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Minnesota Theater Alliance
Membership Newsletter
August 24, 2012


Alliance News:
  • Report from the Alliance Northern and Central Minnesota Tour
  • USITT Fall Workshops, September 7-8, U of M - Duluth
  • Sustainable Theatres Group Meeting September 19
  • Updated Map of Minnesota Theaters
  • New Members and Audience Development Ideas
  • Opportunities:
  • ARTSAGE: A Professional Development Opportunity for Artists and Arts Organizations
  • Mixed Precipitation Volunteer Opportunity
  • Call for Performers: Occupy Your Mind
  • Call For Performers: The 2012 Spooooktacular Show
  • Learning:
  • Twin Cities Stage Directors on Directing – A 4 Part Series
  • Arts Learning Xchange Finale Event
  • Video of Diane Ragsdale and Metro-Wide Forum Now Available
  • Represent:
  • First Round of Arts All Stars Awards Announced
  • Free Vaccines for Underserved Adults
  • News:
  • Fringe Festival – 2012 Numbers and Audience Picks
  • Congratulations to Rosetown Playhouse: Arts Achievement Awards
  • VSA Minnesota Launches Accessibility Calendar
  • Bonus:
  • Extreme Green: Article on Sustainability in Theater Spaces
  • Theatre for the 21st Century: Sustainable Business Models for Theatres
  • Report from the Alliance Northern and Central Minnesota Tour
    Two years ago, as a new organization designed to serve theaters throughout Minnesota, we hosted meetings all over the state to learn more about the work and the needs of Greater MN theater makers. This summer, we are on the road again, sharing news about existing programs and gathering input for new ones on the horizon. In early August, we had meetings in Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Fargo, Fergus Falls, Alexandria, Saint Cloud, Duluth and Grand Rapids. Big thanks to the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Historic Holmes Theatre, Theatre B, Springboard for the Arts and Lake Region Arts Council, Theatre L’Homme Dieu, Jules Bistro, Duluth Playhouse and Playground, and the Reif Performing Arts Center for hosting. And thanks to all who attended and shared valuable insight into how we can continue bringing our communities together.

    Plans for our next trip to visit Southern Minnesota are underway now, and we’ll be announcing the itinerary soon. If you live in Southern Minnesota and would like to host one of our meetings or invite attendees to see your show, please email Ashley Hanson at We look forward to seeing you soon!

    USITT Fall Workshops, September 7-8, U of M - Duluth
    USITT Northern Boundary ( will be hosting their Fall Workshops in technical theatre September 7-8 at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Update your skills, learn the newest tools, network with fellow practitioners, all at a ridiculously affordable price of $20. USITT membership fee of $15 waived for Minnesota Theater Alliance members! If you are affiliated with an Alliance member theater, just tell them which theater when you register. Registration at the door.

    Conference schedule and additional information available at:

    If you are interested in carpooling from the Twin Cities, please email Leah Cooper at

    Sustainable Theatres Group Meeting September 19
    The MN Sustainable Theaters Group will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 2 pm at Brave New Workshop, 824 Hennepin Ave, downtown Minneapolis. If you would like to join the Sustainable Theatres Group, or if you would like to attend the meeting by phone or Google+, please email Leah Cooper at

    Updated Map of Minnesota Theaters
    Following our great Northern and Central Minnesota Tour, we updated the interactive map of Minnesota theaters on our website. Now we have 370 Minnesota Theaters listed! Check out the map and make sure that we have your theater and correct information at:

    To be added to the Map or change your information, please email Ashley Hanson at

    New Members and Audience Development Ideas
    We are adding more new features to our newsletter! Each newsletter will now include an audience development idea that someone in our theater community has tried in the past. Audience Development Ideas will be posted on the right hand bar of the newsletter. If you have tried interesting tactics to fill those seats, let us know so we can share your creativity with others. Email ideas to

    We will also let you know who has become an Alliance Member in the last month on the right hand bar of the newsletter. We will list theater names and include links to their website, so you can see and welcome those who have joined our growing member list!

    ARTSAGE: A Professional Development Opportunity for Artists and Arts Organizations
    ARTSAGE (formally MN Creative Arts and Aging Network) received a Partnership Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to provide a professional development opportunity for 60 Minnesota professional artists and arts organization personnel to increase their skills in working with older adults.

    Minnesota artists and arts organization personnel selected to participate in this professional development opportunity will:
    - Participate in statewide professional development learning from some of the best national and state experts in the arts and aging field;
    - Acquire teaching skills to work with older adults and explore alternative delivery models for engaging older adults in high-quality, meaningful arts experiences;
    - Develop the ability to replicate the training in order to teach it to others in the future;
    - Establish a peer network of teaching artists and organizations that work with older adults so that they might engage in ongoing networking and serve as mentors to new artists who enter the field.

