Snowy Sunday shows, Arts Align, writing on dance, and more

by Levi Weinhagen • Dec. 10

News and notes |

Hiya Theater Pals-

Minnesota got a lot of snow on Sunday. I’m not sure what the final tally ends up being but its somewhere in the area of more than a foot. There’s roughly 1,000 pictures of snow on Facebook if you need evidence.

There was also a lot of theater performed in Minnesota on Sunday. Again, not sure what the final tally is but its somewhere between a dozen shows and one thousand. And I’m sure many theater companies had discussions early in the day on Sunday about whether or not the expected volume of snow should call for a show cancellation. My theater company had a 6pm performance scheduled for Sunday and there was a brief discussion about whether or not audiences would show up.

But we did perform our show and the audience did show up. The same is true for the vast majority of shows scheduled for Sunday.

Marianne Combs, who writes MPR’s State of the Arts blog and is an important piece of the theater/arts journalism puzzle in Minnesota, posted on her Facebook wall at around 5pm “I've got to admit - considering the amount of snow, I'm surprised by how few cancellations there have been so far...”

I had the exact opposite reaction. I would have been surprised if most theaters cancelled their shows. There’s certainly still the idea that “the show must go on” in the theater world but I don’t think that’s the most significant thing at play when it comes to weather cancellations.

We Minnesotans pride ourselves on being hearty where winter weather matters are concerned. We Minnesotans also pride ourselves on our rich artistic and cultural community. Plus, we’re pretty big fans of honoring commitments. This means that if someone has already purchased a ticket to a show the thought that snow could make them not go to the show is like admitting they aren’t really up to the task of being a Minnesotan.

And as theater makers and performers we often think like audience members as that’s typically our first foray into the world of theater. So when the snow starts to accumulate and someone asks if the show is happening the immediate reaction is of course we’re doing a show. We can handle anything winter can dish out and we made a pact with our audiences to show up.

As I was performing this Sunday to one of the best audiences we’ve had in this run of shows I was reminded that one of the best reasons to put on a show even though there’s challenging weather is because the people who are willing to make their way through that weather to your show are going to be heavily invested in having the show go well. Which is about the best mind frame you can ask for from an audience.

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Arts Align December – Duluth Playhouse

The Duluth Playhouse has a new space opening this coming Spring. This Tuesday, December 11th, their Arts Align meeting “is an opportunity to meet, talk, laugh, and mingle in the new Play Ground theater space (located in the Depot/Former Children's museum) at 506 W. Michigan Street in Downtown Duluth.”

Arts Align December
The Duluth Playhouse
506 W. Michigan Street, Duluth

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From what I’ve seen there’s not enough writing about dance in Minnesota. I think it’s a difficult subject to write thoughtfully about and the people who know the most about it, dancers, happen to prefer communicating without words.

Lightsey Darst, however, often writes interesting and insightful articles on dance. She recently wrote for mnartists.org about Laura Holway’s Small Art show which featured Brad Liening reading poems, Kristen Graves sing, and Emily Gastineau performing two dances.

You can read Darst’s write up of the Small Art event and find more of her writing here

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Audition – seeking physical actors and puppeteers

Looking for an interesting and creative theater opportunity?
Mad Munchkin Productions is seeking 7 physical actors for their newest original work "Paper Garden: Entomos" All ensemble roles include parts for acting, puppetry, and mask work.

Auditions are on the afternoon of December 16th
Email madmunchkinpuppets@gmail.com to get signed up for a time slot

Check out the full audition posting here

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That’s all for now.
I hope you lift with your legs when moving all that heavy snow

-Levi