The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood

Collective Unconscious Performance is a local company that is quite small, fairly new, and quite ambitious. They take as their goal “to re-imagine stories from our ‘collective unconscious’ (such as fairy tales or myth) with a bold, contemporary perspective.” With the world premiere of their latest show, The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, they show that they…

Red, White, [Black & Blue]

by SOPHIE KERMAN Political theater has a fine line to walk between didacticism, partisanship, and voyeurism into trauma. This is something that co-creators Michael Opperman and Nathan Tylutki were deeply aware of when constructing Red, White, [Black & Blue]: Uncharged at Guantánamo, a performance piece about the detainees currently remaining uncharged at Guantánamo. The term “performance piece” (my…

The Big Show

by SOPHIE KERMAN How many ping pong balls can you pick up in 30 seconds? In 15 seconds, can you come up with 5 different things that you’d like to put in a mailbox but probably shouldn’t, because you’re pretty sure it’s a felony? Game shows are weird, unpredictable, and completely arbitrary, and this might…

The Veterans Play Project

by SOPHIE KERMAN At the beginning of The Veterans Play Project, two would-be filmmakers  and a community chorus are all asking the same question: “Where are all the vets?” In the fictional town of Smedley, MN – just like the Twin Cities –  veterans are everywhere, but for a variety of personal and political reasons,…

Love Letters from the Middle East

by SOPHIE KERMAN Some topics are so serious, so immediate, and so tragic that it is better to deny audiences the catharsis they often seek at the theater. This is the case with Kiomars Moradi and Porya Azarbayjani‘s devastating Love Letters from the Middle East, a trio of monologues about the plight of women affected by the upheaval…

The Wong Kids and the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!

by SOPHIE KERMAN Sure, saving the universe sounds awesome. Superpowers, space travel, battling aliens… there’s no down side, right? Well, as it turns out for Bruce and Violet Wong, all this superhero stuff is actually kind of stressful. Just as stressful, in fact, as it is to be an awkward, sci-fi loving middle schooler. In…