMMUNITY (Boss Stage, Mar 5 – 15, 2020) is a first-ever partnership between Park Square and the internationally-renowned Ping Chong + Company, a New York-based leader in innovative community-based theatre engagement. FACE TO FACE will be a community-specific, interview-based theater piece examining issues of culture and identity within Saint Paul’s vibrant Hmong Community. This original play will feature members from the Hmong community that will tell their stories – in their own words. “Minnesota has crossed an important and exciting cultural threshold,” says Executive Director Michael-jon Pease, “with more state legislators named ‘Xiong’ than ‘Johnson.’ This project is a way to explore the many facets of a community who are woven into our Minnesota fabric.”

FACE TO FACE is a larger series of theatre-based engagement projects which lifts up different parts of our community so that we all can know each other just a little bit better,” says Flordelino.

Marcela Lorca

The community spirit continues with the Midwest premiere of MISS YOU LIKE HELL by Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes (ELLIOT, A SOLDIER’S FUGUE, WATER BY THE SPOONFUL, In the Heights) and acclaimed, genre-breaking singer/songwriter Erin McKeown (Apr 17 – May 17, 2020). Marcela Lorca is directing. The musical recently played Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 2018, where it was nominated for five Drama Desk Awards, including Best Lyrics, Best Music and Best Orchestrations.

After living estranged from each other for years, 16-year old Olivia and her mom, an undocumented immigrant on the verge of deportation, embark on a road trip that crosses state lines. Together they meet Americans of different backgrounds, shared dreams, and complicated truths in this powerful new show with vast heart and fierce humor.

Michael Evan Haney

Summer in Saint Paul kicks off on the Proscenium Stage with Jeffrey Hatcher’s twisting, tantalizing mystery HOLMES AND WATSON (Jun 12 – Jul 26, 2020) directed by Michael Evan Haney. Sherlock Holmes has been dead three years when Dr. Watson receives a message from a mental asylum: three patients are claiming to be Sherlock Holmes. Did the world’s greatest sleuth fake his own death? Who is the real detective and who are the imposters? “Jeffrey is a local playwriting legend,” says Flordelino. “This mystery is Hatcher at his best. The writing is driving, taut, and will keep you on the edge of your seat.” Director Michael Evan Haney will make his Park Square directing debut. “Jeffrey Hatcher has built his play upon one of the most famous mysteries in English Literature—the death? (Disappearance?) of Sherlock Holmes at Reichenbach Falls” added Haney. “ He has created a Rubik’s Cube of a plot in HOLMES AND WATSON—a fast paced 90 minutes of suspense, mystery and thrills.”

The summer fun continues with guillotines and a cry for liberty on the Boss Stage with the regional premiere of THE REVOLUTIONISTS by Lauren Gunderson (Jun 19 – Jul 19, 2020). Four badass women lose their heads in this irreverent, woman-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen (and fan of ribbons) Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat, and try to beat back the extremist insanity in 1793 Paris. This grand and dream-tweaked comedy is about violence and legacy, art and activism, feminism and terrorism, compatriots and chosen sisters, and how we actually go about changing the world.

Madeline Sayet

THE REVOLUTIONISTS will be directed by Madeline Sayet in her Park Square Theatre debut. Sayet is a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award from President Obama and a member of the FORBES 30 Under 30 in Hollywood and Entertainment for her work as a director, writer, performer and educator. “This story is biting and playful, full of passion, humor and poignant truths for all of us — not just those who die for causes, but everyone who tries to stand up,” says Sayet. “It immediately made me think of the Oscar Wilde quote, ‘If you want to tell people the truth, you’d better make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.’”

In addition to the full season of public performances, Park Square will continue to serve the region’s largest teen theatre audience with 127 daytime matinees for students in 7th-12th grade from select shows in the season as well as from its repertory of literary classics ROMEO & JULIET, adapted and directed by David Mann, and THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, directed by Ellen Fenster.

 

SEASON TICKETS are on sale now. Current subscribers have priority in ordering through March. Seating of new subscriptions will begin in April. Season packages range in size from all eight plays and three add-ons in the season to a choose-your-own series of three or more. Subscription package prices begin at $66.

 

The Ticket Office is open from noon to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Friday. Call 651.291.7005.

PHOTO LINKS

Madeline Sayet

Ilana Ransom Toeplitz

Michael Evan Haney headshot

Flordelino Lagundino and Michael-jon Pease headshots by Amy Anderson HERE

Paige in Full

Ping Chong + Co

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PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. parksquaretheatre.org

Press Release: PRIME PRODUCTIONS brings the future to the stage.

PRIME PRODUCTIONS BRINGS THE FUTURE TO THE STAGE WITH MARJORIE PRIME AT PARK SQUARE THEATRE

MEDIA CONTACT:  Connie Shaver
651-767-8492 | shaver@parksquaretheatre.org
Tickets: 651-291-7005 or parksquaretheatre.org

 

St Paul, Minn. (February 19, 2019) – Continuing their mission to tell more stories about women in their second act, PRIME Productions opens Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime directed by Elena Giannetti, April 26, 2019 on the Andy Boss Thrust Stage at Park Square Theatre.

“Science fiction is here…Every day is science fiction. We buy these things that already know our moods and what we want for lunch even though we don’t know ourselves…”
– Tess in Marjorie Prime

It’s the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie – a jumble of disparate, fading memories – is living with her adult daughter and son-in-law, but also has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this richly spare, wondrous new play Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits – if any – of what technology can replace.

“Jordan Harrison’s elegant, thoughtful and quietly unsettling drama that keeps developing in your head, like a photographic negative, long after you have seen it…At some point, you realize that its been landing skillfully targeted punch after punch, right where it hurts.”
Ben Brantley, NY Times

Director Elena Giannetti says: “Although this play is set in the not-too-distant future, the themes of memory, loss and grief and how we confront them is very much in the now. By using artificial intelligence as a backdrop for a conversation around relationships and memory, Jordan gives us a smart and unsettlingly current setting to debate the issue of how much we need to remember, and who decides the value of those memories and the role of technology is used to preserve them. I’m so excited to tell a story that helps PRIME put mature actors on stage, while also giving voice to the struggle people face when dealing with their own mortality.”

