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DEEP


The Black Dog inspires creativity -- its high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious tables encourage daydreaming, journaling, doodling and other precursors to art making.


THE SHOWS




Twin Town High (vol. 8)

Your Locally Grown Alternative Newspaper


Music Everywhere
Tuesday 26 June @ 13:20:41
Music
Bedlam Theatre Is Back At It

by DWIGHT HOBBES
Ten-Minute Play Festival | June 27 through July 1 | see www.bedlamtheatre.org |

Here’s a disclaimer right now: I been a Bedlam Theatre fan since I first set foot in the place. So, the fact that they are producing my play “Dues” doesn’t create any conflict of interest. I’d be writing about The Sixth Annual Bedlam Community Ten-Minute Play Festival anyway. Unless, of course, Lydia Howell had headed me off.



That said, Bedlam Theatre, the little company that could, in short, did. They’ve gone from being bare-bones, shoestring operators (who, by the by, kept the people coming every season) to a House of Resources. First thing, they’re no longer in a virtual closet, off the alley, around the corner from Palmer’s Bar (stories are legion of folk barely being able to find the place). They are in prominent view on about 8,500 square feet, spitting distance from the Cedar-Riverside LRT stop and down the block from Mixed Blood Theatre. They got big, attractive signs up outside and a poster space on the side of the building, advertising their shows. They are officially big time.

And still crazy as a bunch of shithouse rats. The Sixth Annual Bedlam Community Ten-Minute Play Festival, believe me, is not your mama’s ten-minute play festival. We’re talking the company that produced “To Shining Sea,” “Terminus” and other such lunatic skewering of American sense and sensibilities. No sacred cow will ever be safe on the stage at Bedlam Theatre.

This year’s festival has work by artistic directors John Francis Beuche and Megan Ward, of course. But, for a sweet shot in the arm, it’s also got Ben Kreilkamp’s comedy of romantic woe, “The Bum’s Rush” (Kreilkamp directs). Other likely offerings: in Nathaniel Hicklin’s “First Day on the Job”, a rookie on a top-secret squad of time travelers learns that with great power comes great responsibility; “Red Planet Love Fiasco: dedicated to Victor” by Robnoxious (who also directs) is the saga of an astronaut, his robot and their dysfunctional relationship; and, on a less bizarre note, “Who you callin’ a terrorist?”, which examines stereotypes and is a collaboration by the FANS after-school program at Brian Coyle Center. All in all it’s 20 scripts. Ought to be interesting.

Beuche likes how the festival has gone in the past. “Getting going with each year’s festival,” he says, “there’s varying degrees of how ready we are, how overwhelmed by other things, can-we-really-pull-it-off-again. But, when the writers, directors, actors start to roll the amazing tidal wave of fresh energy, community building, imagination, it saves me.” As for this year’s production, “[It’s] better than ever. Great shows across the board. Get to focus on developing some specific talents growing with the company. Joe Evans, Savannah Reich, Kristi Ternes. Lots of U students, Augsburg piling in. Crazy set pieces by Brad Dahlgaard as well as individual directors really embracing the [material].” Next up for Bedlam Theatre? “Well one, the new era of Bedlam as a social hub. The Ten-Minute Play Festival will time out with the launch of our beer/wine/food License. Polish-fusion food menu. Affordable, organic wine selection. Tap, bottle and canned beer. With the new building, we’ve got shows running every weekend [and we’re going to do] experimental puppet shows, vaudeville/lounge style music.” For the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Bedlam Theatre is doing “William Shakespeare’s Hystery of Queene Margaret,” adapted from the Henry VI trilogy by Corrie Zoll.

For a schedule of The Sixth Annual Bedlam Community Ten-Minute Play Festival, June 27 through July 1, see www.bedlamtheatre.org
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