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Xavier Tavera Zine preview

Come celebrate another awesome photography project in South Minneapolis! Art Block leader Xavier Tavera will share portraits he as taken of small business owners on the South Side. He will also be releasing a photo zine of the project at the event. Free and open to the public.

Xavier Tavera Zine preview

Preview the zine here.

Stay afterward for Naked Stages featuring performances by PaviElle French and B Billy Xiong.


Death Tax

area premiere by Lucas Hnath, directed by Hayley Finn
March 6 – April 5, 2015

Weeks before the New Year (and the new estate tax taking effect), the ailing Maxine is convinced that her estranged daughter is bribing Nurse Tina to expedite her demise. But, when Maxine offers an enticing deal of her own, Nurse Tina finds herself at a moral crossroads. A suspenseful and captivating dark comedy, Death Tax raises timely questions about the tensions between family and money, life and death. “Provocative…whip-smart…You really can’t ask for anything more.” –Chicago Sun-Times

The Gospel of Lovingkindness

area premiere by Marcus Gardley, directed by Marion McClinton
May 29 – June 28, 2015

From the playwright of the road weeps, the well runs dry, comes an equally powerful and poetic contemporary drama inspired be true events. Two young men growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Manny’s life is on track, and Noel’s life is derailing. Manny just sang at the White House; Noel just got kicked off the basketball team. When their paths cross, they risk everything for their dreams, leaving behind two grieving mothers and a city on the verge. “The Gospel of Lovingkindness is an ambitious prayer; one that pleads for a deeper appreciation for the value of life, as well as an end to violence and the circumstances that create it.” –Newcity Stage


world premiere by Tracey Scott Wilson, directed by Noël Raymond
September 18 – October 18, 2015

A group of teachers change their students’ test scores so they will receive their annual bonuses, but racial and sexual tensions arise as they try to cover up their transgressions.

Commissioned by Pillsbury House Theatre through a 2014 Joyce Award, Prep is inspired by a number of recent local events with racial overtones that have stirred up emotions and conflict. Playwright Tracey Scott Wilson spent a month in the Twin Cities earlier in 2014, immersing herself in conversation with community members that have been part of these experiences. As in her 2012/13 production of Buzzer, Scott Wilson’s goal with this play is to cut through political correctness and broach off-limits topics in order to inspire genuine conversations about race.

Also in the 2015 Season

Chicago Avenue Project

April 20, 21 and November 2, 3

The Late Nite Series

November 7, 14, 21

Naked Stages

December 10–19

Ticket Information

Season passes: Pick-your-price season passes (regular price: $100; minimum price: $65) are on sale now online or by calling 612-825-0459. In order to take advantage of the pick-your-price option, YOU MUST CALL 612-825-0459 to purchase a pass.

Individual tickets: Individual pick-your-price tickets for the 2015 Season will go on sale in January 2015, online and by calling 612-825-0459.

Groups: Call Kelsye at 612-825-0459, or email her at

Free child care, provided by the staff of Pillsbury Early Education Center, is also available for select performances.


from The Local Current Blog – Originally posted on Nov. 3, 2014, by Brenda Tran.

Pillsbury House Theatre’s “Late Nite Series: Non English Speaking Spoken Here” will return on Nov. 8, 15, and 22. The annual celebration of new work, now in its 17th year, will feature a unique lineup comprising emerging artists from Minnesota and New York. The artists and performers will explore contemporary culture through music, dance, theatre, film, literary arts, and visual art. Local music artists performing in the series include Jayanthi Kyle, Rico Mendez (a.k.a. DJ Don Cuco), and “Steely” Dan McAllister. Other highlights include a building-wide performance installation by Love|Forté, spoken word by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, and an “Indo Afro Groove” performance by Pyeng Threadgill.

The lineup was carefully curated by E.G. Bailey and Laurie Carlos with the intention of connecting underground New York and Minnesota artists, encouraging collaboration between them, and giving them exposure to a diverse audience. “We try to find artists that are willing to take a risk, artists that have that kind of energy in their work already,” said Bailey. “The key thing is practicing freedom, having the freedom to do any and everything within the limits of what the space can hold.”

The Late Nite Series traditionally sells out; audience members will find themselves packed in an exciting, creative environment. “Being in such a small theater with so many people, the energy is so palpable you can feel it,” notes Kelsye Gould, communications coordinator of Pillsbury House Theatre.