“You don’t really believe that living is a distraction from death.”
– Jon in Marjorie Prime

The cast features Candace Barrett Birk* (Marjorie), Laura Stearns (Tess), Andre Shoals* (Jon), and James Rodriguez (Walter). The production design team includes Costume Designer Amy Kaufman, Sound Designer Katie Korpi, Lighting Designer Mike Kittel, Set Designer Joseph Stanley and Stage Manager Jamie Kranz.   * Member, Actors’ Equity Association

Marjorie Prime is made possible by the Saint Paul Cultural Star Grant Program and is being produced by PRIME Productions as a part of Park Square’s “Theatres in Residence” Series.

 

EVENT: MARJORIE PRIME
Written by: Jordan Harrison
Directed by: Elena Giannetti
Dates: April 19 – May 19, 2019

Previews: April 19 – 25, 2019

Opening Night/Media Night: Friday, April 26, 2019

Thursday – Sunday performances

Venue:            Park Square Theatre

Andy Boss Thrust Stage

Historic Hamm Building

20 West Seventh Place

St Paul, MN 55102

Tickets: Priced from $20 – $60

Discounts available for seniors, patrons under 30, veterans/military personnel, and groups.

All tickets available through the Park Square Theatre Ticket Office

651-291-7005  || parksquaretheatre.org

Website: primeprods.org
Facebook: @PrimeProds
Twitter: @PRIMEbroads
Summary: Set in the not-too-distant future, Marjorie is 85-years-old and lives with her adult daughter Tess and son-in-law Jon. Her new “companion” Walter, is programmed to keep her company and help her retain the memories of her past. Tess and Jon struggle to decide what memories should be kept and which ones are better off forgotten, as the smart technology of their time takes them further into the unknown. As time goes on, they must all confront the dilemma of how to reconcile the past with the urgency of the present and decide how much of the future is worth living for.

Editors: All high res photos are available for download at primeprods.org/media

Performance Schedule: 20 performances 

Friday, April 19 7:30 PM Preview
Saturday, April 20 7:30 PM Preview
     
Tuesday, April 23 7:30 PM Preview
Wednesday, April 24 7:30 PM Preview – post show discussion with cast
Thursday, April 25 7:30 PM Preview
Friday, April 26 7:30 PM Opening Night/Media Night with Reception
Saturday, April 27 7:30 PM  
Sunday, April 28 2:00 PM Matinee – ASL Access Services provided
     
Thursday, May 2 7:30 PM  
Friday, May 3 7:30 PM Audio Description Access Services provided
Saturday, May 4 7:30 PM  
Sunday, May 5 2:00 PM Matinee – post show discussion with cast
     
Thursday, May 9 7:30 PM  
Friday, May 10 7:30 PM  
Saturday, May 11 7:30 PM  
Sunday, May 12 2:00 PM Matinee
   
Thursday, May 16 7:30 PM  
Friday, May 17 7:30 PM Open Captioning Access Services provided
Saturday, May 18 7:30 PM Open Captioning Access Services provided
Sunday, May 19 2:00 PM Matinee – Open Captioning Access Services provided

About the Playwright
Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist, as well as winning the 2016 Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play. The play had its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons and its Chicago premiere at Writers Theatre after premiering at the Mark Taper Forum/CTG in Los Angeles. His play Maple and Vine premiered in the 2011 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville and went on to productions at American Conservatory Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, among others.

Harrison’s other plays include The Grown-Up (2014 Humana Festival), Doris to Darlene (Playwrights Horizons), Amazons and their Men (Clubbed Thumb), Act A Lady (2006 Humana Festival), Finn in the Underworld (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Futura (Portland Center Stage, NAATCO), Kid-Simple (2004 Humana Festival), Standing on Ceremony (Minetta Lane), The Museum Play (Washington Ensemble Theatre), and a musical, Suprema (O’Neill Music Theatre Conference). His children’s musical, The Flea and the Professor, won the Barrymore Award for Best Production after premiering at the Arden Theatre.  Harrison is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, the Kesselring Prize, the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Play House, the Heideman Award, a Theater Masters Innovative Playwright Award, the Loewe Award for Musical Theater, Jerome and McKnight Fellowships, a NYSCA grant, and a NEA/TCG Residency with The Empty Space Theater. A graduate of Stanford University and the Brown MFA program, Harrison is an alumnus of New Dramatists. He is an Affiliated Artist with Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, and The Playwrights’ Center. Harrison writes for the Netflix original series “Orange is the New Black.”

About the Director

Elena Giannetti is a Twin Cities director, with credits including Park Square Theatre (Midsummer Nights Dream), Artistry (The Last Five Years), and Lyric Arts (If/Then, Coney Island Christmas). In addition to being a co-founder of PRIME Productions, Elena has acted on stages from the Guthrie, Children’s Theater, Park Square Theatre, History Theater and Mixed Blood, as well as on film and television. She is a graduate of Macalester College with a BA in Dramatic Arts.

About PRIME Productions

PRIME Productions was founded in 2016 as a professional Equity theater in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota region. With a focus on celebrating women in their second act, their mission is to explore, illuminate and support women over 50 and their stories through the creative voice of performance. The company co-founders are Alison Edwards, Elena Giannetti and Shelli Place.

PRIME Productions launched their first production in May 2017 with LITTLE WARS by Stephen Carl McCasland at Mixed Blood Theatre. In the fall of 2017, they created PRIME Voices: A Series of Staged Readings which offered free public staged readings of three different plays by female playwrights, all presented at local venues (Jungle Theater, History Theatre and Park Square Theatre). For their second season, PRIME Productions presented TWO DEGREES by Tira Palmquist at the Guthrie Theater Dowling Studio in October 2018.