    The training will be highly experiential, giving participants a chance to observe and practice activities and processes they can use with older adults. It will be delivered in person and online. Group sessions will include a three-day conference November 12-14, 2012 at Riverwood Conference Center in Albertville and then a one-day regional workshop held at four locations across the state in February. During the year, artists will stay connected through their online cohorts.

    There is no fee to participate. The MSAB grant covers all costs for participants to receive 32 hours of training, materials, online mentoring, meals, and housing. However, participants must pay for travel to attend the three-day conference in November and the one-day regional training in February.

    Applications Due: August 30, 2012

    To apply:
    Complete the application form and return by August 30, 2012. Download pdf application at

    For more information contact

    Mixed Precipitation Volunteer Opportunity
    Mixed Precipitation is currently looking for volunteers to be involved with the production of "The Return of King Idomeneo: A Picnic Operetta," coming to community gardens and farms throughout the Twin Cities area and beyond through September 23, 2012.

    Mixed Precipitation is a deliciously unique theatre company that relies on the many volunteers who support their performances and prepare amazing food. As a volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to:
    - Meet all the awesome people working on this creative project
    - Help keep the picnic operetta accessible to everyone
    - Eat delicious fresh food from local farms and gardens
    - Learn cooking tips and new terms of kitchen profanity
    - Attend exclusive networking parties
    - Get a t-shirt and a warm, fuzzy feeling free of charge!

    Volunteer descriptions and applications are available at

    Questions? Contact volunteer coordinator, Ari Edes: or 630-809-8277.

    Call for Performers: Occupy Your Mind
    Occupy Your Mind is a grassroots project dedicated to collecting the living history of the Occupy movement through interviews and live performances shared in all sorts of gatherings and online.

    On September 17th, theaters, students, activists and others are invited to convene performances of interviews conducted with Occupy activists over this past year. We have hundreds of interviews to choose from. You simply gather folks together and share these compelling stories.

    Visit the Occupy Your Mind website ( to access our database of edited and unedited transcripts that you can download and perform. Occupy Your Mind encourages you to host your event in any public space: a theater, a classroom, a public park, a shopping mall wherever.

    Email and they will guide you through putting together your own event. It’s easy and a great way to bring thoughtful attention to the many critical issues at the center of Occupy. Especially as we move towards our national election, you can help keep the nation’s attention on economic injustice, the problematic state of money in politics, and our rights to assemble, exercise our free speech and push for a just and democratic society!

    Call For Performers – The 2012 Spooooktacular Show
    A call for a range of performing artists -- dancers/choreographers, musicians, storytellers, variety acts, or whatever you have in store!

    The Spooooktacular Show is an annual dance and variety show featuring artists from the local area presenting Spooktacular themed works! This theme is open to your interpretation--your work can be dark, scary, creepy, eerily beautiful, comedic, zany, or thought-provoking.

    Curated by Mirah Ammal, presented by Al-Bahira Dance Theater
    Saturday October 13, 2012
    Patrick's Cabaret Theater

    Each performer/group generally performs 5-10 minutes of material (however, exceptions may be made from time to time.)

    For more information, please email Mirah Ammal at Tell them a little bit about who you are and what you have in mind!

    Twin Cities Stage Directors on Directing – A 4 Part Series
    A 4-part lecture series presented by Bloomington Theatre and Art Center
    September 10, October 8, November 12, and December 10, 2012

    How does a director create a piece of live theater? Here’s a rare opportunity to step into the minds of some of today’s most prominent Twin Cities stage directors. This informative series of panel discussions is for student and professional theater artists, fellow directors, and theater aficionados alike. Join BTAC's Director of Education Paul R. Coate as he moderates four unique and informative panel discussions with many veteran and up-and-coming artists who have created theater at The Guthrie, Park Square, The Jungle, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Children's Theatre Company, Theatre Latte Da, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Skylark Opera, Bloomington Civic Theatre (BCT), and many more venues throughout the Twin Cities and beyond!

    Registration must be made in advance by calling 952-563-8575 for by visiting Each part in this series is held at Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington, MN.

    Panel: Michael Matthew Ferrell*, Gary Gisselman, Anita Ruth*, Bob Neu*
    Monday, September 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    $25/BTAC members; $30/non-members;
    $10/patrons who have purchased a ticket to a BCT show in the 2012-2013 season, and students
    The start of our 4-part discussion series on the art of stage directing, led by some of the most prominent theater artists in the Twin Cities today. The first part in our series focuses on the direction of a stage musical, and the collaborative dynamic between director, choreographer, and music director.

