Category: SHOW

Two student-written plays to premiere at Metropolitan State University

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Premiering as part of Metropolitan State University’s fall theater season, two new student-written plays will take audiences on journeys through an absurd comedy of frustration and into a raw and intimate experience of the justice system.

“Dream Dig” by Mark Stewart, and “58 Months” by Benjamin Granger, both won last year’s Metropolitan State Playwriting Contest and then went through several months of development to focus and expand the stories.

In “58 Months,” a smug and arrogant, self-possessed young man is certain he can “beat the rap” after he is arrested for several hardcore drug violations and thrown into jail. As his friends and family fail him, he comes to depend on his newly acquired friends made behind bars. Will he succeed or will he fail? This penetrating look at this country’s justice system as seen from within is directed by Steve Modena.

In “Dream Dig,” the opportunity to join an archaeological dig provides the incentive of a lifetime for a bright, energetic and slightly unscrupulous young college man. But he must first earn the money he will need to study abroad. Where he ultimately ends up might just surprise you in this engaging comedy filled with hilarious characters and zany situations. “Dream Dig” is directed by Scott M. Rubsam.

“These plays are polar opposites in style,” said Gail Smogard, Theater Program director. “One is an absurd comedy borne out of the frustration of working a series of odd jobs to pay for school. The other is a raw and intimate journey into a young man’s experience with the justice system and his own contrary inclinations.”

Both plays will be performed 7 p.m. Nov. 16-19 at the Stagedoor Theater, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 19. The shorter farce, “Dream Dig” will open the bill as a staged reading and a brief introduction to the play development process, followed by the full production of “58 Months.” The Stagedoor Theater is located in the Whitney Fine Arts Center at 1424 Yale Place, Minneapolis. On-street parking is available, as is ramp parking at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Avenue. General admission is $10 and students with ID may attend at no cost. Reservations are encouraged at 612-659-7222.

“Dream Dig” and “58 Months” are produced by Theater Underground and Metropolitan State University’s Theater Program, which offers the culminating two years of a theater major for transferring students. For more information, contact the Theater Program at 612-659-7222. Persons with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should call Disability Services at 651-793-1549 or 651-772-7687 (TTY).

Metropolitan State University, a member of Minnesota State, is the Twin Cities public, urban, comprehensive state university providing lifelong learning, and competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels.

Six Degrees Of Separation

Six Degrees Of Separation

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, by John Guare will run ONE weekend only – February 17, 18, 19 & 20 at 7 PM with a 1 PM Matinee February 20 at the Whitney Fine Arts Center Main Stage at 1424  Yale Place, Minneapolis on the MCTC Minneapolis Campus.

Inspired by a true story, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION follows the trail of a young, intelligent con man, Paul, who insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple, Ouisa and Flan, claiming he knows their son at college.  He also tells them he is the son of Sidney Poitier, has just been mugged and needs their help.  This con expands to the couple’s other friends, and into much darker territory, exposing some of the flaws of upper class society– financial greed, self-absorption and insulation.

The story of this con also poses questions. Where do we draw the bounds between inclusion and exclusion?  At a time when our national security and identity are under threat by ISIS as well as American radicals, it is with great pertinence that we create and revisit art that essentially concerns outsiders: those who are the other solely because of race, religion, or perhaps more exactly…class.

“I have always loved this play”, said director, Gail Smogard, who is also the director of the Metropolitan Theater Program.  “It’s fast and funny–disturbing and articulate.  Yes, we are hyper “connected” now in ways that were not part of the 90’s, but that is not the center of what happens here.  We are only a few “degrees” away from each other with internet and social media.  But one of Guare’s central questions is, “How do we evaluate the quality of our connection to someone, and how do we keep the experience? How do we make these connections matter”?    

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION is the first co-production between Metro State and MCTC at the Whitney Fine Arts Main Stage on the Minneapolis Campus of Metropolitan State University and Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), is at 1424 Yale Place, Minneapolis. Parking is found on-street and at the MCTC ramp at 1501 Hennepin Ave.

No reservations are necessary. FREE General ADMISSION to all performances. Note: Audience members are asked to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the MCTC Resource Center Food Pantry.  ASL interpretation provided upon request.

For more information, please contact Anna.Branstner@metrostate.edu

 

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