To date, 19 female actors over the age of 50 have been cast in roles with PRIME Productions.

PRIME Productions grew out of the realization that there was a scarcity of opportunities within theater for women in their prime: older female characters are often stereotyped, marginalized or altogether eliminated from the narrative. “The Twin Cities is rich in experienced female talent, “ says co-founder Shelli Place, “but there’s a gap in the plays and roles to fully utilize that resource.” PRIME Productions fills this gap by producing plays that employ more female theater artists and addresses issues relevant to an aging population. The plays are selected to encourage and include the participation of all genders, races, sexual orientations, abilities and ages – snapshots of real lives in our times, with mature women center stage addressing issues relevant to a vibrant aging population.

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Announcing the 2019 Artist Fellowship Recipients

Program aims to increase the pipeline for under-represented artists

Saint Paul, Minn., March 13, 2019 – Flordelino Lagundino, Park Square Theatre’s John W. Harris Artistic Director, has announced the eight recipients for the pilot year of a new Artist Fellowship program at Park Square: Ricardo Beaird, Ernest Briggs, Mary Capers, Maxwell Collyard, Ashawnti Sakina Ford, Sophie Peyton, Lindsey C. Samples, DJ Kool Akiem Scott.

“Fellowships gave me an inside track at some of the best theatres in the country, advancing my artistry and building my network,” says Lagundino. “We were delighted to receive 58 applications this year. It’s important to me that in our work at Park Square we find ways to open doors and build a pipeline for all early career theatre artists, especially for marginalized communities such as indigenous, people of color, and LGBTQA artists, in order to create a greater sense of belonging for everyone in our community.”

The first year of the new theatre fellowship program is made possible by major grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and Saint Paul’s Cultural STAR program. Fellows will deepen and develop new skills over the upcoming year in residence by participating in projects which will connect them to Park Square and the Saint Paul/larger Twin Cities’ community.

For the 2019 fellowships, there were five assistant directing tracks and three assistant designer tracks assigned (design may be in any theatrical design medium: set, costume, lights, props, sound, or projections). Each fellow will assist on two shows from early stages through final production, and will have a voice in production meetings, planning, rehearsals, and direct collaboration with lead production staff and the Artistic Director.

Collectively, the fellows will form a self-directed cohort of emerging leaders and may participate in the various department functions at Park Square in areas such as casting, season planning, carpentry, electrics, wardrobe or run crew, and in budgeting, human resources or marketing. Additionally, there will be opportunities to meet with artistic leaders at Park Square’s partner theatres as well as other area theatrical institutions. To involve the fellow cohort with the wider community, staff support, and dedicated resources will be provided to help each fellow create an engagement experience as a part of Park Square’s mission to center artmaking within the ongoing dialogue we have with our community.

At the end of the fellowship year, the cohort will participate in an Evening Cabaret Performance in which Twin Cities Artistic Leaders will be invited. This culminating event will be co-hosted with the MN Theatre Alliance. Feedback will be considered for the planning of future iterations and development of the program.

Park Square’s community partners in this program include Springboard for the Arts, the MN Theatre Alliance, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Theatre Mu, the History Theatre, PRIME Productions, and the East Side Freedom Library.

Headshots of recipients HERE  BIOS follow below.

Ricardo Beaird [Director Track] is a theatre maker and teaching artist from Nashville who recently performed at Park Square in Dot and Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. Currently, Ricardo is an actor/presenter at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This year, he was selected to be a Red Eye Theater Works-In-Progress artist with his collaborator, Megan Burns.

Ernest Briggs [Director] is a professional actor and Twin Cities native who has worked in Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles and Florida. Ernest received his Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Florida. He has worked locally as an actor with Mixed Blood Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Girl Friday Productions, Minnesota History Theatre, Artistry Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company, Teatro Del Pueblo, Pillsbury House Theatre, Turtle Theatre Collective, South Coast Repertory (CA), Tilted Windmills Theatricals (FL) and various feature films. He has also directed productions for the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Nimbus Theatre and various short films.

Mary Capers [Design] is a wig designer from South Jamaica Queens, New York. She has a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Fredonia and a pending Master of Fine Arts in Theatrical Design and Production from Brooklyn College. She has worked at various theatres around the country and is happy to finally call the Twin Cities home.

Maxwell Collyard [Design] is an interdisciplinary theatre/film artist based in the Twin Cities working mainly with digital content and live performance. Maxwell designed projections for Turtle Theater Collective, Theatre Novi Most, Frank Theatre, and the Playwrights’ Center. He also works as a cinematographer/editor for various fundraisers, Mixed Blood Theatre/Project 154, and with Fox and Coyote, Annie and the Bang Bang, Daniel Bonespur, and Porno Wolves to create music videos. He enjoys making movies in his spare time and is currently preparing a feature-length film for festivals. Maxwell also works as an actor and assistant director for theatres in the Twin Cities.

Ashawnti Sakina Ford [Director] is an actress, teaching artist, improviser, playwright, poet and director born and raised in the Twin Cities. Her work is typically centered in social change and arts accessibility. She recently co-founded The Black Ensemble Players theatre company to give rising black artists the opportunity to work on classical and new theatre. She is also a member of Blackout Improv which was recently recognized as a Minnesota Change-maker by MPR. Ashawnti has been seen on stages including the History Theatre and the Guthrie Dowling studio and has worked with companies including Full Circle Theatre, Sandbox Theatre and Combustible.

Sophie Peyton [Director] is a freelance director, dramaturg, and community engagement coordinator. Originally from Boston, she moved to Minneapolis to further her career in new play development and artistic administration. She holds a B.A. from Temple University and has worked on the administrative and producing staff at McCarter Theatre Center, Wilma Theater, and PlayPenn: New Play Development Conference. Regional credits include Minnesota Opera, Trademark Theater, History Theatre, Park Square Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, and Wilma Theater. She’s had the pleasure of assisting directors Emily Mann, Adam Immerwahr, Jamil Jude, Peter Rothstein, and Doug Scholz-Carlson.

