January 2010

Feeling Minnesota


Patio #3 by Carolyn Swiszcz. Acrylic and rubber stamp on paper. 26 x 40, 2009.

Does Lutheran practicality plus Scandinavian progressiveness multiplied by snow and divided by passive-aggressiveness add up to an aesthetic? In partnership with mnartists.org, this month we explore whether there's a distinctly "Minnesota Style."


The Minnesota Way

Criticism | Tradition

Wendy Knox and Bain Boehlke. Michelle Hensley and Lou Bellamy. Do they have anything in common? Quinton Skinner tracks it down.

Penumbra style

Criticism | Vision

While Garrison Keillor seems like Minnesota's essential national representative, don't forget that Penumbra Theatre nurtured the equally famous August Wilson.

The dance scene

Criticism | Vision

Decentralized, political, process-oriented, and anti-fashion: Does that sound like the dance you've seen around town?

The missing Minnesota mythos

Criticism | Vision

"We are on the cusp of a change in what Twin Cities theater is, or at least, what it is willing to do."

Anti-anxiety of influence

Criticism | Process

Minnesota Style is the sum total of the people who live here. Regular contributor John Middleton explores how we learn the style we call our own.

Art in an outpost


Enjoy this excellent article, exchanged with mnartists.org, on the Minnesota tradition in visual arts. As similar to the performance scene as a sibling.

Speaking of place


Where you live matters. This last essay on Minnesota Style delves deep into the world of architecture. Just as with theater, discipline and restraint reappear.


BLOG: Losing the middle

In depth |

Tom Poole begins a monthlong exploration of "The Elements of Style," Minnesota Edition, with the deep and continuing impact of Jeune Lune. Plus jokes.

BLOG: Too many writers! Too much money!

In depth |

How are Minnesota playwrights like weeds and kittens? Poole's #2 post considers the unique legacy of the Playwrights' Center. Plus, Craig Wright pipes in.

BLOG: Acting Minnesotan

In depth |

UPDATE #3: In which Jeff Hatcher and Tom invent a game you can play that generates two competing lists of distinctly Minnesota styles.

BLOG: Rock n' theater

In depth |

NEW UPDATE #4: The Twin Cities have been known for their music since the 1980s. The theater scene could not thrive without it.

BLOG: Go Twins!

In depth |

UPDATE #5 Do Minnesota theaters suffer from split personality disorder? "What is a theater for all those minutes, hours, and days when a play isn’t happening?"

BLOG: Living for the future in nowhere land

In depth |

NEW #6 The Epic Conclusion: Tom considers and rejects tragedy for comedy and makes sure-to-be-incorrect predictions about the future. And, always, with jokes.


Now playing

The Hothouse

The Hothouse

See it this week at Artspace Grain Belt Bottling House in Minneapolis. Presented by Dark & Stormy Productions.

Theater talk

Featured Artist

Heidi Berg

Heidi Berg

Heidi Berg performs in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit playing at Phoenix Theater this month.

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