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…

Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show

by LIZ BYRON Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show is one of a trilogy of plays by local playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil being premiered by Mixed Blood Theatre. The series is called Displaced Hindu Gods, and also includes pieces The Chronicles of Kalki and Shiv; all three plays are based around the concept of the…

Changes in Time

by SOPHIE KERMAN For both political and theatrical reasons, the story of gender transition is not told enough. Changing one’s gender presentation is by definition a form of theater; a dress can become a costume, and facial hair can transform a bearer of XX chromosomes into someone who is confident walking into the men’s bathroom.…

Nice Fish

by SOPHIE KERMAN There’s a certain mystique out there about fishing, a sense that the long wait (or desperate quest) for a fish can somehow be compared to the various ways of leading one’s life with artistry, impatience, or obsession. The idea has been exploited in various forms for centuries, from “A River Runs Through…