Lindsey C. Samples [Director] is a multidisciplinary theater artist. She believes art is a critical ingredient in fostering a healthy society and creating necessary social change. As a director, performer, teaching artist, and arts administrator, she has used theater as a bridge to be in conversation across communities, geography, cultures, languages, abilities, and identities. Lindsey holds a B.A. in Theater from Loyola University Chicago and an M.Ed. in Youth Development Leadership from the University of Minnesota.

DJ Kool Akiem Scott [Design] is an educator, teaching artist, renowned DJ, composer, sound designer, and producer. Widely recognized as a pioneer of the Twin Cities Hip-Hop community, he’s produced for the legendary Micranots, was DJ for MF Doom’s domestic and European tours, and has performed with artists such as Public Enemy, De La Soul, The Roots, Grandmaster Flash, and Jazzy Jeff. Kool Akiem has produced seven albums, many of which are critically acclaimed that released on Rhymesayers Entertainment, Subverse Records, and Mental Madness Wreckords. He has held DJ residencies in New York and Atlanta, and hosted radio shows including The Panther Power Hour on WRFG (Atlanta) and WEQY (Saint Paul). His expertise and philosophies on Sampling and Hip Hop pedagogy have been featured in several books including Five Percenter Rap by Felicia Miyakawa and Making Beats by Joseph Schlosh. He composed original scores for the award-winning stage play Kung Fu Zombies vs Cannibals (Theater Mu), was DJ for Illyria (Theater Latte Da), a sound designer for The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up (Theater Mu) and was recently commissioned to compose the theme song for Kung Fu Zombies vs Shaman Warrior (Smithsonian). He taught Hip Hop Music History at McNally Smith College of Music and conducts DJ and recording residencies and workshops for all ages as a teaching artist through COMPAS, East Metro Integration District and Intermedia Arts.

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PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. parksquaretheatre.org

Programs, Justice After Genocide

Programs, Justice After Genocide

For Immediate Release

Programs, Justice After Genocide

(St. Paul, MN; February 22, 2019) The country of Yugoslavia imploded during the early 1990s, collapsing into genocide and mass atrocities perpetrated by individuals, government armies, and paramilitary militias against one-time friends and neighbors.

Park Square Theatre, St. Paul, is presenting Heaven, a theatrical look into war-torn Bosnia told by playwright/director Joe Chvala in music, dance, and story. The work will be produced by theatre in residence, Flying Foot Forum.

To deepen public understanding of the conflict and of the challenges faced after genocide, Park Square Theatre, in collaboration with World Without Genocide and Flying Foot Forum, offers a series of programs that include films, talks, and a compelling personal story of a survivor of one of the 20th-century’s worst massacres.

The events are open to the public:  $10 general public, $5 seniors and students; $25 for lawyers’ CLE credits at most programs; ‘clock hours’ for educators.  No advance registration is required.

Programs:

Film, Men Don’t Cry. War trauma in Bosnia.
Thursday April 4, 7:00-9:00 pm
Park Square Theatre, Andy Boss Thrust Stage.

Panel, A Survivor, a Prosecutor, and a Forensic Pathologist
Tuesday, April 16, 7:00-9:00 pm
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Talk, Bosnia, Genocide, and Climate Change
Thursday, April 25, 7:00-9:00 pm
St. Anthony Park Public Library

Film and Talk, Rape:  A Crime of Genocide – The Foča ‘Rape Camp’ Trials
Sunday, May 19, 1:30-3:30 pm
Park Square Theatre, Proscenium Stage

Film and talk, Sex Trafficking and Genocide with FBI Special Agent
Tuesday, June 11 7:00-9:00 pm
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Exhumations and Justice, Post-show discussion
Sunday, June 16. After 2:00 pm performance of Heaven
Park Square Theatre, Proscenium Stage

“Genocide and Justice:  From Nuremberg to the International Criminal Court,” an exhibit by World Without Genocide, will be on display at Park Square Theatre during this time.

The series is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter, Federal Bar Association; the Human Rights Committee, Minnesota State Bar Association; DKG, an international women educators’ society; ILSA, the International Law Student Association at Mitchell Hamline School of Law; and the St. Paul and Minneapolis-University Rotary Clubs.

Tickets for Heaven, running May 31 – June 23, can be purchased here

More information – info@worldwithoutgenocide.org , www.worldwithoutgenocideorg , 651-695-7621.

World Without Genocide promotes education and action to protect innocent people, prevent genocide, prosecute perpetrators, and remember those affected by genocide.

Contact: Ellen J. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Executive Director
651-695-7621
kennedy@worldwithoutgenocide.org

 

      Graphic logo for Park Square Theatre - deep red type on white background      

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Girl Friday Productions Stages 1943 Pulitzer Prize Winning Masterpiece THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH

Park Square Theatre, peforming arts community hub with two stages in Saint Paul, Minnesota             

 

Girl Friday Productions Stages 1943 Pulitzer Prize Winning Masterpiece
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH by Thornton Wilder

Media Contact: Connie Shaver
612.308.5785 shaver@parksquaretheatre.org
Tickets: 651.291.7005 or
parksquaretheatre.org

St. Paul, MN, Jan. 8, 2019 – A surprisingly modern and optimistic tribute to the invincibility of the human spirit, Thornton Wilder’s THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, produced by Girl Friday Productions and directed by Joel Sass, opens February 9, 2019 on the proscenium stage at Park Square Theatre. Girl Friday Productions brings its signature large ensemble cast to this comedy of epic proportions.

“All I ask is the chance to build new worlds…” – Mr. Antrobus in THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH.

