Four years ago the Southern Theater was in shambles, and I was pissed. Like so much anger, though, the true motivation was fear. I wanted to have that space around. I wanted it so badly. Since I first walked into that space in 2007 to see Four Humors’ Bards at the Fringe Festival, I have loved the space of the Southern. The battered arch hints at glory, the raw walls breathe potential, the view from the audience is panoramic and immediate all at once. You don’t see plays at the Southern, you step into a world. It’s a world that almost slipped through our fingers, real estate that might have been sold off and demolished to make condos for incoming freshmen, or extra parking for downtown. But that didn’t happen here. In our universe, Damon Runnals and the new Southern board hunkered down, companies and bands and wedding couples booked the space – because it is amazing – to keep it afloat, and they worked to settle their debts and dream big.
It’s been now seven years since my first show at the Southern, four since the shit really hit the fan, and over those years I have seen a lot of shows at the Southern. I’ve loved a lot of them, disagreed with some, been mesmerized and entranced, and always been challenged and absorbed by the work. Jon Ferguson’s You’re My Favorite Kind of Pretty, Theatre Novi Most’s The Oldest Story in the World, Four Humors’ The Age of Wordsworth, and so many more. If you made a list of who’s been at the Southern, it would essentially include everyone I’ve wanted to see or work with in the Twin Cities.
OH BOY. We been working hard over the last five weeks to generate material for this weekend's public presentation of Vinland. See??
VINLAND is an exploration of the Viking Age, Scandinavian immigrants to Minnesota, the mysterious Kensington Runestone and the space between emotional storytelling and cold, hard facts. A dynamic clash of cultures, songs, and images on the quest for home, belonging and the heart.
The last element we need is YOU! Tickets are on a sliding scale of $5-$15, with no one turned away for lack of funds. We accept cash, check, or credit at the door on the evening of the event.
Space is limited, so please reserve your seat:http://tinyurl.com/VINLANDworkshop
Friday, Sept 19 & Saturday, Sept 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Casket Arts Building, 681 17th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN
Written and Directed by Laura Leffler-McCabe*
Production Manager: Hannah K. Holman*
Dramaturg: Blake E. Bolan*
Created with and featuring Anni Jordan-Amberg, Lisa Brimmer*, Megan Clark, Russ Dugger*, Heidi Jedlicka Halvarson*, Foster Johns, Benjamin Kolis, Hope Nordquist, Carl David Swanson, Mark Sweeney, Allison Witham, Nick Wolf
*Savage Umbrella Company Member
Savage Umbrella’s newest piece, VINLAND, is a beautiful, chaotic, dynamic story just itching to be brought to life. Over the next five weeks I’m delighted to be helming rehearsals in which we’ll be creating this story with twelve exciting actors: Anni Amberg, Megan Clark, Foster Johns, Benjamin Kolis, Hope Nordquist, Carl David Swanson, Mark Sweeney, Allison Witham, Nick Wolf and Savage Umbrella’s own Lisa Brimmer, Russ Dugger and Heidi Jedlicka Halvarson, as well as Blake E. Bolan (dramaturg) and Hannah K. Holman (production manager).
But what? Why? What’s going on?
In my quest to be of-the-moment I see restaurants offering seasonal, locally sourced produce, I see local breweries taking off, I see the quality of small local, businesses and I want to be part of that community-oriented, what-makes-us-here-now-special? zeitgeist. My adopted home of Minneapolis is a fascinating, rich place -- wait, WUT! there’s a Viking runestone in Kensington, MN?