    Panel: Bain Boehlke, others TBA
    Monday, October 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
    $25/BTAC members; $30/non-members;
    $10/patrons who have purchased a ticket to a BCT show in the 2012-2013 season, and students
    The collaboration between director and theatrical designers is paramount to the successful creation of the visual theatrical presentation. Sound, lighting, costumes, and scenery must all work in synergy to create the director’s vision. Learn about the artistry of technical theater from the perspective of the director/designer of Minneapolis’s acclaimed Jungle Theater.

    Panel: Barbra Berlovitz, Peter Rothstein, Doug Scholz - Carlson, Karen Weber*
    Monday, November 12, 2012, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    $25/BTAC members; $30/non-members;
    $10/patrons who have purchased a ticket to a BCT show in the 2012-2013 season, and students
    The third part in our series focuses on ensemble-driven theatrical storytelling, and the creative collaboration between director and actor.

    Panel: Wendy Lehr*, Craig Johnson, Joe Chvala*, Zach Curtis*
    Monday, December 10, 2012, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    $25/BTAC members; $30/non-members;
    $10/patrons who have purchased a ticket to a BCT show in the 2012-2013 season, and students
    The final part in the series, four experienced Twin Cities directors provide a glimpse into the step-by-step thought process stage directors must go through as they bring a piece of theater to life.

    *Denotes director in Bloomington Civic Theatre's 2012-2013 season
    Register for 2 or more in this series and receive a 10% discount!

    Arts Learning Xchange Finale Event
    Over the past four years Arts Learning Xchange has brought Twin Cities arts organizations together in a collaborative learning environment to educate a wide variety of Minneapolis/St. Paul arts leaders in different kinds of forums about the broad spectrum of topics around participation and engagement. As the program is nearing its end, they are planning a final event on Wednesday, November 28. This finale will showcase national and local arts leaders in a full day of presentations, learning, and sharing, concluding with a keynote by well-known arts activist and former theater professional Ben Cameron. The day will also include opportunities to network with peers and connect with audience engagement service providers.

    When: November 28, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    What: Keynotes by national speakers, case-study presentations by local arts managers, networking, and more... Details to come!
    Where: Metropolitan Club, 5418 Wayzata Boulevard, Minneapolis, MN 55416
    Cost: Free with registration
    Registration: Coming soon!

    Questions? Contact

    Video of Diane Ragsdale and Metro-Wide Forum Now Available
    Arts Learning Xchange welcomed Diane Ragsdale to the Twin Cities for the July 10 metro-wide forum about sustainability in the arts, “Holding Up The Arts: Can we sustain what we’ve created? Should we?”

    The word sustainability comes from the Latin sustinere (tenere, to hold; sus, up). One definition of sustainability is “the capacity to endure.” When we aspire to sustain, or hold up, the arts what are we talking about? Sustaining all the historically leading, flagship organizations? Sustaining a canon of great works? Sustaining broad and deep community engagement with the arts? Something else? The “what” is important. Who and what survives in the arts ecosystem is, in part, a matter of choice and priority; moreover, decisions to sustain one organization or level of the ecosystem can come at the expense of another. Diane Ragsdale challenged us to think about what we’re trying to sustain and why, as well as the consequences of our choices.

    If you weren't able to attend the July 10 metro-wide forum, check out the video clips at:

    First Round of Arts All Stars Awards Announced
    MCA is proud to announce that the first round of Arts All Stars are being awarded to legislators who helped the arts in the 2012 session. One protected the Legacy Arts Fund from being diverted to stadiums, and the other has a long career in support of the arts community, so these legislators deserve our thanks!

    Sen. LeRoy Stumpf of Plummer in NE Minnesota was the first to receive his award. Throughout his career in the legislature, Sen. Stumpf has been a great arts friend.

    Senator Stumpf said, “I believe that there is a little artist in every one of us. I think it’s the ability to free that up, that spirit of the artist. I think in Northwestern Minnesota in particular, as I travel around the state, there is more of that spirit up here than in any other place in the state. You look around community after community, and there is all kinds of music, art, bands, orchestra, painting, you name it. I think we thrive on that up here. So I really appreciate this and will treasure it, and you will see it hanging in my office.”

    Chair of the Legacy Committee Sen. Bill Ingebrigsten of Alexandria recieved his award on August 2nd. MCA thanked him in particular for making sure that Legacy funds were spent on the arts and not on other things (such as stadiums).