Winner of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH juxtaposes everyday life with the historical and mythological past to create a wonderfully odd world. The play follows the adventures of an eternal American family residing in prehistoric and contemporary New Jersey who prevail over a series of apocryphal catastrophes. The ice age, the great flood, world war, family strife, political conventions… the Antrobus family, their maid Sabina, and a host of other characters survive through eons of calamity with their hope intact. Continually facing the end of days, humanity perseveres. This 75-year old comedy about resilience and hope feels fresh and profoundly relevant for today.

Girl Friday Productions is offering a rare opportunity for Twin Cities’ audiences: the last local professional production of THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH was their own. “When Girl Friday first explored this work in 2009, our country was in the depth of economic crisis,” says Girl Friday Productions Artistic Director Kirby Bennett. “Ten years later, we find ourselves at a time of moral peril, facing different yet familiar world calamities: conflicts at home and abroad, a refugee crisis, climate change, a loss of faith in our leaders, a loss of hope. THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH explores all this and more, in ways that are at once unexpected, hilarious and moving. And where else will you see a dinosaur and mammoth onstage?”

Acclaimed Twin Cities’ theatre artist Joel Sass is both directing and creating the scenic design for THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH. A longtime collaborator and advisor to Girl Friday Productions, Sass previously designed sets for Girl Friday Productions’ OUR TOWN and STREET SCENE. His work has been seen regionally and nationally at the Guthrie Theater, Jungle Theater, Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Open Eye, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arizona Theatre Company, among many others. A prolific director, designer and adaptor, and winner of multiple local and national awards, Sass is among the most lauded theatre artists in the region.

“So many people read the play for the first time and cannot believe it was written in 1942,” comments Sass. “THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH still feels utterly fresh, edgy, funny and topical—and if it were written this year it would still be worthy of its Pulitzer Prize. A particular joy of working on this production will be the double opportunity to collaborate with a handful of people I’ve known and grown with for nearly two decades—and another group of amazing talents I have admired around town but not yet worked with. Together we will tackle this ‘mammoth’ of a script and bring its humor, political critique and optimism to a new audience.”

Actors Alayne Hopkins as Sabina, John Middleton as Mr. Antrobus and Kirby Bennett as Mrs. Antrobus lead Girl Friday Productions’ stellar ensemble cast of 15, which features many Twin Cities’ favorites as well as upcoming talent. The full cast includes: Kirby Bennett, Ernest Briggs, Pedro Juan Fonseca, Wendy Freshman, Kathryn Fumie, Alayne Hopkins, Sam Landman, Alice McGlave, John Middleton, Victoria Pyan, James Ramlet, Taj Ruler, Neal Skoy, Mike Swan and Dana Lee Thompson. Joining Sass on the exceptional design team are: Lighting Designer Mike Kittel, Costume Designer Kathy Kohl, Projections Designer Kathy Maxwell, Sound Designer C Andrew Mayer and Properties Designer Rick Polenek.

THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund; and by the Saint Paul Cultural STAR Program. THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH is being produced by Girl Friday Productions as part of Park Square’s “Theatres in Residence” Series.

Photo of Alayne Hopkins as Sabina by Richard Fleischman HERE
Group photo by Richard Fleischman HERE. Pictured left to right Front row: Taj Ruler, Kathryn Fumie, Neal Skoy, Back row: Dana Lee Thompson, Kirby Bennett, John Middleton, Alayne Hopkins, Ernest Briggs.

About Girl Friday Productions
“It’s wonderful to see these rarely produced gems.” – Girl Friday Productions audience member

The little company that does big plays, Girl Friday Productions focuses on larger scale American plays of exceptional literary merit that are less frequently produced today. The company’s mission is to nurture artists, inspire audiences and illuminate the human condition. Girl Friday Productions chooses to focus on a singular major project every other year. This approach maximizes efforts to work with challenging texts, large and skilled ensemble casts, and distinguished directors and designers. Girl Friday Productions’ work is characterized by exceptional literature, humanity, relevance and stimulating theatricality.

Founded in 2004 by Artistic Director Kirby Bennett, Girl Friday Productions’ most recent productions were IDIOT’S DELIGHT (Lavender Magazine notable performances in 2017), THE MATCHMAKER (2015 year-end recognition from Twin Cities Theatre Bloggers), CAMINO REAL (Lavender Magazine notable performances in 2013) and STREET SCENE (2011 “Top Ten”/Year End Highlights in the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press and Lavender Magazine; Ivey Award for director). Other highlights include THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH (MinnPost “Favorite for 2009”) and OUR TOWN (Pioneer Press’ “Top Ten Shows of 2007”).

Girl Friday Productions presents THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH by Thornton Wilder
February 7 – March 3, 2019

Location: Park Square Theatre’s Proscenium Stage
Historic Hamm Building in Downtown Saint Paul
20 West Seventh Place
Saint Paul, MN 55102

Tickets: Preview: $20/$27/$37; Regular Run: $25/$40/$60; discounts for seniors, students,
age 30 & under, groups, fringe buttons, MPR members, active military personnel; Pay What You Wish February 25.

Tickets: parksquaretheatre.org or call 651.291.7005 (noon – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday – Friday)
Information and company website: girlfridayproductions.org

Performance Schedule (18 performances over 4 weeks)
Evening shows at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm. The specific performance dates are:
Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 pm Preview
Friday, February 8 at 7:30 pm Preview
Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 pm Opening night and reception
Sunday, February 10 at 2 pm

Wednesday, February 13 at 7:30 pm Post show discussion
Thursday, February 14 at 7:30 pm
Friday, February 15 at 7:30 pm Audio description and sensory tour
Saturday, February 16 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 17 at 2:00 pm

Thursday, February 21 at 7:30 pm
Friday, February 22 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 pm American Sign Language and post show discussion
Monday, February 25 at 7:30 pm Pay What You Wish

Thursday, February 28 at 7:30 pm
Friday, March 1 at 7:30 pm Open captioning
Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 pm Open captioning
Sunday, March 3 at 2:00 pm Open captioning, closing performance

– End –

Announcing New Artist Fellowships

PARK SQUARE ANNOUNCES ARTIST FELLOWSHIPS

Program aims to increase the pipeline for under-represented artists


UPDATE: Submissions for the 2019 fellowships are now passed. Fellows will be announced March 1, 2019. Check back on this website in December 2019 for information on the next fellowship round.


