Posts Tagged Prime Productions

2020-2021 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT

Park Square Announces 46th Season

Fresh and Forward Looking Series Features Artistic Collaborations and Three World Premieres

MEDIA CONTACT
Connie Shaver, shaver@parksquaretheatre.org

Saint Paul, Minn., Feb 28, 2020 – Park Square Theatre announced the Harris Family 2020-2021 Theatre Season today, the company’s 46th.  The coming season is supported by a major gift from the John W. Harris family. The series kicks off in fall with a rebellious comedy rescheduled from the summer, and continues with artistic collaborations, three world premieres, one musical and two mysteries.

The season opens on the Proscenium Stage with guillotines and a cry for liberty with the regional premiere of THE REVOLUTIONISTS by Lauren Gunderson (Oct 2 – Oct 25, 2020). Produced with PRIME Productions, the show will be directed by PRIME co-founder Shelli Place in her Park Square debut. Four spirited women lose their heads in this irreverent 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 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.

Two white women sit in directors chairs. They are drinking whiskey and have two whiskey barrels at their feet.

Carolyn Pool (L) and Shanan Custer (R) in Bad Things, Good Whiskey. Photo by Richard Fleischman, hair and make-up by Jancyn Bindman.

Woman-centered writing continues on the Boss Stage with the world premiere of BAD THINGS, GOOD WHISKEY by Shanan Custer and Carolyn Pool (Oct 23 – Nov 22, 2020). Directed by Elena Giannetti and featuring music by Rhiannon Fiskradatz, this “comedy on the rocks” is the final installment in their beverage-inspired trilogy from the creators of 2 Sugars, Room for Cream and Sometimes There’s Wine. The comedic duo weave together “scenes from life and stuff we think is funny” – only this time the drink is a spirit as strong as the women who drink it!

November brings a special season add-on presentation of Katha Dance Theatre’s world premiere of SHAAMYA – OF EQUALITY (Nov 5-8, 2020) with choreography by Rita Mustaphi. Inspired by the poem “Of Equality” by Bengali revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, this multicultural dance piece infuses poetry, gospel and R&B music with original Kathak choreography. This new work, with music composed and performed by J.D. Steele and poetry by Somali poet and playwright Ifrah Mansour, makes parallels between the experiences of today’s communities of color and those of Nazrul Islam’s era.

Winter brings the regional premiere of AIRNESS (Jan 29 – Feb 28, 2021) by Chelsea Marcantel. Five oddball rock fanatics go to dingy bars and cramped stages all across the nation to express their inner shred genius as they vie for a place at the National Air Guitar Championship. Following them on their quest to achieve ‘airness’ on the long road to qualification, this righteous and smile-inducing comedy shows how community is forged in unexpected places. “This show was the unexpected and universal hit for the group of Twin Cities theatre goers who accompanied us to the 2017 Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, KY,” says Park Square executive director Michael-jon Pease.

Park Square and the Ordway, who first collaborated in 2009 on an acclaimed production of the off-beat Broadway musical Grey Gardens, present TRIANGLE (Apr 2 – May 9, 2021), with music by Curtis Moore, lyrics by Thomas Mizer, book by Curtis Moore, Thomas Mizer and Joshua Scher. Directed by Rod Kaats, this area premiere musical is original and compelling,  full of mystery and romance, with songs by two of America’s hottest new musical theatre writers. Two parallel love stories separated by a hundred years are woven together by the thread of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City.

Summer in Saint Paul kicks off with two very different mysteries by local writers. First Park Square presents the Full Circle Theatre world premiere production of FIRE IN THE NEW WORLD written and directed by R.A. Shiomi (May 28 – Jun 20, 2021). In the third installment of Shiomi’s popular noir-style detective stories, Sam Shikaze, hard boiled private eye, fights crime in Vancouver’s Japantown and beyond in the years after WWII.  This time the beautiful Japanese American wife of an ambitious real estate developer goes missing, and Sam is on the case. The show is smart and fun with a dash of social commentary and plenty of sly intrigue.

The final mystery of the season is at press time, still just that – a mystery. What is known is that the writer and director will be award-winning playwright Jeffrey Hatcher (Holmes and Watson, Sherlock Holmes and The Ice Palace Murders, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club) and that the dates will be Jul 9 – Aug 15, 2021. “One of the projects we’re working on should get confirmed in the next few weeks,” says Pease. “It will be a treat to have Jeffrey direct one of his own edge-of-your-seat scripts. After all, Park Square has produced three of his mysteries over the years and Jeffrey even wound up making his Park Square stage debut for one weekend in Sherlock Holmes and The Ice Palace Murders, so it’s about time to get him on as a director as well to round out his Park Square resume.”

In addition to the full season of public performances, Park Square will continue to serve the region’s largest teen theatre audience with daytime matinees for students in 7th-12th grade of THE REVOLUTIONISTS and SHAAMYA – OF EQUALITY 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.

Beyond Park Square’s theatre season, its two stages will continue to be a home for productions by companies from across the Twin Cities, such as Flying Foot Forum, Trademark Theatre, Zorongo Flamenco, Theatre 55, and the Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society. “The Boss and Proscenium stages are amazing assets,” says Pease. “Sharing them with our area’s amazingly varied artists helps make Saint Paul a vibrant destination for all ages and tastes. I’m particularly excited by a brand new partnership with Metropolitan State University’s Playwriting Program that showcases staged readings and workshops of new plays by their diverse student writers on the Boss Stage. Each season and each partnership reveals new ways to center our community’s multiplicity of voices.”

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 six plays and three add-ons in the season to a choose-your-own series of three or more. Subscription package prices begin at $66.

Purchase Tickets Here

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

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

PRIME PRODUCTIONS brings the future to the stage.

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

 

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

Laura Stearns (left) and Candace Barrett Birk*. Photo By Joseph Giannetti.

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.

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

#allarewelcome: Illuminating Brave Spaces January 19

Ghostlight on stage with caption Be a Light

Challenging times can cause many of us wonder where the light is in the world. If these days seem like that for you, the Ghostlight Project brings good news and the opportunity to illuminate our little corner of the country.

On January 19 at 5:30 pm hundreds of theatres across the U.S. will host outdoor gatherings for a collective action to shine some light — in the form of flashlights, cell phone lights, fairy lights, etc.— to celebrate our theatres as Brave Spaces.

Please join us at Park Square as several theatre companies including Mu Performing Arts, Girl Friday Productions, Sandbox Theatre  and Prime Productions gather under the Park Square marquee on West 7th Place to participate in  the project. Our event will include music, the opportunity to join with others, to light a light, make a personal pledge and gather for coffee and hot cocoa in the lobby.

Details are available on Park Square’s Ghostlight Project page For more about the nationwide initiative, visit the TheGhostlightProject.com.

Bring friends — and your light.

#bealight
#ghostlightproject
#allarewelcome

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