News & such as of March 26th. Choreographers wanted, world premiere of new play, and more.

by Levi Weinhagen • Mar. 26

News and notes |

Are you familiar with St Paul’s Public Artist Residency?
It’s a program of Public Art St Paul started in 2005. You can read more about it on the Public Art St Paul website.

Public Art St Paul is currently seeking a City Artists in Residence Program Manager. It looks like a potentially great part-time job for a working artist offering a chance to be a part of art beyond their own work and be a part of community building.

Here’s the job description on the Springboard for the Arts Job Board

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On Wednesday, March 21st, Twin Cities actor Adam Briesemeister died trying to save friends from a house fire. Briesemeister was only 25 but in only a few years of working in Minnesota he seems to have made connections with many parts of the Twin Cities theater community. I didn’t know Adam or his work but from what I’ve heard from local theater makers and what I’ve seen online that’s my loss.

You can read a little more about Adam Briesemeister’s death and life in this Star Tribune article.

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The world premiere of a new play opened at Park Square theatre on March 16th.
American Family, written by Carlyle Brown, is about a woman attempting to find her past and possibly sort out how her life could have gone differently.

This show interests me because it was commissioned for Park Square, which is always exciting for a playwright, and the playwright ended up being cast to act in the show on somewhat short notice.

The show runs March 16th through April 7th at Park Square in St Paul.

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Recently, the Guardian UK ran an article about a void in standup comedy for women.

Female Standup Comedy Void

This isn’t a new topic and the article is largely focused on comedy in the United Kingdom but anytime I read something addressing the idea that women aren’t funny or asking why there aren’t more women comics or comedic plays and movies featuring women I engage pretty quickly. As a writer of comedy, the son of a single mother and spouse to a women I met because we were working for the same comedy theater I’ve never had a time in my life when I wasn't spending time with very funny women.

The fact that comedy writing and performing jobs have higher percentages of men over women is so clearly, to me, no different than the fact that way more men have been astronauts than women which points to the issue being that there was a big hunk of time when social and cultural norms didn’t allow women to hold these positions. We are in a period of playing catch-up. Comedy used to be dominated by men so a lot of comedy was made to appeal to boys which meant that even when it started becoming less unusual for a woman to work in comedy the comedy influencers were pulling more heavily on boys.

In other words, a lack of women writing and performing comedy and a lack of comedic projects for the stage and screen focused on women doesn’t show that women aren’t as funny as men. It shows that for way too long a period of time women didn’t know doing comedy was a thing they were allowed to do. And luckily, that is rapidly changing.

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There’s something new happening in the are of independent and local film.
A new project called Altsie was designed to create revenue-generating opportunities for filmmakers and make films more accessible to audiences by empowering local small business owners to become avenues of film distribution.

A filmmaker can put their feature length film in the hands of the folks at Altsie and then bars, coffee shops, restaurants and then like can screen the movies for otherwise nearly unreachable audiences. Here’s a write up of the project on MN Artists.

Altsie, started by Lucas Rayala, is actually pretty ambitious in scope and it will be curious to see if this is a sustainable model. But its always exciting when people try to find new ways to get art to audiences and money to artists.

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The Walker Art Center has a call out for proposals from choreographers for their 2013 Momentum series. It’s a great chance for new or under-recognized choreographers to have their work presented at a large institution like the Walker that also includes opportunities for professional development.

You can get more specific information on the Walker Art Center performing arts blog.

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That’s a snapshot of what’s fallen in front of my face in the past week. Did I miss something awesome? Did I miss something terrible? Did I miss something terribly awesome? Let me know by sending an email to levi.Weinhagen@gmail.com

Hug your friends and laugh at their jokes.

-Levi

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