MEDIA CONTACT: Connie Shaver, shaver@parksquaretheatre.org

Director Wendy Knox with Park Square Artistic Director, Flordelino Lagundino.

Saint Paul, Minn., January 7, 2019 – Flordelino Lagundino, Park Square Theatre’s John W. Harris Artistic Director, announces that applications are now being accepted for the pilot year of a new Artist Fellowship program at Park Square. “Fellowships gave me an inside track at some of the best theatres in the country, advancing my artistry and building my network,” says Lagundino, who assistant directed Blithe Spirit at The Guthrie as a New York Directing Fellow — an opportunity created by The Drama League Directors Project. “There is an industry-wide lack of arts leadership opportunities for people of color like myself, particularly early career artists. It’s important to me that in our work at Park Square we find ways to open doors and build a pipeline for all early career theatre artists, especially for marginalized communities such as indigenous, people of color, and LGBTQA artists, in order to create a greater sense of belonging for everyone in our community.”

The first year of the new theatre fellowship program is made possible by major grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and Saint Paul’s Cultural STAR program. For the first round, Park Square will select eight early career artists from a state-wide, open application process.

PURPOSE AND DESCRIPTION

To help fill an industry-wide lack in arts leadership opportunities, Park Square is piloting a theatre fellowship program in 2019. Park Square will select eight early career artists from a state-wide, open application process which seeks to elevate a cohort of diverse artistic voices for stage. Fellows will deepen and develop new skills over their year in residence by participating in projects which will connect them to Park Square and the Saint Paul/larger Twin Cities’ community.

For the fellowship, there are four assistant directing tracks and four assistant designer tracks available (design may be in any theatrical design medium: set, costume, lights, props, sound, or projections). Each fellow will assist on two shows from early stages through final production, and will have a voice in production meetings, planning, rehearsals, and direct collaboration with lead production staff and the Artistic Director.

Collectively, the fellows will form a self-directed cohort of emerging leaders and may participate in the various department functions at Park Square in areas such as casting, season planning, carpentry, electrics, wardrobe or run crew, and in budgeting, human resources or marketing. Additionally, there will be opportunities to meet with artistic leaders at Park Square’s partner theatres as well as other area theatrical institutions. To involve the fellow cohort with the wider community, staff support, and dedicated resources will be provided to help each fellow create a engagement experience as a part of Park Square’s mission to center artmaking within the ongoing dialogue we have with our community.

At the end of the fellowship year, the cohort will participate in an Evening Cabaret Performance in which Twin Cities Artistic Leaders will be invited. This culminating event will be co-hosted with the MN Theatre Alliance.

Assistant Directing Fellows and Assistant Design Fellows will receive $4,000 for the year. Payments will made in two installments: mid-way through the year and at the culmination of the project.

Park Square’s community partners in this program include Springboard for the Arts, the MN Theatre Alliance, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Theatre Mu, the History Theatre, PRIME Productions, and the East Side Freedom Library.

This is a new program and 2019 is the pilot year. Feedback will be considered for the planning of future iterations and development of the program.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must to 18 years of age or older. Full-time students at any level are not eligible. Applicants must be eligible to receive taxable income in the state of Minnesota throughout the fellowship year and must have been living or working in Minnesota for at least two years. IPOC, woman+ and LGBTQIA+ peoples are encouraged to apply.

APPLICATION TIMELINE


UPDATE: Submissions for the 2019 fellowships are now passed. Fellows will be announced March 1, 2019. Check back on this website in December 2019 for information on the next fellowship round.


SELECTION

Applications are reviewed by a panel comprised of Artistic Director Flordelino Lagundino, Associate Artistic Director Laura Leffler, and two other artistic associates. Applications will be judged upon the following criteria: (1) adherence to the application guidelines, (2) artistic quality displayed in the work sample, and (3) strength of written materials.

IPOC, LGBTQIA2+, and woman+ peoples are encouraged to apply.

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PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. parksquaretheatre.org

Antigone is a classic tragedy for a modern audience

ANTIGONE IS A CLASSIC TRAGEDY FOR A MODERN AUDIENCE

Second production features an all-women cast

Saint Paul, Minn., December 18, 2018 – Park Square Theatre announces the second production of ANTIGONE adapted and directed by MJ Kedrowski. The play is adapted in modern language from the Greek tragedy by Sophocles and brought to life by an all-woman ensemble of actors who work with Kedrowski to devise the script and action. “I’ve always been drawn to classic Greek theatre,” said Kedrowski. “The dramatic stakes are so high, and the lessons are so rooted in the human experience.” ANTIGONE plays on Park Square Theatre’s Andy Boss Thrust Stage from February 1 to March 3, 2019, including a series of ten nearly sold out student matinees.

“Richard Cook, who programmed this piece, was moved by MJ’s original production at Theatre Coup d’Etat in 2016 and thought it might be a perfect “cross-over” play that would engage both adults and school audiences,” said Michael-jon Pease, Park Square Theatre’s Executive Director. “His request to MJ was to see if the casting for the new production could be more racially diverse and inclusive to better align with our mission. After realizing the names they were coming up with all happened to be women, the idea of a cast of women and women-identifying actors emerged as a way to explore the feminist themes in the play and, as always, hire more diversely.”

“There are several times in the original Sophocles text when people tell Antigone ‘you are only a woman,’ in reference to something she can’t do,” says Kedrowski. “I tried to keep these moments to reflect on what the culture was back then and what the culture is now. My hope is that an audience of any kind, but particularly young people, will hear this and know that they can still fight for something they think is right. No matter what their gender.”

