Arts MN: TU Dance, Live Plays, and Mother’s Day

By Naomi Crocker

Arts MN - Mother's Day

Although I’m not usually one for holidays that don’t involve a federally mandated vacation day, I couldn’t help but highlight events this week that relate to Mothers’ Day. Specifically, the events reflect both qualities of and issues that were important to the various mothers (my own mother, aunts, grandmothers, friends’ moms, and public figures) that I have known throughout my life. Perhaps you’ll find your own motherly connections to the happenings profiled below and perhaps you won’t. Either way, they are certainly worth checking out.

Out of School Time ­– Not Just for TV Anymore

Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN

 Thursday, May 8 // 7:00pm

Theater of Public Policy

Theater of Public Policy

The May 8 installment of The Theater of Public Policy’s annual series will feature a discussion with Sprockets executive director, Eyenga Bokamba, on the importance of  engaging students outside of school. If you’ve never been to a Theater of Public Policy performance, know that TTPP presents its shows using an unique format. The presentations revolve around dialogue, but the ideas brought up in the public discussion also serve as the inspiration for improvised scenes that follow. “The improvisers tasks are not to make light of the issues or mock the players involved. Instead, scenes make the previous conversation come to life with living, breathing characters in the situations described. It’s a show unlike any other.” Tickets can be purchased online in advance for $7 or for $10 at the door.

Beer bonus: Even better than Bryant Lake Bowl’s appetizing food and drink menus is the fact that the establishment allows patrons to bring both food and beverages into the theater. Yum.

Ten Thousand Things presents Dirt Sticks

Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

Opens Friday, May 9 (Runs weekends through June 1)


Touring in prisons, homeless shelters, housing projects, and other low-income centers—and offering both free and paid public performances—Ten Thousand Things Theater Company goes above and beyond with both creativity and skill to realize their belief that “theater is richer if everyone is in the audience.” The latest installment in that realization is Dirt Sticks: a new play by Kira Obolensky, directed by Michelle Hensley, which highlights the notion that “the dead don’t rest with an untold story.” Dirt Sticks opens May 9 and runs weekends through June 1 at Open Book. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8:00pm, while Sunday performances are at 4:00pm. Tickets for both free and paid shows can be purchased online.

Beer bonus: Day Block Brewing is only, and ironically, a block away from Open Book. Since opening earlier this year, Day Block’s tap list and food menu have expanded and improved and are certainly worth trying.

TU Dance 10th Anniversary

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul, MN

Saturday, May 10 // 7:30pm


The 2013-2014 season has marked the 10th anniversary of TU Dance—the collaborative creation of husband-wife duo Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands. Furthermore, this Saturday’s performance is the last show of the 10th anniversary series and as such, is sure to be nothing short of inspiring. The program will feature Alvin Ailey’s duet from The River (1970), several TU reperatory pieces,  the world premier of a newly commissioned work by Uri Sands in collaboration with master wood block print artist Hiroki Morinoue, as well as the Minnesota premiere of Uri Sands’ One: commissioned by Dance St. Louis to honor the legacy of Henrietta Lacks and the discovery of HeLa cells. For avid TU fans, note that the show will include both a pre-performance discussion (starting at 6:30pm) and a post-performance party and talk-back. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling The Ordway box office.

Beer bonus: After the post-performance party, consider meandering on down to Amersterdam Bar & Hall, which offers an impressive selection of domestic, craft, and international beers.

Finland: Designed Environments

American Craft Council, 1224 Marshall Street NE, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday, May 7, 7:00pm


If you’re already a fan of the American Craft Council’s annual craft shows, consider making the trek to their central offices in Northeast Minneapolis  for this month’s installment of the Library Salon Series. Presented by Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ Associate Curator Jennifer Komar Olivarez, the May 7 presentation will highlight Olivarez’ three years of research on Finnish design, craft, and architecture in preparation for the upcoming MIA exhibition “Finland: Designed Environments.” The event runs from 7:00–9:00pm, but note that the ACC’s extensive library is open to the public Monday–Friday from 10:00am–5:00pm. Doors open for the Library Salon Series at 6:30pm and although the event is free and open to the public, come early as space is limited.

Beer bonus: If the fact that the American Craft Council’s offices are located in the historic Grain Belt Brewery building makes you thirsty for a contemporary ale house, know that Grumpy’s NE is only a mile away.

The Three Musketeers

Dowling Studio, Guthrie Theater, 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN

Opens Friday, May 9 (Runs through May 25)


For a play that revolves around both intrigue and adventure, the intimate yet exciting context of the Guthrie Theater’s 9th floor Dowling Studio is perfect. Adapted from Alexandre Dumas by John Heimbuch, and directed by Amy Rummenie, this new production of The Three Musketeers by Walking Shadow Theatre Company is sure to shed new light on young D’Artagnan, on Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and on the myriad of characters who aim to both help and hinder them. The play opens Friday, May 9 and runs through May 25. Tickets can be purchased in advance online, but remember that the Guthrie Theater’s rush line offers discounted tickets and opens 30 minutes before each performance. Finally, note that there are two performances on Mothers’ Day, which will help ensure that you actually spend time with your mother on Sunday. “All for mom and mom for all!”

Beer bonus: Due to both its proximity and excellent offerings, actors tend to unwind at Sea Change after Guthrie performances. Thus, if you’d like to discuss the show in more detail with one of the players, its worth securing a spot at the bar post-show.


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