Another leadership transition


Three cheers for all the crazy ideas you’ve ever brought back from a beach.

For Leah Cooper and I, the beach was in Mexico, and the idea was this website. A place where everyone in Minnesota performing arts could find something online that they needed: job postings, calendar listings, talent, a photographers content information, articles about theater news and ideas that inspire the great artists around us.

Yes, while we were lounging on a beach, we were dreaming of Minnesota.

Meet the new owner

As of Wednesday, February 1, 2017, Damon Runnals will become MinnesotaPlaylist’s new owner (and I will stop thinking about something I’ve thought about every day for 9 years).

Damon is smart, cares deeply about local theater, and has already accomplished a lot. He’s an artist and a kick-ass arts administrator. He helped to save the Southern. He invented and developed the ARTshare program. He’s a leader and a community-builder. If we were trying to make up the perfect person to take care of MinnesotaPlaylist, we would invent Damon.

He promises to keep what’s good, build on what can be great, and experiment with his own as-yet-to-determined crazy, wonderful, why-the-hell-not ideas. We believe in him 100%.

You make a website into a community hub

I’m saying goodbye here, and finding it to be harder than I thought.* This is my sixth draft of this simple announcement. In 8 years and 4 months, MinnesotaPlaylist has grown from a sunny idea into an indispensible community resource (from 5000 users our first month to 25,000 users this past month). We’ve never received any grant money, never charged you to see auditions or articles (or for anything we didn’t have to charge you for), never actually had a staff—yet nothing quite like this website exists in a form like this in any other theater community in the United States.

Because you decided that MinnesotaPlaylist could be your community’s online hub. We are humbled to have made something you have found useful for the past 9 years. We imagined it, but you made it work.

So, while we’re confident in Damon’s ability, we hope you won’t take this resource for granted. He needs your help. Post a show. Get a profile. Now more than ever. Be sure your audition is seen by a wider audience than your Facebook feed. Hire a videographer from the business directory. By using its resources, you make the website more inclusive, comprehensive, and community-driven.

Your encouragement meant more than you knew

When we launched MinnesotaPlaylist officially on October 1, 2008, you sent us a whole bunch of excited emails—exuberant, hopeful, thank you emails about how thrilled you were to visit a smart space that validated the really great art happening here. Those emails made a lot of the hard work we did feel more worthwhile.

We hope you will continue to encourage Damon like you did us: best wishes, ideas, articles, whatever, discussion topics, dreams. His new email address as the official owner of MinnesotaPlaylist is [email protected]. Say hello. After February 1, it’s all him. Enjoy.

For Leah Cooper and I, it’s been a real pleasure to get to know you and to help you make your art work.

*We are putting all of our current energy into our theater company, Wonderlust Productions, so you’ll be seeing us around.



Alan M. Berks

Alan M. Berks is a Minneapolis-based writer whose plays have been seen in New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and around the Twin Cities. He helped create Thirst Theater a while back. Now, he’s the co-founder of this here magazine. He’s also written Almost Exactly Like Us, How to Cheat, 3 Parts Dead, Goats, and more.