From the Skewed Visions production "He Woke Up In A Strange Place Called Home And Although Looking For Bed He Kept Finding Death Instead" Photo: Craig VanDerSchaegen

Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge" which, if true, would make directors like Dominique Serrand as important as scientists—but only when they use their imagination to help invent new futures. Check back with this issue to see where the Minnesota arts community wants to lead you, and why.

Meet First Nations Theater

Tradition | Vision

Great plays about the Native American experience exist. In a state with such a large Native population, Rhiana Yazzie explores a canon we should know better.

The unseen artistry of Adam Ehret


A remembrance of local stage manager Adam Ehret makes a case for behind-the-scenes workers as legitimate artists.

A view from the road: Toronto


A local artist heads to Toronto's SummerWorks festival to see how the Twin Cities scene stacks up against some of Canada's finest.

Remembering Ken Washington

Tradition | Training | Vision

Ken Washington helped people begin lifelong journeys on the road to achieving their dreams. His passing is felt from coast to coast.

An open letter from Chris Kehoe to You

Audience | Vision

Our big Indiegogo match-maker is more energized by what you give.

BLOG: 2nd Place Ain't Bad


Minneapolis/St. Paul is voted the second-best theater scene in the country (even if Mike Daisey says the theater world is falling apart).

BLOG: LORT House Down 2: Financial Boogaloo

Innovation | Management | Vision

Another LORT theater goes down. RIP Georgia Shakespeare.

Playlist profile: Jill Bernard

Innovation | Training | Vision

We've got a globe-trotting, Twin Cities improv and theater Ambassador in our midst. You should know her better.

BLOG: Sweet Foundation Money

Social Service | Vision

See the winners of the Knight Arts Challenge. Also, how well are we tackling the Top Ten Most Produced Plays?

Forgetting taboos

Criticism | Vision

A critic’s reaction inspires Dominic Orlando to contemplate Doubt, Forgetting, and a taboo greater than sex.

BLOG: What Is Theatre For?

Innovation | Social Service | Vision

You may ask yourself what's theater for? You may ask yourself how did I get here? You may ask yourself my god, what have I done?

Don't review this

Criticism | Vision

TBT: Melodie Bahan loves good performing arts writing so much that she begs arts journalists to make her life as a publicist more difficult.

Playlist profile: Eric Sharp

Training | Vision

"If I’m not there challenging people’s perceptions, nothing changes, and we’re stuck with the way things have always been done."

BLOG: Back From the Woods

Management | Social Service | Vision

I return from a week free from news, only to return to find that Labor Day is a slow news day.

BLOG: Seriously, What's With All the Creative Placemaking All of A Sudden?!

Innovation | Vision

Let's try to figure out this Creative Placemaking thing before it drives me bonkers.

BLOG: Merry Fringe, Everyone!

Fringe | Vision

You know, because it's Fringe.

BLOG: Audience: Engaged! (or not)

Management | Vision

Is audience participation the wave of the future, or just another pothole on the bumpy road to audience engagement?

BLOG: Searching for Meaning in the Birth and Death of Arts Organizations

Management | Vision

Should we go about pruning back the number of arts organizations out there?

Playlist profile: Melissa Hart

Tradition | Training | Vision

"So what keeps me going is interpreting the fabulous things. To bring truth to it. It also stretches me."

Hey, Buddy! Wanna Buy a Theater?

Innovation | Vision

An old space sells for $1, and it's probably still too expensive for you.

Exploring change for the awkward arts zealot: Global


Charles Campbell's exploration of artistic change continues with an embrace of weirdness. Also, soup metaphors.

BLOG: Dollars and Bills

Innovation | Tradition | Vision

Getting paid and doing Shakespeare (not necessarily related).

Are we all doomed to be yuppies?


Creative placemaking is all the rage, but who gets to decide what's best for a neighborhood?

Exploring change for the awkward arts zealot: Local


Charles Campbell asks himself "What's up?" and gets an answer as complex as it is exhilarating.

Exploring change for the awkward arts zealot: Personal


Charles Campbell kicks off a series on change in the arts with a look at personal evolution.

