Lightning Rod at Pillsbury House Theatre

The third installment of Lightning Rod will take place at Pillsbury House Theatre this August! Lightning Rod is a week-long program in performance-making that was formerly hosted by Patrick’s Cabaret.

Applications are now open! Click here to access the application form.

About Lightning Rod:

Lightning Rod is seeking 18 artists to present 3 works (team size negotiable) to participate in a week-long intensive in collaborative performance process that culminates in a set of 2 performances presented to the public. We seek artists who will responds to the prompt: “how can you reach across barriers of identity difference, time-space quandaries, and species classification in a world that cannot hold you?” This might mean that the work addresses current events, cultural trends, environmental shifts, or present day capitulations of ancestral knowledge. Potential mediums could include: dance, design, song, writing, video, performance.

Co-producers Kat Purcell, Marcela Michelle, and Yoni Tamang are growing on last year’s Lightning Rod in both its format and content. This year we are particularly interested in work that goes beyond theatrical conventions of “a play,” “a script,” “an actor,” “a director” etc. We seek work that imagines new ways of performing, being, and becoming in community. To that end, we highly encourage you to apply for roles that are new to your artistic practice, propose content you’ve yet to explore, or state a desire to use skills you’ve yet to develop. Think of this as your opportunity to try something improbable and unexpected.

As you answer the application questions below, please take time to consider what it might mean to you to have the opportunity to collaborate with other artists in a compressed, fast-paced process. Where do your values lie? In the togetherness? Mindfulness? Community? Experimentation? Respect? The Issues? Action? Potential? Consider and let us know what it is that YOU would like to get out of an experience like Lightning Rod and HOW you work best with others.

Event Location: 

Pillsbury House & Theater
3501 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Event Schedule:

  • Sunday August 11th – All participants gather at Pillsbury House, attendance required, refreshments provided
  • Monday August 12th – a text is created for the team
  • Tuesday August 13th –  ensemble groups rehearsing in three hour slots (TBD, flexible)
  • Wednesday August 14th – ensemble groups rehearsing in three hour slots (TBD, flexible)
  • Thursday August 15th –  groups attending tech rehearsal, evening hours
  • Friday August 16th  – evening performance, 5pm-10pm
  • Saturday August 17th – evening performance, 5pm-10pm

You will be notified of your admission on or before July 16th 2019

Compensation for all participants is $250. There will be no artist ticket sales program this year. Resources are available for childcare. Keeping in mind the demands of moving an audience, we invite the artists to think of all the areas at Pillsbury House as potential performance spaces–the mezzanine, the rehearsal rooms, the lobby, the stairwell, the outside, etc. The stage itself at Pillsbury House & Theater is not ADA accessible, however there are spaces within the building that are.

For assistance filling out the application form, or if you have any questions regarding the project, please contact

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

an integral part of Pillsbury United Communities