Each night’s programming begins at 9:00 p.m. Food from local chefs will be served at no extra charge at 8:00 pm in the lobby. Attendees may pick their own price for every performance (regular price is $15, anything above that is considered a donation).

“Come with no expectations and come open. I think that’s the best way to take in Late Nite,” advised Bailey.

View the original post here »

Out on a Limb

Pillsbury House Theatre’s Chicago Avenue Project presents Out on a Limb, featuring ten original, short plays written by neighborhood youth in partnership with professional dramaturgs, and performed and directed by some of the Twin Cities’ best theatre artists.

November 3 and 4, 2014

Monday at 7:00 pm
Tuesday at 4:00 and 7:00 pm

at Pillsbury House Theatre, 3501 Chicago Avenue S., Minneapolis
Directions and Parking Info »

Admission is free —just show up! All ages welcome.

The Plays

Twerk Team by Amir
direction by Adrian Balbontin, dramaturgy by Steve Moulds, starring Christian Bardin and Gregory Parks

The Future of Walmart by Cicely
direction by Chava Curland, dramaturgy by Deborah Yarchun, starring Valarie Falken and Beverly Cottman

The Theme of Love + The Theme of Fighting by Diego
direction and dramaturgy by Sharif Abu-Hamdeh, starring Carolyn Pool and Jason Rojas

The Coyote of Wall Street by Gabe
direction by Terry Hempleman, dramaturgy by Eliza Rasheed, starring Dylan Fresco and Heather Bunch

Hole by Manny
direction by Mel Day, dramaturgy by Jacob Devine, starring Dustin Bronson and Rachel Austin

The Two Lovebirds by Marlin
direction by Molly Van Avery, dramaturgy by Saymoukda Vongsay, starring Suzie Cheng and Sam Pearson

Frenemies by Mimi
direction by Cheryl Willis, dramaturgy by Basil Kreimendahl, starring Taous Khazem and Esther Ouray

Masters of Dishwashing Two by Nat
direction by Crystal Spring, dramaturgy by Josef Evans, starring Brant Miller and Katie Kaufmann

A Girl Gone Missing and a Thief to Discover by Neveah
direction by Dudley Voigt, dramaturgy by Kate Tarker, starring Jamila Anderson and Neal Skoy

The Mystery by Samaria’h
direction by Addie Gorlin, dramaturgy by Amber Patton, starring Joy Dolo and Sandra Struthers

artwork and illustrations by Cicely, Neveah, Bella, and Phebe

Many of the characters in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet are named after Yoruban orishas. An orisha (also spelled òrìṣà) is a spirit or deity that mediates between the natural and supernatural worlds. Here’s a glimpse into the features of certain characters’ orishas.

Eshu (aka Elegba and Elegua) is the orisha of chance and uncertainty. Known as the “trickster,” he lurks at gateways and doorways to introduce chaos and accident into the lives of humans. He is also seen as the “divine messenger,” delivering messages and sacrifices between the natural and spiritual worlds, and is known for his sexual exploits. In “The Brother/Sister Plays,” Marcus Eshu, Elegba, and Elegua all have divine visions or insights.

Ogun is the orisha of iron, metal work, and war. He is dependable and helps overcome spiritual and psychological obstacles. Ogun is also the only character appearing in all three of “The Brother/Sister Plays.”

Oshun is the orisha of sensuality, beauty, and fertility. She has the power to heal with water, and is often called upon to cure female ailments. Oshun is a strong and confident woman, but she also has a passionate, easily angered spirt. In “The Brother/Sister Plays,” Shun, Osha, and Shaunta Iyun all have characteristics of this orisha.

Shango is the orisha of masculinity, virility, warriors, thunder and lightning, and fire. He has three wives, Oya, Oshun, and Oba. He is said to be able to transform ordinary items into something pure and coveted. In “The Brother/Sister Plays,” Shango is a soldier in Iraq who woos several other characters.

Oba is said to be a dutiful wife, despite having been left by her cheating husband Shango. In “The Brother/Sister Plays,” Oba raises Marcus on her own.

Oya is often described as the tempest, the winds of destruction, change and progress. She is the orisha of rebirth and is often depicted with her husband Shango. In “The Brother/Sister Plays,” Oya is faced with several difficult decisions that change the course of her life.

Oshosi is the orisha of hunters. He resides in the forest. In “The Brother/Sister Plays,” Oshoosi Size escapes to the woods with his friend Elegba.

The Characters of “The Brother/Sister Plays”

MARCUS Family Tree