The story of ANTIGONE, the last in a trilogy by Sophocles, is rooted in civil disobedience, set in the aftermath of civil war. Oedipus’ two sons have killed each other in a fight for the crown of Thebes. Their uncle Creon becomes king and declares that Eteocles will receive holy burial while his brother Polynices is left unburied to rot at the gates of the city as a warning to other traitors. Their sister Antigone can’t accept this desecration. Knowing full well it will result in her own death, Antigone determines to bury Polynices, so his soul may rest.

Kedrowski was inspired by both a translation of the original Greek script and the 20th century version by Jean Anouilh. “I really love taking old works and using them as a baseline to create a new piece of theatre. Our script has many of the same characters and many of the same plot points, but we see people take a whole new path to get where they are going. And, unlike the original Greek script, where all the most dramatic action happens offstage and is told to us, we bring the action onstage for the audience to witness. We also include some of the character’s backstories to build more context and empathy for the emotions that are at play.”

The cast for ANTIGONE includes Lauren Diesch (Antigone), Laura Leffler (Creon), Kelly Nelson (Eteocles), Antonia Perez (Polynices), Vinecia Coleman (Haemon), Jamila Joiner (Ismene), Jamie Jachimiec (Eurydice) and an ensemble of Meredith Kind, Erin Farste, Teresa Mock and Kelly Huang.

The production team for ANTIGONE includes Sophie Peyton (Assistant Director), Jaya Robillard (Stage Manager), Kyia Britts (Lighting Designer), Morgan Groff (Costumer Designer), Sarah Modena (Sound Designer), Steve Modena (Sound Designer), Meredith Kind (Fight Choreographer), Kelly Nelson (Movement Coach), Lars Nisswandt (Silks Coach), Ruth Coughlin Lencowski (Vocal Coach), Lea Bruker (Sound Consultant), Hannah Holman (Producing Consultant), Natalia Petersen (Musician), Jo Kellen (Musician).

Ticket prices: Previews: $20-$37. Regular Run: $25-$60. Discounts are available for seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale at the Park Square ticket office, 20 W. Seventh Place, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday), or online at www.parksquaretheatre.org.   #PSTAntigone

 

CALENDAR INFORMATION

Previews: February 1 – 7, 2019

Opening Night: February 8, 2019

Regular Run: February 8 – March 3, 2019

Tickets: Previews: $20-$37; Regular Run: $25-$60

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

Ticket office: 651-291-7005 or www.parksquaretheatre.org

 Green: 7:30pm  Orange: 2:00pm

P – Preview
B – 99¢ Bargain Preview
D – Post-show Discussion
O – Opening Night
ASL –American Sign Language
AD – Audio Description
C – Open Captioning

PHOTOS Antigone photos by Petronella J Ytsma

UP NEXT ON PARK SQUARE’S PROSCENIUM STAGE:

Park Square Theatre Presents Girl Friday Production’s:

The Skin of our Teeth

By THORNTON WILDER

Directed by and designed by Joel Sass

Preview: February 7- 8, 2019

Opening Night: February 9, 2019

Regular Run: February 9 – March 3, 2019

.

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. www.parksquaretheatre.org

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Introducing the Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Introducing the Godmother of Rock 'n' Roll

INTRODUCING THE GODMOTHER OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

Local premiere stars Jamecia Bennett and Rajané Katurah Brown

Park Square Theatre announces the area premiere production of Marie & Rosetta by George Brandt, to be directed by Wendy Knox, who directed the early workshops of the play at the Minneapolis-based Playwrights’ Center. Soulful and spirited, this play with music tells the story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a 2018 inductee into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame who has become a Facebook sensation with tens of thousands of shares of the vintage video of her playing electric guitar on the street cropping up in feeds for the past several years. Tharpe brought fierce guitar playing and swing to gospel music and went on to influence rock musicians from Elvis to Jimi Hendrix and Ray Charles.

The story begins in a funeral parlor in Mississippi, as Rosetta (played by Jamecia Bennett*) and her young protégé, Marie Knight (played by Rajané Katurah Brown), prepare for a tour that will establish them as a great musical duo. Local musical powerhouses, Bennett and Brown earned rave reviews in THE WIZ at Children’s Theatre Company. In this production, musical director Gary D. Hines from The Sounds of Blackness will help them shape memorable renditions of spirituals like “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” and “Sit Down,” to distinctly non-religious songs like “I Want a Tall Skinny Papa.”

“Rosetta was a powerhouse musician who had a huge influence on Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Etta James, among others,” says director Wendy Knox. “She came to fame as a gospel singer, was a rival of Mahalia Jackson, then crossed over to secular music and was shunned by the church community. She was married several times and maintained a longtime relationship with her musical partner Marie Knight. Under-recognized for her talents (gee, that problem hasn’t gone away, has it?), she had an enormous influence on rock and roll. What a treat to return to this great story in the very year when she finally got her due from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame!”

The production team for Marie & Rosetta includes Joseph Stanley (Scenic Design); Aaron Chvatal (Costume Design); Robert Dunn (Wig Design); Abbee Warmboe (Properties Design); Michael P. Kittel (Lighting Design); Peter Morrow (Sound Design); Morgan Holmes (Dramaturg); Jared Zeigler* (Stage Manager).

Ticket prices: Previews: $20-$37. Regular Run: $25-$60. Discounts are available for seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale at the Park Square ticket office, 20 W. Seventh Place, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday), or online at parksquaretheatre.org.   #PSTMarie&Rosetta

*Member, Actors Equity Association

CALENDAR INFORMATION

Marie & Rosetta

Park Square’s Proscenium Stage

Previews: November 23 – 29, 2018

Opening Night: November 30

Regular Run: November 30  – December 30, 2018

Tickets: Previews: $20-$37; Regular Run: $25-$60

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

Ticket Office: 651-291-7005 or parksquaretheatre.org

Phtos by Petronella J. Ytsma HERE.

