Ten Thousand Things Theater Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has lined up William Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I with an all-female cast; the rarely seen musical Dear World; and a new play, Changelings, by Kira Obolensky for its 2015–2016 season. All three shows will begin with tours to prisons, housing projects, homeless shelters, and other nontraditional locations before public performances.
“As always, TTT has chosen big stories, ones that wrestle with eternal human struggles, set in make-believe worlds that our amazingly diverse audiences can enter into as equals, with great interest,” Artistic Director Michelle Hensley said in a company press release. “And as usual, we will tell these stories in a bare-bones style to most intensely engage our imaginations.”
The season opens Sept. 24 with Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I, the tale of a young prince who wrestles with questions of honor in choosing between a boisterous life with drunken, thieving friends or fulfilling his father’s expectations to become a warrior in battle. These age-old questions will get a fresh twist as Director Michelle Hensley re-examines the tale through the lens of an all-female cast: Michelle Brindisi, Shá́ Cage, George Keller, Meghan Kreidler, Anna Sundberg, Austene Van, Karen Wiese-Thompson, and Regina Williams.
The season continues Jan. 7 with the company’s first production of Dear World, a musical based on “The Madwoman of Chaillot,” (book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee, music by Jerry Herman). The musical follows a group of eccentrics and outcasts in Paris who band together to thwart the plans of evil businessmen plotting to extract oil from the land under the city's streets and cafes. The play celebrates the power of unconventional outlooks that are unburdened by wealth or greed. Sarah Rasmussen, recently named artistic director of the Jungle Theater, will guest direct, with Peter Vitale as music director. The cast features Christina Baldwin, Sheena Jansen, and Janet Paone.
TTT’s season concludes with Changelings, a new play created by Obolensky, Mellon Foundation playwright-in-residence, and a group of veteran TTT artists that explores the longings we have for lives different than the ones we lead. This comic tale weaves the story of two best friends who make a pact for the future—and the tangle that ensues in the next generation. Directed by Michelle Hensley, the show opens April 28 and features Sarah Agnew, Cage, Kurt Kwan, Randy Reyes, Luverne Seifert, and Ricardo Vazquez.
Tickets for Ten Thousand Things’ 2015–2016 season will go on sale in August.
Ten Thousand Things' productions bring high-quality, intelligent theater to people with little access to the wealth of the arts. This award-winning company invigorates ancient tales, classic stories, and contemporary plays through its search for honest, open interactions between actors and audience. Artists performing with skill and imagination in prisons, homeless shelters, and low-income centers confront the honesty and insight of men and women who have lived hard lives. The company won the Sally Award for Vision in 2011.
June 11, 2015