16 questions with Gary Briggle


Our new feature kicks off with esteemed actor Gary Briggle discussing his life on stage.

Reflections from a Minneapolis Mayoral Forum on Creative Placemaking


An entire night for politicians to woo artists and not a single one thought to wear a beret.

10 local lessons for making your art work


Artistic stagnation setting in? One artist finds an endless font of inspiration right in our backyard.

The Big Bang theory of local theater


Yes, Butch Roy helped found some of the area's leading improv shows. No, you don't need to ask his permission to start your own.

The job of the artist


Responses to Václav Havel's view of the artist's job.

If a play says something in Minneapolis is it really ever heard?!!!


Someone once said to me that all plays are at the very core about something, the question is whether or not that something actually matters.

Live tweets from the Iveys

Audience | Criticism | Production | Vision

Levi Weinhagen live tweets the Ivey Awards tonight for us @minnesotaplays #iveyawards #theaterprom #canyoubetoosnarky

Reflecting on C.A.P.

Social Service | Vision

An actor remembers Why Working With Children In The Theater Matters

Looks like you made it?

Management | Vision

Actor/writer Tom Lommel talks about 'making it' in LA

Is this show too gay?


Writer Jim Robinson addresses whether a show about gay marriage is too gay

A Very Short Bit on Women and Comedy


Comic Jen Scott says its time to stop asking if women are funny and start asking why that question exists.

Creative Placemaking: Logic Models and Love

Social Service | Vision

How do you measure the successful impact of art

May Theater Cocktails


Drinks inspired by current theatrical productions.

Sustainability in Theater


Issues of sustainability in theater and what is being done to address them

Markets making art ill

Management | Vision

You should blame mediocre theater on economics. But not for the reasons you think.

Once more unto the breach


The author thinks he has something new to say about making theater relevant--and it is not about technology.

"I can own my own home"

Process | Vision

Craig Johnson and the life and work of one Twin Cities theater artist

Rank your favorite casts and crew, Week 3

Innovation | Vision

This week, we have a bunch of new entries. Let them know what you think of their ideas.

Build your own FTL rosters, Week 2

Innovation | Vision

Don't sit on the sidelines any longer. Enter your Fantasy Theater Team before next week's voting.

Best of 2010-2011: The Oldest Story in the World

Criticism | Vision

The Playwrights' Center's new Artistic Director tells us why he feels at home here in the Twin Cities.

The best is yet to come

Audience | Criticism | Vision

Challenging is a criteria for excellence that Minnesota may experience more in the year to come.

Tom Poole Remembered


Local theatermaker Tom Poole passed away on Wednesday, July 6. Alan Berks remembers a writer and a person who inspired him to be smarter, funnier, and better.

Unbearable lightness of holiday theater

Criticism | Tradition | Vision

Snow can be heavy, dirty, and hard to handle. Holiday shows are not. Matt Sciple thinks they might benefit from a bit more blizzard, a bit less whitewash.

The dance scene

Criticism | Vision

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

Local playwrights tackle WikiLeaks

Process | Vision

How would playwrights respond to WikiLeaks? We ask ten.

For love or money: or how I feed my daughter


Do we work for money or love of our art?

SHUT UP AND LAUGH: or how I learned to stop worrying and love comedy


Joshua English Scrimshaw answers the question what do artists who do comedy think of the phrase "more than just comedy."

The big art ball

Tradition | Vision

What does it mean to think like an artist?

Sit down. Shut up. (I've done this before — and some audiences actually laughed.)

Audience | Vision

One performer's progression from caring about his audience to caring about his art.

So I married a theater owner


To an artist owning a theater looks like a dream-come-true adventure. But to a spouse?

Thespis to theater in America: “Why can’t I quit you?”

Criticism | Vision

A dramatic dialogue in which theater addict Matt Sciple hides behind the fake moustache of satire to question the value of his chosen profession.

“Yeah! We’ve got this!”


Artist Andy Sturdevant reflects on his invigorating experience as an Arts Advocacy Day participant.

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."