Green 7:30 pm; Orange 2:00pm

P – Preview; B – 99¢ Bargain Preview; D – Post-show Discussion; O – Opening Night; ASL – American Sign Language; AD – Audio Description; C – Open Captioning

Unpacking a Theatre Attic

Unpacking a Theatre Attic

New Landmark Center Exhibition Explores Park Square Theatre’s First 43 Years

MEDIA CONTACT

Connie Shaver, shaver@parksquaretheatre.org

Saint Paul, Minn., July 25, 2018 – Park Square Theatre announces UNPACKING A THEATRE ATTIC: Park Square Theatre’s First 43 Years, a new exhibition at Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul that will run September 6– 30, 2018. Richard Cook, who has worked at Park Square Theatre since its first season in 1975, is literally “going through the trunks” to choose images and mementoes from every one of the theatre’s 350 productions. The exhibit will be arranged thematically to explore Park Square’s staggering range of programming, from Shakespeare to mysteries to world premieres. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Two special events will bookmark the month-long exhibition. The first will be a gala retirement party at 5:30 p.m. on September 6 to toast Cook’s long career as a Twin Cities theatre leader. The second will be the official welcome for Park Square’s new artistic director, Flordelino Lagundino, at 5:30 p.m. on September 26. The public is invited to both events, but RSVPs are required. Please email lchristensen@parksquaretheatre.org.

“Talk about ‘this is your life’ – the process of curating this exhibit has been an unbelievable dive into our history,” says Richard Cook. “So many moments of great work by artists and plays that I loved have washed over me every time I’ve opened a file or box. It’s also been interesting – and sometimes instructive – to read old reviews and think ‘I don’t remember that experience that way at all’ or ‘Yes! That was a fine moment and even the critics agreed!’”

Richard Cook, outgoing artistic director

Many boxes of Park Square’s archives are now stored at the Performing Arts Archives at the University of Minnesota’s Elmer L. Andersen Library. The Performing Arts Archives was established in 1971 by the University of Minnesota Libraries for the preservation and study of the records relating to Minnesota’s rich history of theatre, music, dance, and associated organizations. Its goal is to document as fully as possible the activities of individuals and groups in both professional and amateur performing arts throughout the state. The collections include the most important companies in each of the major arts fields.

Still more important documents have been in the basement office in the Historic Hamm Building that Richard has occupied for the last quarter century – and of course the stray items that landed in his apartment in Saint Paul’s Lowertown. “In 1980 when I took the torch as artistic director from founder Paul Mathey and my husband Steven became managing director, we kept pretty consistent records. But the first five years of the company’s history, and its pre-Park Square life as the Smith Park Gallery performance space and then Variety Hall Theatre, are largely undocumented,” admits Cook. “It’s important to me to organize and make all the notes I can to honor the innovators like Paul who were creating the first Lowertown arts scene in the 1970s.”

Set construction for Marat Sade, 1979.

“We started in the Park Square Court building as a small performance space at the end of the Smith Park art gallery. Artists put on poetry readings and raw, new performance work – almost like an early version of Patrick’s Cabaret,” Cook remembers. “There was a pottery studio and an astrological bookstore in the building, and MPR had its first tiny studio on the ground floor. Today’s artistic energy feels so much like that era.  Artists are creating new companies out of sheer grit and vision, often with a desire to protest injustice and change systems. I am inspired by the ways the new generation of artistic leaders – like our incoming artistic director Flordelino Lagundino – are building on those 1970s foundations. For this exhibit, I hope those who have grown up in the local theatre community find their special Park Square memories – stories that moved them, productions that built lifelong friends and shaped careers, and artists we’ve all treasured on our stages and elsewhere. I also hope those new to Park Square or the Twin Cities find inspiration for the future. It’s been a great ride and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.”

Exhibit Details:

Presenting sponsor:

Unpacking a Theatre Attic: Park Square Theatre’s First 43 Years

A New Exhibition at Landmark Center, September 3 – 30, 2018

Landmark Center (North Gallery off the 6th Street entrance)

75 5th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102 · (651) 292-3233

Park Square’s NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN takes to Stages Around the Country

Local star Regina Williams heads to Atlanta for a new production.

Nina Simone: Four Women at Park Square Theatre, 2017

Regina Marie Williams in NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN at Park Square Theatre. PC: Petronella J. Ytsma.

MEDIA CONTACT

Connie Shaver, shaver@parksquaretheatre.org

Following the success of its world premiere commission at Park Square Theatre in 2016, NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN went on to a second production at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., one of the nation’s top regional theatres last year. This month, Regina Marie Williams, who originated the title role at Park Square, and in fact inspired the commission of the play, heads to Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre in Atlanta to star in a new production that will play September 25-Oct 21, 2018. While True Colors is a natural home for this dynamic play, which broke box office records for Park Square’s Andy Boss Stage, there is also a strong link between the theatres through Jamil Jude, who was Park Square’s Artistic Programming Associate during both Saint Paul runs of the play, and he is now Kenny Leon’s Associate Artistic Director.

Williams shared her excitement for the role, “Sometimes Nina’s voice would be warm and soothing, other times angry and harsh, and then light and sweet. Her voice, her music, made me feel.” She added, “Over the years I have performed in musicals and plays, comedy and tragedy, Shakespeare and Wilson. The variety has been a gift and will be an asset when working to access the brilliance, the vulnerability, the self-righteousness, the humanity, and the Goddess in Nina.”

Playwright Christina Ham

The play is gaining speed around the country with upcoming productions at Northlight Theatre outside of Chicago, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, NC and The Black Rep in St. Louis. Its writer, local artist Christina Ham, is enjoying a banner year. She is a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, and the Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Pillsbury House Theatre and a writer on the Netflix horror series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

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