MINNEAPOLIS — This fall local performing arts professionals team up with neighborhood kids for the 16th year of Pillsbury House Theatre’s award-winning Chicago Avenue Project.
“Mark My Words” features some of the Twin Cities’ top theatre artists, actors, and directors in ten original, short plays written by South Minneapolis youth.
“It’s my favorite theater experience of the whole year,” says Randy Reyes, professional actor and director. Writer Levi Weinhagen says, “You think you’re coming in to teach the kids so much but half way through you realize you’re learning more from them than they are from you.”
“Mark My Words” premieres at Pillsbury House Theatre, 3501 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, on Monday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public.
Including the professional talents of Sarah Agnew, Jamila Anderson, Rachel Austin, Patrick Bailey, Brain Balcom, Sarah Bellamy, Mark Benzel, Lisa Brimmer, Josh Campbell, Nathan Christopher, Brian Columbus, Leah Cooper, Yolanda Cotterall, Paul DeCordova, Jess Finney, Dylan Fresco, Aaron Gabriel, Beth Gilleland, Brian Grandison, Peter Christian Hansen, H. Adam Harris, Jamil Jude, Suzie Juul, Mary Keepers, George Keller, Ben McGovern, Mo Perry, Taj Ruler, Randy Reyes, James Rodriguez, Mikell Sapp, Randy Shmeling, Maggie Smith, Nathan Tylutki, Saymoukda Vongsay, Levi Weinhagen, Phyllis Wright, and Seniz Yargici Lennes.
Since 1996, the Chicago Avenue Project brings together the Twin Cities best adult playwrights, actors, and directors who volunteer to work one-on-one with neighborhood youth on the creation and production of an original play. Individual children develop close mentoring relationships with at least four adults who are successful in their creative fields while adult professional artists share the chance to perform in wildly imaginative plays as talking guinea pigs, horses, computer gaming systems, and other indescribably unique characters. The Chicago Avenue Project gives every child—regardless of their circumstances—the opportunity to discover that he or she has a lot of value to offer. The project is not about teaching youth to perform, though they do learn acting, nor is it about teaching them how to write plays, though they learn that as well.
Unlike any other theatre in the country, Pillsbury House Theatre is a professional theatre within an inner-city neighborhood center—and a multicultural company of artists whose purpose is to engage a broad community in art and theatre with programs and productions that provoke reactions to the world around us.
Now in its 20th anniversary season, Pillsbury House Theatre is proud to be a professional theatre unlike any other. In partnership with Pillsbury United Communities, one of the largest human services organizations in the state, Pillsbury House Theatre demonstrates that the highest quality art is an integral part of all healthy communities.