A 35th Anniversary Season is an excellent time to celebrate History Theatre’s unparalleled track record of commissioning, developing, and producing new works for the professional stage: 112 in 35 years!
An important part of the process of developing new scripts is soliciting feedback from the audience. To that end, History Theatre produces Raw Stages, a festival of works-in-progress.
Audiences are invited to see staged readings of the scripts that are currently in development and then provide feedback directly to the playwright and to History Theatre’s artistic leadership. Some scripts are seen in Raw Stages multiple times before appearing on stage; some scripts only have one public reading before they are slated for production; and occasionally a script never makes it past the staged reading phase.
This season, five of the six scripts that will be part of Raw Stages have never had a public reading. 38: The Dakota-U.S. War was read as part of the Raw Stages Series in the 2011-2012 season, and will be read at the Minnesota History Center which is currently showing the exhibit entitled “U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.” Of the six scripts, two are tentatively scheduled to be part of History Theatre’s 2013-2014 season.
The Raw Stages Festival is an important part of the new play development process. This year there will be six new scripts, a different one each night between Jan. 7 thru Jan. 12.
Monday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. — God Girl
Written by Kristine Holmgen, directed by Austene Van, the setting is Princeton Theological Seminary in 1976. The war in Vietnam is over, the women’s liberation movement is in full swing, and idealistic Kris Holmgren joins the first large population of women seeking ordination into the Presbyterian ministry. Will she survive the cynical, sinister secrets of her new career?
Featuring: Summer Hagen, Randy Schmeling, Terry Hempleman, John Middleton, Heather Stone, and Paul De Cordova
Tuesday, January 8 at 7:00 p.m. — Debutante Ball written by Eric “Pogi” Sumangil , directed by Rick Shiomi
Every year around Valentine’s Day, young people from the local Filipino community get together for the annual Debutantes’ Ball. It’s an event filled with pomp and circumstance, pageantry and elegance., and a fair amount of teen angst and rebellion. Through hip-hop and Filipino kundimans (love songs) this new play explores the struggles between tradition and assimilation, parental pressure and independence, and the virtue of a DJ over a band.
Featuring: Eric Sharp, Katie Bradley, Ernest Briggs, Sarah Ochs, Alex Galick, Lita Malicsi, and Suzie Juul
Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. — Augie written by Joe Minjares, directed by Raul Ramos
Meet St. Paul’s Augie Garcia, “The Godfather of Minnesota Rock & Roll.” Augie was a Korean war veteran who had the Twin Cities rocking long before Prince was Prince! In 1956 he threatened to upstage The King when he opened for Elvis Presley at the St. Paul Auditorium – perhaps it was his trademark Bermuda shorts! This new work explores the life and times of a Minnesota legend.
Featuring: Ricardo Vasquez, H. Adam Harris, Rich Remedios, Christina Castro, James Rodriguez, Matt Rein, Tom Reed, and Darius Dotch
Jackie, Jack & The Kid — Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.
written by Eric Simonson, directed by Ron Peluso
Little Ronnie Rabinovitz, at age 10, met Jackie Robinson, his baseball hero and started a 17-year letter correspondence and friendship that lasted until Jackie’s death in 1972. At the same time, Ronnie’s father David was working hard to get Jack Kennedy elected President of the United States of America. A young boy in Wisconsin was witness to the intersection of the political process, a social movement, and baseball.
Featuring: Ethan Davenport as Ronnie, Mark Benninghofen as David Rabinovitz, Stacia Rice as Mrs. Rabinovitz, Brian Grandison as Jackie Robinson, and David Mann as JFK and others
Working Boys Band: Friday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.
written by Dominic Orlando, music by Hiram Titus, directed by Ron Peluso
A new musical about the “city band of young boys” created by a group of Minneapolis businessmen to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble. What began as a rag-tag group of kids, became a city-wide institution that lasted into the middle of the 20th Century.
Featuring: Christian Bordin, Cameron Ljungkull, Jacob Ingbar, Andrew Fischer, Alan Sorenson, Bob Berdahl, Kendall Thompson, Randy Schemling, Peter Thompson, Jen Burleigh-Bentz, and Marty Ruben
Saturday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. — 38: The Dakota-U.S. War written by Rob Thomas at the Minnesota History Center, directed by Rhiana Yazzie
In 1862 Mankato, Minnesota was the sight of the largest mass execution in American history. What followed was an exile of the Dakota people from their ancestral tribal lands; an exile that is still legislatively in force today. This new play explores the events leading up to the Dakota-U.S. War – invasions of indigenous sacred lands, cultural genocide, and starvation – through the court trials of the 38 Dakota warriors who were prosecuted as war criminals and executed by the United States government.
Drawing on articles, letters, and diaries, this provocative new play personifies the famous, infamous, and nameless people who were caught up in this tragic moment in our country’s history. It is a story that has been waiting one hundred fifty years to be told.
Presented at the Minnesota History Center, featuring: Inez Decoteau, Charles Her Many Horses, Jon Hegge, Eric Knutson, Donavan Mountain, Joe Bendickson, Ernest Briggs, and Sisóka Dúta, and Marcie Rendon, Dramaturge