    Sen. Ingebrigsten said, "Thank you to the arts community for recognizing the work we do in the legislature. In 2008, it was clear that art is a big part of our local communities. As the chief author of the Legacy Bill, I will continue to adhere to the constitution by making sure these monies are spent according to law. Thank you again for recognizing the hard work we do in the legislature.”

    Thank Sen. Stumpf: 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., State Office Building, Room 145 , St. Paul, MN 55155-1206

    Thank Sen. Ingebrigtsen: 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. ,Capitol Building, Room 303 , St. Paul, MN 55155-1606

    Free Vaccines for Underserved Adults
    Hey, theater-makers! If you're an uninsured or underinsured adult (over 19), there are clinics throughout Minnesota that will provide you with free vaccines. Go to this website to search for free vaccine providers:

    Patients may be charged a vaccine administration fee (up to $20.00) and/or a clinic visit fee (varies by site). There will be no cost to you for the vaccine. Underinsured adults are only covered through the end of of 2012, so don't delay.

    Not sure which vaccines you need? Go here for more information:

    Questions? Contact Lucy Cosgrove at or 651-201-5522.

    Fringe Festival – 2012 Numbers and Audience Picks
    Congratulations to all of the artists who participated in the 19th annual Minnesota Fringe Festival! Preliminary numbers indicate that:
    - 46,280 tickets were distributed to the 163 shows participating in the 11-day performing arts festival;
    - the number of individual attendees is estimated at 16,424, based on distribution of the festival button, required for admission;
    - the 2012 festival included 829 performances and this year’s average audience size was 56 people per performance;
    - the festival presented the work of over 1,100 artists – actors, directors, playwrights, dancers, designers and more.

    “I’m delighted with the numbers – once again, audiences turned out in remarkable quantities to see new performance work,” said Robin Gillette, Executive Director. “But more importantly, I’m thrilled with the overall feeling of the festival. I heard from audiences and artists alike that they felt well taken care of. And that’s what the Fringe is really for: to provide a supportive producing environment for artists at all levels of experience, while creating a world of performances that’s easy to navigate for our audiences.”

    The 20th annual Minnesota Fringe Festival is scheduled for Thursday, August 1 through Sunday, August 11.

    To see Top 15 Lists and Audience Picks, visit:

    Congratulations to Rosetown Playhouse: Arts Achievement Awards
    The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Board of Directors has selected Rosetown Playhouse and Sounds of Hope to be this year's recipients of the MRAC Arts Achievement Awards, which include a cash payment of $5,000. The nominations were reviewed by the MRAC Board of Directors based on how arts groups exemplify MRAC's vision for the region by:
    - Causing artists and arts activities to thrive, and/or
    - Integrating the arts into the social fabric and identity of a community(s), and/or
    - Enhancing understanding of the public value of the arts.

    Congratulations Rosetown Playhouse! Learn more about Rosetown Playhose at

    Rosetown Playhouse is also a member of the Minnesota Theater Alliance and you could be to! Join now at

    VSA Minnesota Launches Accessibility Calendar
    If you may be offering shows this coming season with ASL interpreting, Audio Description or Captioning, please send VSA the information so that they can include it in their monthly Accessible Performance Calendar. The September/October list will be emailed about August 29. A NEW FORM is available, that you can fill in easily; it’s downloadable at

    Thanks for your interest in making your arts organization’s programs and events accessible to people with disabilities!

    Extreme Green: Article on Sustainability in Theater Spaces
    Sustainability in theatre spaces is a subject that more and more theatres are addressing these days. While many still find that it does cost more initially to go “green”, the payoff—not only for the theatre itself but also for the surrounding community—is well worth it. A number of theatre consultants are spearheading sustainable design for new construction that goes the extra mile, with some exciting new theatrical spaces scheduled for the near future. But the here-and-now’s not so shabby, either. Visit the following link to view some theatre projects that have sustainable innovations already built in:

    Theatre for the 21st Century: Sustainable Business Models for Theatres
    Theatre for the 21st Century is a report on sustainable business models for New York City’s Off and Off Off Broadway theatres. The report was developed by the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York through The Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund and features case studies of 18 nonprofit theatre companies exploring new models for producing and operating in a changing economic landscape. Check out the report at

    Funding and support for the Minnesota Theater Alliance provided by

    McKnight Foundation

    Mardag Foundation

    Peace Coffee Hosted by

    This activity is funded, in part, by appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State's general fund, and its arts and cultural heritage fund that was created by a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

    © 2011 Minnesota Theater Alliance
    308 Prince St #270, Saint Paul, MN 55101 • (651) 789-0787 •