Imagining sustainable independent cinema


You thought film was where the money was? Think again. Kevin Obsatz makes an impassioned plea for a sustainable, Minnesota-centric film industry.

Pay my rent

Management | Vision

It's never going to work as long as landlords get more grant money than artists.

Why I am a playwright


What possible reason can an otherwise rational person have for devoting themselves to writing new plays? Hint: It’s not the abundance of money and respect.

Interview with Dominique Serrand

Management | Vision

From religion to Minnesota's Legacy Amendment to health care reform, one of the forces behind Jeune Lune speaks.

Script work

Management | Vision

In a nonprofit world that has adopted too many Wall Street values, all this exciting new work out there gets squeezed off the stage.

Live wire


The state of the theater cannot be separated from the state of our culture or our lives in this country now.

Los Angeles, take six

Process | Vision

People don’t rehearse only for art. They rehearse for a night out.

A rehearsal proposal

Process | Vision

Specialization bad. Company good. An argument for a return to a kind of ensemble theater, regardless of the type of work you like to do.

The conventional unconventional

Process | Vision

If everyone's input is equally valuable, how many alternative theater artists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

No one asked me but …


A completely biased, utterly subjective, unapologetically redundant, totally unsolicited list of demands about your next season.

Young and new

Process | Vision

What if your theater is so peculiar or so particular that you need to make the scripts before you can make the season?

Mix and match


Macalester Professor and actor Harry Waters Jr. cares less about what plays you pick than he does about how you choose to do them.

Blood! Dead cats! Punk rock!

Audience | Vision

Sitting with his unemployment check, actor Casey Greig fantasizes about a season that'll draw in a younger audience. His fantasies are loud.

The writer next door


Blogger and playwright Matthew A. Everett believes the next Kushner, or Albee, or even Shakespeare, is right under your nose. Meet them; do their work.

Reading for awesomeness


The creators of Shakespeare's Land of the Dead fill their seasons by reading and seeing more than seems possible.

Soul workers


Artists have a responsibility to define their own function in a world that really does crave all forms of artistic expression.

Noble dress-up


She was done with the play-acting and joined the Peace Corps. But Mo Perry came back to the righteousness (and rum) of theater.


Audience | Vision

Theater brings mystery, excitement, and romance, and that’s just when her parents first met. Then she started to see shows.

A dog at the table


Years ago, people conjured minotaurs, tricksters, and the favor of the gods through ritual. Today, Joe Chvala uses dance and theater.

Useless is useful

Criticism | Vision

Grazing through other intellectual commentary on the arts, Ryan Hartigan turns Oscar Wilde’s aphorism "All art is useless" inside out.

Be thankful you aren't the Morris Squill


We asked one of our favorite writers for his thoughts on surviving as a performing artist. Now, we're not sure whether he'll ever talk to us again.

Designing a life in the theater, by accident

Production | Vision

When Jeff Bartlett wandered off the street into a construction zone, he never imagined it would become a good part of his life's work.

You are here

Management | Vision

Do you need to be in a "good theater town" to make good theater? An award-winning playwright tries to build his career in more remote locations.

The Matchmaker

Management | Vision

Is the solution to an actor’s career woes found in an old system? Casey Greig calls it patronage but you might think it's another old word that starts with 'p.'

Always difficult

Management | Vision

Artistic survival is always a challenge. How much harder does it become when your entire mission is to agitate against what comes too easily?

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.

A huddle of Greek gods


Forget the intersection of film and theater. If we can't figure out what makes theater different than film, expect theater to get run over even more.

Leaving a mark

Social Service | Vision

The impulse to create can be channeled into social or antisocial directions. James Williams teaches theater to help build a better society.


Process | Social Service | Vision

Far from big budget shows and scrambles for development opportunities, Leah Cooper experiences the kind of theater that still lives up to her childhood ideals.

In defense of music theater


Is music theater a lesser form of theater? Why do non-music theater actors seem to disparage the talents of their colleagues?

Your mission

Criticism | Vision

If you aren't viciously committed to your nonprofit's mission, then you should pull the plug on your next show. And maybe even your entire institution.