Tribute to Ann Marsden, Strib theater commentary, and more. 8.15 news and such

by Levi Weinhagen • Aug. 13

News and notes |

On the MPR State of the Arts blog Marianne Combs shares a tribute to photographer Ann Marsden offered by Ann’s brother-in-law Reverend Dorsey McConnell

It’s beautiful and moving. You can read it here: Sheer grace: a tribute to Ann Marsden

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Director Bryan Bevell just wrote a commentary for the Star Tribune complaining that, “Far too much of the work I see on local stages feels self-satisfied and uninspired, with little driving passion or evident purpose.”

Read the whole commentary here: Twin Cities theater needs a boldness injection

I hate to be rude but I feel like comfort with rudeness is an element this commentary is asking for so I’ll go ahead and point out the irony in a critical commentary on the lack of boldness in the world of Twin Cities theater that makes only general criticism without calling out a particular artist or organization while very specifically singling out a few organizations for praise. Not a bold move.

That criticism having been made I think it’s likely there is a pulling of punches sometimes in Twin Cities theatrical productions. Unpleasant topics and issues are avoided because they’re unpleasant. And theater is certainly a tool for getting at difficult things. Is that what audiences and artists want out of their theater?

Another issue raised by Bevell is, “actors and directors who lack consistency in their craft.” I’ve overheard and even engaged in a few conversations about the lack of professional development opportunities for theater artists. Perhaps a lowered expectation of consistency is attached to an underappreciation for the need to workout and hone the various skills needed by theater artists?

These seem like important discussions to have and I imagine they are being had to varying degrees around town. Are you interested in boldness in your theater?

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The 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival closed on August 12th with a final tally of 46,280 tickets issued over 11 days. This is a drop of roughly 8 percent. With the degree of road construction creating obstacles to many of this years venues that decrease probably isn’t a tremendous surprise to Fringe staff.

You can go to the Fringe Festival home page to see a full break-down
of ticket sales and top selling shows.

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Speaking of the Fringe Festival you should check out Joseph Scrimshaw’s audio podcast ‘Obsessed.’

Each month Scrimshaw hosts a live show at the Bryant-Lake bowl theater that features special guests talking about their obsessions plus a random audience volunteer shares their obsession. The audio of the live show is recorded and then edited into episode of the podcast that you can listen to at the office or while doing laundry.

There’s a live recording this Saturday, August 18th, at the Bryant-Lake bowl. Maybe they’ll talk about your obsession?

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Another show up and running right now at Open Eye Figure Theatre is ‘Politico,’ created and performed by acclaimed storyteller Kevin Kling.

In this show Kling tries to get at what drives the current US political system and it is made up of stories, songs, and what “calls to action.” If you haven’t seen Kevin Kling perform and enjoy expert storytelling it’s a great way to spend time in a theater so take advantage of this opportunity. If you have seen Kling perform you know what I’m talking about.

The show has performances left running this Thursday through Sunday at either 4 or 7:30. Click here for more information

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Hey, did you know we have a classified section? It’s not meant to be a secret so feel free to let everyone know there’s a bunch of audition and job notices currently up.

Go check out the opportunities and then let us know on Facebook
or Twitter if you get work through our classifieds because that’ll make us feel helpful.

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Do you have a show, idea, story, or whatever we should know about?
If so let us know. We like messages.

I hope you have a joyful week

-Levi